Alas, I emerge from the worst of the transplant times back to some semblance of myself. I will need to process many things like the role of suffering and the purpose of pain, but for today, I’d like to focus on getting along well in the sandbox. I think about all the cells: my cells, my beloved donor’s cells, the cells of the generous people who give blood or platelets. I ask them, encourage them, cajole them, to get along well in the sandbox of my body.
I am in a medical moment of extremely controlled orchestration of biology, and beyond the impressive pharmaceutical pill pile I ingest each day, I can only add my prayers, my detailed hematological visualizations, and my dedication to nourishing myself to positively influence my outcome.
In many moments of my life, that last sentence written would be par for the course. But much of the challenge when your blood counts are so low is that you have no psychic, emotional, or physical energy, which makes it challenging to keep to the good habits. Today we see evidence that the stem cells have engrafted and have begun their powerhouse work ethic, producing enough baby white blood cells to fill my marrow and start to spill out like live rivulets into my bloodstream — hallelujah! With this comes renewed focus on the positive, just in the nick of time.
There are so many ways things can go sideways during transplant and I am not entirely out of the woods. That written, to date, I have side-stepped one of biggest concerns, infection—even with weeks of my white count at zero, which is a very low number indeed. I have had what would be considered an uncomplicated road, which sounds good and I know it is, but it’s hard to really take that in when every day you feel like crap! I aim to lean further into awareness of my (considerable) blessings, which of course will be easier when I have a little energy to spare. Also need to be patient with myself, which is admittedly one of my worst events.
As I work to integrate all my new cells, I hope that whatever you’re working to integrate into your life, your relationships, your work, or your creative pursuits, takes root and blossoms. I leave you with a little video treat from the family archives: our now thirty-something kiddos getting along in the sandbox!
With Love and Light from Fifty-Five Fruit Street,
#leukemia #stemceltransplant #thriver #survivor #naturopathic
PS If you are willing and able, there is ongoing shortage of blood products. You can read here about where and how to donate. Giving blood literally saves lives—like mine!
PPS Some of you have asked if my Field Notes from Fifty-Five Fruit Street writings are compiled in one place. The answer is yes, numbered here in reverse order! And yes, you can share as you like.