Valentine’s Reminder

HeartI hope you had a terrific weekend and celebrated love. And yes, it is great opportunity to take a pause and cherish love and friendship. Many of you might be surprised since in Mexico Valentine’s Day is the day to celebrate not only love but friendship. I have great memories from High School when we celebrated El Dia del Amor y la Amistad (The day of Love and Friendship). Each year high school seniors dressed formally and delivered letters, roses, flowers, and brought Serenata (Serenade) on behalf of others. It was a lot of fun not only because seniors will raise money towards graduation or a trip, but because classes were interrupted by deliveries, guitars, and short love songs. I also remember girls always competing to see who will receive the highest number of roses and letters. Obviously your heart will be broken if you didn’t receive a rose, flower, or a letter (not fun). Regardless, even though Valentine’s day is a popular and commercial day I like the reminder that love prevails and surrounds us. Love is manifested in many shapes and forms through our friends, colleagues, family,our faith, even strangers, and our furry friends. But most importantly love is a gift from God.

I know. I haven’t shared on the blog my thoughts and feelings about faith and it has been on purpose since I struggled to make peace with the challenges I faced and for a long time I felt I was left behind. It was until I started reading about faith that I understood that faith is about trust and letting go, about the belief of a greater plan for us, the deep understanding that we are not alone and instead we are blessed with love, resources, faith, and strength to persevere.

The last couple of weeks have been tough because I am going through a roller coaster of emotions and I am nervous about my upcoming scans in March 2. Physically I feel stronger and better each day, I am able to run a bit more and my hair keeps growing and the graft-versus-host on my skin is less painful and noticeable. Emotionally most days I feel super excited, positive, and great; but others I feel the complete opposite. Despite difficult days, I know I will persevere.

I will keep you posted and thank you for reading!

Lots of Love,

-Bea

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September 16 – My Second Birthday

September 16, 2014 is my second birthday thanks to my brave sister Caro who donated bone marrow to save my life. Caro is now in the list of real heroes. Thank you sis, I love you. 🙂

Today I am feeling well, just tired and have been experiencing nausea.

Dave’s aunt Marsha, and my parents have been helping us out and taking care of me and my sister while we recover.

I want to thank all our dear friends and family that have been praying, helping, and thinking about us during this time.

A special thanks to my husband Dave, he is my everything. I couldn’t do this without his love, support, and humor.

Thank you for reading and I will keep you posted on my road back to full health.

Love,
Bea

Towards a Bone Marrow Transplant

I need a new immune system since mine no longer recognizes and attacks cancer cells; that is why on September 16, 2014 I am going to have a bone marrow transplant at Johns Hopkins. My amazing sister Caro is my donor!!!

A bone marrow transplant looks like a regular blood transfusion. The difference is that this procedure provides a cure for many types of blood cancers and saves lives. The transplant entails taking healthy cells from a compatible donor and infuse those into the bloodstream of the patient. In order to prepare the patient for the transplant high dose chemo and radiation are required.to replace the old and defective cells.  After the transplant the patient has a high risk of infection and needs to be isolated, wear a mask, and be extremely careful with potential sources of external infections.

The type of transplant I will have is called a haplo, half, or mini. This is an option for patients like me that don’t have a donor who is 100% match but have relatives that are 25% or above compatible. Before my transplant on Tuesday I have to do 5 days of chemo and 1 day of full body radiation. Today is my day No.2 of chemo and I am feeling well, just a bit tired.

These days I have a lot of mixed feelings, sometimes I am positive and hopeful and others I am just plain scared about everything. I am living one day at a time and thinking about what I want to do once I am healthy again and free to live my life free of this disease.

I am reading the book “Raw Faith” from cancer survivor Kasey Van Norman a great resource that is helping me to strengthen my faith; something I need so much right now.

Thank you for reading, thank you for the prayers, the positive energy, and encouragement.

I will keep you posted!

Love, Bea

PD. Before the chemo gets all my hair. I cut it short.

Short Hair Again