Boy did December ever sneak up on me this year! I realized that I was a little behind on updating you all about a week ago but I have been struggling with what to say. And then there was today… The realization hit me that it was the middle of December in 2007 that I first went to the doctor at a couple of my Aunts’ requests, or rather insistence. Boy did my life change after that fateful visit. Now here I am two years later and over half a continent away from the place I have know as home for so very many years. In the past two years I have spent way more time in doctors offices and hospitals than I would ever have imagined, received well over two hundred units of blood and made some of the most difficult decisions that I have ever had to make. But truth be told, that is all in the past. Nothing I can do can ever change what has happened. It is what it is. I have learned to look at life with a whole new perspective though. I search for the positive in all things and I wish that I could bottle that up and give it to the whole world, what a wonderful place this would be if I could do that for the world...
So, on to the nitty gritty of the past month. I have been back on the Danazol for over a month now. The tests have all been done and things are set on the VA’s end for me to proceed with the transplant. I just had a wonderful visit with the hematologist today and there is some great news. My ferritin level is right around 2700. Normal is 1000 but just about a month or so ago it was over 7000! Ferritin is a protein in the body that binds to iron, which has been in excess in my system due to the numerous transfusions. The doctor didn’t seem too excited by that but I was nearly in tears. See, in such a situation as I have found myself in over the past two years even the smallest victories are magnified a thousand fold or more. Add that to my penchant for looking for the good in all situations and that makes for one happy Tracy! I am still waiting for word from the folks in Seattle to set an appointment to go talk to them about what they have to offer by way of the transplant. What are there odds, their success rates, mortality rates and so forth. Basically, what can we expect from this and how will it all go down. I tell you true, if I could start that process tomorrow I would in a heartbeat just to be done with it. It would seem that it is the only option left to me, so let’s get on with it!
In some very closely related news I have had lots of people tell me that they have “done the swab” and are registering for the Marrow Donor Program. To those of you who have done so, I send out the warmest and most sincere, heartfelt thank you that I could ever put forth. You have no idea how my heart swells with the most absolute joy when I read those words. I know that to most people it may not seem like much but for someone in my position it serves to reinforce that even those that I have never met love me in the purest sense of the word. I salute you and I send that love right back to you. I think that is the very nature of love. You simply cannot keep it. It does you absolutely no good to put it in your pocket and it has no value unless you give it freely to another. But when you do, oh the joy it can fill you with!
Additionally I would like to leave you all with this. I have been fighting depression for some time and I am finally seeing a counselor to deal with that. I have chosen to forgo treating it with medication so as to avoid any more side effects than I already have right now. Here’s the thing with depression, those that have to deal with it many times don’t even know, especially when they are dealing with something else like, oh let’s say cancer for example… It doesn’t hurt; there are few outward signs unless you know what to look for. I encourage you to ask questions if you think that someone you know and love is dealing with this. I can tell you, it SUCKS!
Lastly, I would like to extend my warmest and most heartfelt wishes that each and every one of you has the most amazing Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Yule, or whatever you do celebrate this time of year that you possibly can have. Spend it with the ones you love and hold them close. Have fun with them, make memories… because you just never know.
Peace, love and happiness to all, and to all a good night!