I sat up and as much as I could, gathered the heart monitor's leeds to the side, and brought Aura's body sort of close to mine. I pressed her ear against my chest. We were speechless, so she might as well just listen to my heart, and I might as well just breathe.
So, when do you think you'll be ready to go back to work? For quite some time now friends and family have been asking this question. I know why they ask. I know why others don't ask even though they want to. I know why I don't always feel comfortable answering.
When day zero comes around, I take one last moment to think about my fear. The fears of what I will definitely experience, the fears of what I might experience and the fears of what I might not experience. And then, finally I do have a choice to make.
Only 20 patients had been tapped for this spectacular opportunity. My stem cell infusion took place in New York City on a recent frigid winter day, inaugurating the study. I knew a long, thin needle would be inserted into my spinal column and the cells released. I was ready.
With your stem cells, I can imagine life as an ordinary thirty-something. Back at work. Earning a salary. And writing about something other than life with cancer. With your stem cells, I can imagine a second chance at my first year of marriage and the dreamy possibility of my 50th.
A lot of people are talking about the idea of rebirth, resurrection, miracles, and faith following Easter weekend. They are themes often on my mind too, though perhaps for different reasons: On December 1, 2010, I was reborn. Sort of.
Donna was making up for eleven months of slogging through the muck of cancer. She was 2 and wanted to play and play and play. Skinny and pale with sunken eyes, Donna came back to us. She had never been more beautiful.
As I was packing for the transplant stay, I pulled out the Wonder Woman cards and Donna grabbed the one at her head where Wonder Woman is holding open the jaws of a dinosaur. Donna looked at it and said, "She's going to fight that beast away, but right now it's scary." Amen, Donna.