Day 0. A cupcake and lovely card from my care team to mark the beginning of this new life.
Day +731. I can’t believe we’re here. Two years post-transplant. It’s a friggin’ miracle. A scientific, modern medical miracle. I can’t begin to express the overwhelming sense of exuberance, elation, and just plain happiness that is beaming from my self today. I’m grinning the biggest, goofiest smile as I type this. 😀
It’s crazy to think that two years ago, I was just off a nasty bout of serum sickness and completely immuno-deficient, receiving a bag of hematopoietic stem cells from some stranger from across the world. And that three years ago, I was officially diagnosed with severe aplastic anemia, receiving weekly blood transfusions. When I take a few steps back and look at this journey in its entirety so far, I’m in absolute standstill, mouth-gaping awe of how much has happened. My heart is overwhelmed and filled to the brim with love and joy. I’m completely and utterly humbled for the gift that is more time to share on this earth.
Now, I won’t harp on and on about how life is worth living, because I’ve already done that. Though honestly, that’s a revelation I continually find myself relearning and reliving on a daily basis. It’s all too easy to fall into a grind, take moments for granted, and let life quickly pass you by. What I do want to share, if you’ll oblige my little soapbox here, is how special every single one of you are. Again, I don’t want to sound like a broken record since I’ve said this before, but I truly, truly believe that there’s not a single person who could ever come close to being who you are as well as you do. And your individuality, life, and uniqueness should be celebrated.
Of the many lessons I’ve learned from this experience, the one that shines the brightest is: live your best life, in whatever way, shape, or form that looks like (provided your safety and the safety of others are not put at risk, obv). Life is too damn short to be caught up in the details that don’t matter to you. Every living moment you have on this earth is a precious, precious thing that is to be cherished.
I’m not saying that every literal second has to be one of deep, profound meaning or full of swelling, tear-inducing emotion — that’s just completely unrealistic and unproductive, imho. I would urge you to pause from time to time to experience your life as it’s happening. Not just in milestone moments like weddings or celebrations, but also in the simple, quiet moments like embracing the warm sun on your face on a cold day or relishing that first sip of coffee in the morning; giggling at the excitement in a dog’s eyes as it prances through a park or appreciating the buzz of a bustling street; having a great conversation with a friend you haven’t seen in awhile or humming a song that pops into your head. As important as accomplishments, jobs, status, and money are in this capitalist society, nothing can change the fact that these moments, when added all together, make up your life. And sooner or later those moments will happen less frequently until, inevitably, they end. So, let’s enjoy these moments while we can and live our best lives.
Anyway, enough doom and gloom. Lemme tell you about some cool things that’ve happened!
I recently got my last round of vaccinations! Shingles (zostavax), MMR, and the flu shot. I’m now fully caught up-to-date with the rest of mainstream society! Hooray! That doesn’t make me completely immune to everything though — I’m actually just recovered from a terrible, terrible flu. Despite having gotten the shot, I still managed to contract a strain of flu that gave me the worst body aches I’ve had since being in the hospital. But I’m alive! This new immune system has now survived a bout of pneumonia, various colds, and the flu. I’m in it to win it!
I started a new job! It’s been an exciting whirlwind of an adventure so far. I’ve gotten the amazing opportunity to work on developing gene editing technologies (aka CRISPR for those up with the science news). I’ve made some pretty great friends with some co-workers and the impact of these projects is going to be huge. Looking forward to all the amazing opportunities that are to come!
I moved to a new apartment! From the Tendernob of SF to the beautiful 24th Street Corridor in the Mission, I’ve made a new home with two great roommates in a vibrant neighborhood full of amazing taquerias, ripe avocados, and a rich cultural history that’s so close to my El Paso roots.
I’ve been to all the weddings! I’m so blessed with amazing friends and the wonderful opportunity to have shared with so many of them on their special days! One thought that really hit me hard at every wedding was how fortunate I was to still be alive to be witnessing the momentous celebration of all of the wonderful couples. *cue ugly crying* I’m so thrilled that I get to continue on this journey and still be a part of the stories of all the wonderful people in my life.
Grimacing at the White House with Bekah.
Oh, majestic jellyfish.
A complete life changer. #waitforit
Riding the choo choo train! ❤
The best #mincreation to date! A wedding cake for #dasieadventures
Me and my Dimple on her special day! Steph photobomb FTW.
Connie, Jen, and I conquering Lands End.
One of my oldest and dearest friends Jenn!
Sunset at the beach. Def not mad.
The glam fam at Steph’s wedding.
Gosh, I love SF.
Abbeys on the West Coast!
Thanks for taking the time to read this post and for keeping up with me on this journey. As some of you have noticed, I’ve been blogging less and less frequently as time is moving forward. While keeping this blog during the hardest parts of my transplant and recovery has been an amazing outlet, I think it’s time to put this blog to rest. I’ll still post on major updates and milestones in this process though. I again, can’t express enough how grateful I am to everyone who has supported me along the way. Your kind words, moral and financial support, and enduring friendship has really been the fuel to keeping my fire going. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. I’m looking forward to forging the path forward as we get to share this life for another day. ❤