Thursday, September 06, 2007

The First Hundred Days

Albeit a wee bit anticlimactic since I've already enjoyed my pizza binge and Thai food bender, today is Day 100 in the ongoing (seemingly neverending?) saga of E and her bone marrow. It was so anticlimactic that I was reminded of it only by looking at the calendar and seeing that I had, months ago, written in huge letters "MAMA'S HUNDREDTH DAY!!!" as if I was already tasting the spring rolls...

Nevertheless I figured I would acknowledge the day since I've made such a big deal out of it since April. At the very least, even knowing that there is no real medical significance to it beyond the fact that imminent danger from cooked food has passed, it's still kind of nice to still be here to find the day anticlimactic. In the daily grind of getting better it is surprisingly easy to forget sometimes that it was only January when I was in the hospital with a 104 fever, being told by the doctors that now might be the time to ensure my affairs were in order. To be fair, I think my brain intentionally makes me forget that day, so traumatic it was to be delivered that information at 34 years old with a small child at home. But I think that today, on Day 100, it is helpful to recall that night because it was the beginning of my transplant process. It was the night I could no longer kid myself that life was going to return to normal, that my disease was not progressing, that I was going to escape having to face it head-on. It was the night, quite frankly, that we prayed I'd live to be able to get a transplant. So now, transplant underway, as I worry about getting GVHD or about getting a massive infection, it's good to remember that I'm still extraordinarily lucky to be alive to be worrying about it. And that's never a bad feeling to have.

So what grand words do I have on this, the day I've been alive 100 days? First, on a personal level, that there will never be words adequate enough to thank my donor who, more than anyone, has made these 100 days possible. Without her, it's all just doctors and hospitals and patients waiting around with no stem cells. From one small act on behalf of a stranger, my donor has given a whole family a very large chance at a normal life.

Second, on a more universal level, wonderful things can be born out of seeming catastrophes. The Chinese word 'crisis' is comprised of the characters "danger" and "opportunity..." Just kidding! That's a terrible, pseudo-intellectual cliche. It's factually correct, of course. But the lesson I have learned over the past 9 months is that the word for "crisis" is really comprised of "danger," "crapping your pants," and "cursing the God that made you."

Followed much later by total silence because you can't find the words to say thank you for all of your blessings.

4 comments:

nm in mn said...

Congrats on 100....but I'm looking forward to the 1000 day party (you can drink at that one right???)

Anonymous said...

We're all happy to have you make it this far-wasn't sure you would there :) Now lets count till we can hang with the kiddies and family again. We love you. The Marylanders

Anonymous said...

The Floridian contingent loves you too! Congrats E!

Anonymous said...

I can tell you are genuine because you made fun of that chinese crisis meme that every secondrate consultant or lifecoach trots out to tell you to take advantage of bad shit in your life. Anybody who faces a crisis without at first even silently "crapping their pants" and cursing is totally lying. this is why I read your blog. you're honest as well as funny.