Yesterday my courageous Aunt, Florence Clark, underwent a bone marrow transplant. The actual transplant itself took less than 10 minutes and was painless for her, but the journey to get there and all the things that had to happen to make it work were incredibly painful for my aunt and our family. She battled bravely for two years, as the cancer tried to take her several times. She was black and blue, she couldn't walk, she couldn't talk, she was stuck in a hospital room for months at a time, she was stuck in her chair at home for months at a time, she almost lost her mind from all the drugs they had her on to get her to the transplant. All of this for a woman with an excitement for life like I've never seen before, despite losing her husband who she married as a girl, and a battle with breast cancer that she won almost a decade ago. We thought we had lost her more than once over the last couple of years, and her children endured a roller coaster of emotions that nearly broke them. Yesterday marks the end of that part of the journey, and the beginning of her next journey and her new life. They say it can be very hard for transplant recipients for months after, as their bodies adjust to the new marrow. I can only hope and pray that whoever it is above us gives her and her children the strength to make it through. I know my Uncle Bob is up in Heaven looking down on her helping her through it, their hearts together always.
And I thank with all my heart the donor from overseas who took the few minutes out of his life to sign up on the bone marrow registry. Hopefully my aunt will meet him some day, to thank him herself for saving her life. Please, please do this if you haven't already at the website: http://www.marrow.org/. It's easy, free and life saving. Here's a picture of my mom (left) and her sister Flo (right), as two sweet and beautiful little girls.