It's been three years since I received the life-giving stem cells from an umbilical cord of an Australian boy who would now be 13 years old, same age as my oldest son, and yet they'll never know this incredible story! The three years since the transplant have gone by so fast...oh yeah, I can say that NOW, but of course you remember how I moaned that first year! How slow learning to walk again felt at the time, but the progress was leaps and bounds looking at it from outside!
We celebrated last night at Hollister Brewing Company in Goleta. Just mentioned to the waitress, Kelly C., that it was a special night when I asked her to mark the occasion with a photo of our family (without Adam who is at Jr. High Winter Camp at Hume Lake this weekend). She surprised me much later in the evening when we ordered an old favorite dessert of mine which I haven't ordered in years, splurging since I felt a little deserving of it after all I've been through, and she came out with it like this with a candle and told me that it was on the house, courtesy of Hollister Brewing Co.! That was our first time there and after the great service, the waitress making me cry and the super duper hamburger and creative beer on tap. What, you ask, is creative beer? Well, let me share! I had a 10-oz Admiral Browning - listen to this description: "finished with Verve coffee from our friends at The French Press and Ecuadorian cocoa nibs...chocolatey notes and rich, fruity, jam-like overtones..." yeah, it was creative and exactly as described! Ok, got sidetracked in remembering our great evening. Now back to the real post...
Since the Santa Barbara International Film Festival is in town this week, and I've always longed to go, but never have, I thought I'd share the following 3-year-mark update in "awardesque" language. Hope you enjoy it! Be sure to comment and say hello at the end of this post to let me know you still read these things and do you like Hollister Brewing Company as much as I do after my first visit?!
|Mike, me (with bronchitis!) and T-Man (A-Man was on a jr. high retreat at Hume Lake)|
|First day home after 3 months! The boys were 10 and 7!|
Second Year Post-Transplant - 2010 - Winner of "Most Difficult Year" in the Emotional Category
|"I look good from the outside when people see me..."|
Year Three - 2011 - Winner of "The Most Difficult Year" in Mixed Bag Category
|Acupuncture at NIH in Bethesda|
The second half of 2011 was markedly better with more energy and determination than ever. This relief made way for new dreams which include:
- full restoration of my health (not there yet!)
- to get off all meds
- to lose the post-transplant weight (I've lost 15 pounds in 12 weeks and continue to go)
- to begin exercising more (have since Xmas, but taken a break to recover from a tough case of bronchitis)
- continue my ministry of hope and encouragement (I shared my testimony at Believing Woman and have been asked to speak for about a half hour at a MOPS--Mothers of Preschoolers--meeting in April!)
- put together a book of this journey, maybe an inspirational devotional for those who suffer - if you have ever published a book and can mentor me as a ministry opportunity, contact me!
- have more adventures with the boys
- help others find joy in their home school experience through my consulting services, my blog and future ebooks (Since the transplant, I was certified as a LearningSuccess™ coach in order to transform the lives of children and young adults with the principles that have helped me so much!)
- simplify - get rid of excess and create more room and time for others
- oh, and incidentally, go to SB Film Festival...maybe this is my year! Just threw this one in for fun since technically it is something I've always wanted to do and it ties into my 'theme' well.
|Thanksgiving Day 2011 -- Praise God! We are so thankful!!!|
who teaches you what is best for you,
who directs you in the way you should go.
UPDATED to add this video...visit www.bethematch.org to find out more on how to donate your baby's cord blood if you are pregnant or will be. The same website is your source for information for becoming an adult stem-cell (bone marrow) donor for someone waiting for a life-saving match! Here's the video, "Give Birth to Hope" that explains the importance and miracle of cord-blood donation all so well: