Saturday, March 3, 2012

Tree of Life

Well, today marks the year anniversary of my stem cell transplant. People call this your "rebirthday" and I thought it would be one of those days you put in your psyche as a celebration day.  As it turns out, I don't feel so inclined to celebrate this day--it actually seems like a day I need to be comforted and supported.  A year ago we thought that this was going to be it...we had put our faith in modern medicine and had surrendered.

I can think of other days that I'd rather celebrate as being milestones for my the day I first heard I was in remission...way back in January of 2010 after 8 doses of ABVD.  Or the day that we heard that there was no evidence of disease going into my stem cell transplant...coincidentally also being in January--but a year later.  Or the day that my biopsy confirmed that what was lighting up on the PET was a hyperactive thymus.

As it turns out, the day I consider my rebirth was January 5th, 2012---the day after I heard that my cancer might still be there.  I fell apart into pieces and had to figure out how to put them back together, and realized that the rules to the game are different.

I don't know how long I will be walking on this earth-and it might not be for that much longer.  That realization sometimes comes to me like a sensation of someone taking a brick to my face--or my heart....sometimes...and then sometimes it is like the best gift I could have been given.  I am making decisions now that I would have never made because of the "what if's" or the "how to's".

My life these days is committed to my healing.  And I have faith (most days) that I will heal.  Because I am attacking it from a different angle.  I am also focusing on my future...and how I would like it to look.  And that feels really good.

The picture you see above is a plant my dear friend Beth gave me.  She took a clipping of her plant and put it in soil to grow on the day I had my stem cells put back in.  She brought the plant to me a couple of months later while I was still in quarantine.  It was a stalk with a couple of buds on it.  She said this was planted the day of my "rebirth" and we will watch it grow together as my health recovers.  It was a daunting task as a gift...what if I killed it???  But today, a year later, it has beautiful leaves and is flourishing.  Thank you Beth. This is the kind of gift that moves me beyond words.

So here is to my rebirthday. In all its incarnations.

And here is to you.  Do you have a rebirthday??