On June 30, 2015, I was in room 8246 at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle receiving a stem cell/bone marrow transplant from my brother, Rob.
When my husband, Glen, and I first learned of my need for a transplant, I remember finding the quote, “Not to spoil the ending for you, but everything is going to be OK.” We had no idea how rough the road ahead would be – and there were some rugged moments to be sure – but we always had confidence that, in the end, everything would, indeed, be “OK.” And here we are, little more than one year later, and everything is all right. We are so grateful. We are especially thankful for our doctors, Virginia Broudy and Bart Scott, who encouraged us when I didn’t want to even consider a transplant. We especially appreciate the amazing care I received from everyone at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and UW Medical Center. Perhaps most of all, we will be forever grateful for my brother Rob’s gift of stem cells and the incredible support and strength that our family and friends provided every step of the way.
I have learned that each transplant journey is unique. Before my transplant, I wanted to know exactly what it would be like; how sick would I feel, would I be “myself” again? I spent many hours reading stories and blogs of other transplant patients. I appreciated reading all the details of their diagnoses, how they prepared for a transplant, their suggestions for what to bring to the hospital, what the high-intensity chemo was like, the recovery process, the complications and so much more. Some of the blogs ended abruptly; and then, a later post would tell of their passing. Other blogs shared successful early outcomes, but often, I wondered how those individuals were doing later.
So for those who might be reading this blog because you are facing a transplant, know that you can do it. I am well and going strong. There are many encouraging stories out there and many happy endings. I am blessed to be a stem cell transplant survivor with a positive outcome and a hopeful future ahead.
Cathy shares her story through her blog post. For more visit, http://marrowadventure.tumblr.com/post/146741635105/one-year-ago