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??


  1. I like this concept better than Unbirthdays with Mad Hatters and March Hares. One might say, "It's me, it's me, it's me, Oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer." Healing. Every day, because it is true. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Eve.

  2. I do have a rebirthday. About fifteen months ago there was an incident which I was lucky to have survived. Shortly afterwards my life fell apart and I was left completely alone to face my problems. For three months there was an eerie quietness to most of my days. There was no real pain or great happiness; I just sat and read and asked myself, "What do I really need?". I felt only gratitude and peace and as soon as that foundation was secure I was truly able to flourish. Curiously enough I came face to face with the force that had hurt me the most in my past almost nine months to the day after the traumatic incident. In that moment I realized I was completely reborn because there was no anger, resentment, or pain. I had managed to let go of it all and it has allowed me to thrive for the first time in my life. I love my life and I love you Eve.

  3. Mine is every time I hold a baby, comfort a fellow friend, hear a child laugh or when I cry with a friend who's traveling a new "road". I could pick a month like Christopher was born in February with a horrible emergency c-section after prepping for months for a natural birth. My Chiari surgery was in February and I still haven't wrapped my "Big brain" around that one 2 yrs later. Another is July when I lost my fertility due to too many circumstances and my baby girl went to Heaven. It's every time I decided to turn my fear over to God and enjoy the gifts that he's given me and I don't hide myself from the pain - but I confront it and use it.

  4. Beautiful Evie! I am going to think about when was my rebirthday. Hard to pinpoint the exact day just yet. I do know that i had one sometime before deciding to move back here. Thank you for sharing and happy healthy rebirthday!!