There is so much to feel today, so much to be thankful for, so much to remember and so much to look forward to today. This is a milestone, not a finish line, not an ending point, but a milestone. One to be deeply appreciated, taken in with gratitude and mindfulness for it's significance, and then calmly passed. There is an enormous amount of fuss about a patients "100th Day" and discussion of the "100 Days" post-transplant, by both the medical team and patient. "What day are you?" is often asked before your name when meeting another BMT patient and, depending on the numeric response (I've only met one man who did not know what 'day he was'), one either responds with encouragement or excitement. I've been counting with beer (and other beverages) on the wall, some count with numbers on a calendar, every patient with their own way of marking those days until the big one (unless you're the guy who didn't know). But, what happens when it is Day 100? What about Day 101? (I can tell you what happens on Day 105...:) ).
Phil asked me this morning over breakfast how I felt about today. My response? "I'm not sure what to feel". All of this build up and, honestly, I expected it to be more dramatic. I expected to wake up feeling...different somehow. Quite the opposite experience I had 100 days ago on transplant day, really. I was all wound up, Phil and my family were all wound up, and the doctors were very much calm. "This is no big deal to us", "It's more dramatic for you than it is for us". Well, my dear M.D.s, it seems the tables have turned. For a variety of complicated medical reasons, the 100 Days are significant to physicians. Do I actually know why it's 100 Days and not, say, 3 months? Or 4 months? Why that number? No idea. But they know, and it's important to them and they saved my life and have kept me alive these last 100 days...so there ya go.
While meditating on the idea of being 100 days "old" and that this is a large marker in my recovery, the image of a mountaintop expanse came to me strongly. I could see in my mind a rolling forest, beyond that a range of other mountains. Feel cold, crisp air in my lungs and warm sun on my face. IN front of me, at my feet the path continued. The road kept going, not noticing that I had stopped to observe something that only exists for me. It occurred to me that this is not the top of the mountain. That damn mountain. This is a moment to pause and look around, a scenic ledge, where if you look behind you can see where you've come from, the faces of friends family and husband pausing as well with me, always with me. Ahead? Infinite possibility, infinite detours and rocky patches and twists and turns and CHOICES.
Another image, more of a presence, came to me strongly while picturing that mountain scape. My donor. 100 days ago, a 35 year old man somewhere in this nation, was put under anesthesia, had his pelvis drilled into 100 times, his bone marrow collected and awoke a hero. His marrow, his life force, that which allows HIM to live, is what is now allowing ME to live. I am full of someone else's love. Because that's the only thing that can allow that sacrifice to be made. Love of life. To 35 year old male resident of the United States, today I pause more than most any day so far, to give great thanks to you. IN 265 days I will be allowed to thank you in person, should you consent. I pray that the last 100 days have been full of blessings for you, that you somehow have felt my gratitude through the universe, that you know how deeply you have changed me, what you have taught me. Showers of blessings and love to you, dear donor.
There is another that I must pour out gratitude to today: My Mom. Mom, you dropped everything, said goodbye to Daddy and came down here to care for me. You supported Phil and I in so many ways. You communicated with my medical team when I was too garbled to do so and reminded me to take my meds, flush my line, call this Doctor, refill that med. Thank you for helping us when we couldn't help ourselves. I love you.
As Phil and I prepare to leave this week, we pause to thank everyone who has supported us here. In every way. This is far from over, but this milestone could not have been reached without the loving support of those that we are blessed to call friends and family.
So, Phil, to answer your questions, I suppose today I feel thankful, lucky, scared, joyful, very puffy, hopeful and great anticipation for the things to come.
|NO, I didn't get fat, I'm really just THAT puffy in my face. Gross, right? Good thing my husband is hot:)|
Much love, Philly. See you on Friday night!