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.