Today is a momentous day for a couple reasons!
A little over 10 ½ years ago (September 14, 2005), I was unexpectedly diagnosed with leukemia, a disease which could have taken my life. I was shocked! I endured 5 rounds of chemo over an eight month period culminating in a successful stem cell transplant on May 12, 2006. This was my new 1st “birthday” and my second chance at life. I am excited, thrilled, ecstatic & delighted to say that today, May 12, 2016, is my 10th “birthday” since my transplant. Wow!
I have vivid, in living color, memories of my transplant day. The day started early in the morning at Dallas’ Baylor Sammons Cancer Center. Chemo the previous week prepared my body (by nuking my bone marrow) for the transplant. The donated stem cells were delivered to the infusion center, hung on an IV pole & attached to my central line. For the 45 minutes the stem cells slowly dripped into my body. I had a surreal feeling as the last stem cell entered my body. I visualized the stem cells finding their place in my body. I don’t fully understand how this happens but the stem cells engrafted into my body & started producing blood products. Success!
Nothing could have prepared me for what would happen over the next 10 years. This journey, which I call a “race”, changed almost every aspect of my life. In fact, my cancer diagnosis was the best thing that ever happened to me. It changed my priorities & view of the world leading me to a true purpose. I am a survivor with a transformed view of life! Thankful!
I have been blessed with so many remarkable experiences & moments during the past 10 years. Here are a few of the highlights: Team in Training found me in 2007 giving me the opportunity to train for an endurance event (20 to date), raise awareness & money (over $100,000) for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). I’ve become an outspoken advocate for LLS, Carter Blood Care & Be the Match, co-founded a non-profit race (Honored Hero Run) with a group of like-minded friends to raise money ($135,000) for blood cancer research & along the way, met hundreds of inspiring, encouraging individuals who I am proud to call friends!. Finally, I’ve become a public speaker & now an author!
I am excited to announce (on my 10th Birthday) the fall release of my first book, “Finish Your Race – A Cancer Survivor’s Strategies to Empowering Your Life”. I wouldn’t want you to go through my experience with cancer; however, I would like to share the extraordinary lessons & strategies I learned along the way.
Thank you to everyone who helped & supported me over the past 10 years. I am truly blessed by each & every one of you!
Thank you for sharing this day with me! Have a fantastic day! I know I will!
God Bless You!