Today marks one year since my autologous stem cell transplant. It's incredible to think that a year has gone by and about how much has happened since May 18, 2010 – my Day Zero. This month also marked the two-year anniversary of my Hodgkin Lymphoma diagnosis: May 8, 2009.
I haven't been able to fully reflect on how much has been rebuilt, grown, and evolved since then as it's been an essentially continuous treatment ride since. But what I can reflect on and rejoice in is that I've survived and thrived and continue to live, and live fully, with this disease. I'm more appreciative and aware of everything and everyone around me and for that gift I am forever grateful.
However much overused, I think this is the perfect opportunity to post one of my favorite songs of all time. Who knew how much my pre-cancer affinity for Rent foreshadowed my real life and the themes that have arisen in it? I couldn't say it better myself, Mr. Larson.
Today - with my growing crown of ringlets, which I've come to adore (May 18, 2011):
Stem Cell Collection - 12 million stem cells harvested (March 2010):
Day Zero (May 18, 2010) receiving back my 6.5 million stem cells that would rebuild my immune system and allow my body to recover from the toxic chemo of the weeks before:
Autologous Stem Cell Transplant 10-day inpatient recovery (May 18-May 29, 2010):
The very beginning (recovering from my first lymph node biopsy, May 6, 2009):