Thursday, August 7, 2008

Angel power and Simon's status

I got the diagnosis in late July 2008: leukemia (AML).

I knew when I underwent a cord blood transplant for MDS in April 2006, it would be a miracle if 1) I survived the rigors of the transplant and 2) the transplant worked.

Given that there were no options offered for me other than the transplant, I took the leap into the great unknown.

Miraculously, it worked and I had two+ years of a remission. I knew that relapse was always a big possibility but I was busy dealing with the side effects and complications of treatment, working, enjoying the outdoors, etc., etc. The new diagnosis was both a surprise and not.

On Monday, I will embark on a new chemo regime. It's one that worked for me once before. It doesn't have a high success rate, but neither did the transplant. I'm feeling optimistic about my chances despite the stats.

The biggest thing I have going for me is the love, support, and encouragement of friends, family, and colleagues from around the country. They got me through the transplant and have given me the inspiration to try one more time.

Pictured above are Rita, Laurel, and Jennifer, three Seattle angels who flew out at a moment's notice--joined soon after by Julie and Jeff (also from the Great Northwest and pictured below), Claudia from San Fran, and Amy from Asheville. It was a convention of frequent-flying angels, accompanied by my sister Dina, the Chief Angel, her husband Bob and son Sam.

Why does it take so long for some of us to appreciate how important our loved ones are?