Fairly obvi you come out of a bone marrow transplant a far cry from what you went in as, right? I mean, duh, you have a whole new blood type and an additional DNA, which is your very own unique definition as a living being. Add to that chemotherapy-induced menopause, and you’ve got the recipe for an unrecognizable selfdom. What is ‘selfdom,’ Jos? Selfdom is defined as: the realm of the self; selfhood. It could also be defined as a convenient diversion away from the topic of chemotherapy-induced menopause. If you male types are uncomfortable with this subject, just cover your ears and go “la la la la la la.” No, jk, I’ll spare you the gnar. Just know that this whole menopause thing can suck it.
I try to cope with my new and improved self by practicing yoga, meditation and just letting go and getting down with my bad self. When I’m feeling like I can’t even, I turn to this brilliant Jason Headley guided meditation – it’s two minutes of instant calm. Go ahead, click the little zen arrow, I’ll wait:
So, like I was sayin’, from the crown of my cranium to the flip side of my feet, I’m different. The hairs on the tippy top of my head are not only different, there are fewer of them. The ones that are there, about 7 in total, are now wavy, which is a challenge for the Combover Club. Remembering names of people, places and things are a massive challenge with my new brain. I would really suck at that game where you have to name things! What’s that called again? My new brain also plays tricks on me as I go down stairs. I often lose the connection between my mind and the legs it is supposed to control. Handrails are my bae. Without them, I would have eaten sh*t, tumbling down staircases on many an unfortunate occasion. Also, I can. not. stand. seeing animals being abused in any way. I’ve always been sympathetic to this, but now I’m intensely hyper-sensitive to any helpless creature being mistreated. Oh yeah, I also have no patience for complaining or ungrateful peeps.
My eyes are a watery work in progress, complete with irritations and floating spots, causing me to continuously swat phantom bugs out of the air. Ears have goo oozing from my pierced holes, closing them up for good. My earring collection is covered by a three year layer of dust. Deep cracks and sores come and go on my mouth and lips, making it painful to eat anything that’s spicy or salty. The skin on my face is astoundingly dry and wrinkled, with bright crimson patches on my cheeks. Score! Sweet $aving$ on blush! My dermo has no answers for me; says the steroids are to blame for my FUSUOLS – F-ed Up Super Ugly Old Lady Skin. I’m just gonna skip right over all the painful joints, bruises, scars, dysfunctional organs and other various and sundry quagmires from my bearded chin to my cramped feet. You’re welcome.
Shoutout to my super duper supporter, Bart, for hosting Todd and me at his beautiful Jonathan Club for a fun and hilarious dinner – my dry, cracked mouth still hurts from laughing so. My friend, Xavi, answered the call from Be The Match, and donated his stem cells last month, like a boss. Xavi has now attained hero status. A thoughtful young lady that joined the Be The Match registry last year at our Fourth of July donor drive has also stepped up to the plate. Cristina is hoping to save a life by donating her stem cells to an unidentified patient soon. Jared, my friend who is Walking Across Amarrowca, just hit 1,000 miles on his pedometer, crossed the mighty Mississippi, and entered Iowa, his seventh state! Jared now carries a fire extinguisher in his cart, because he’s on f-ing fire!
My son, Rex just heard that the man who received his stem cells last November has SURVIVED and is doing well! We couldn’t be more ecstatic to hear this beautiful news!
You and your friends and family can join the Be The Match registry online and hopefully save a life, too: Click here to find out how!
I’m very grateful to report that my Bucket List took another hit recently as I jumped into the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Isla Mujeres to swim with this massive, majestic whale shark and 1,000,000 angry jellies!
I am continually overwhelmed by the fact that I am here, able to continue my life by swimming with rare sea creatures and celebrating with family and friends. If not for my heroic brother, Leason, my loving husband, Todd, my incredibly supportive children, parents, friends, and my brilliant doctors and nurses, my journey would have ended three years ago. I am a lucky, lucky girl, but not worthy. Every day is truly a gift! I wish more people could understand and believe this 🙂
The world lost an angel recently as my beautiful high school friend, Cathy, passed away. We used to see each other at the Hoag Cancer Center when our treatments would align. She was so very encouraging and thoughtful – she sent me a bottle of her secret hair tonic. I was in awe of her head scarf tying skills ~ she always looked so elegant. I will never forget her kind and gentle spirit. Rest in peace, Cathy.