I think I lived a pretty regular life before I got sick. I was a single, 29 year old girl who loved to be social and was always out somewhere. But about a month before I was diagnosed I started to feel really run down. I wouldn’t want to get out of bed or anything. I knew something was wrong. My friend urged me to go to the doctors. When I finally did I got the devestating news that I had Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
It was such a whirlwind. I had no time to process just two days back at home before I was calling the hospital home for a month. It was terrible. I wasn’t the social butterfly I once was. I couldn’t have visitors once my counts dropped and I was so sick I could barely get out of bed. I was finally able to leave 29 days later. It was Halloween and all I wanted to do was be a kid again and forget this whole mess.
About a week later I was sent to the University of Michigan to talk to doctors about a possible Bone Marrow Transplant. Little did I know it was my only choice. I was told without a transplant I had about a year maybe two to live. I still couldn’t believe a month before this I was living a normal life. Before we could start the transplant I had to find a donor. I have an older brother and a younger sister and they wanted to test them first. In the meantime I had to go back to my local hospital and receive another round of chemo. This time I was only there for two weeks.
I was actually released on my 30th birthday. Not the 30th I thought I was going to have. I was called by the U of M in December and told my sister was my perfect match! I’ll never forget where I was or the feeling I felt. It was a sigh of relief. I could breath for a moment. I had no idea what was about to come. I went to U of M January 5th, 2016 and had 5 days of intense chemo and on January 11th I had my life saving BMT from my sister.
It’s been a long road but every minute has been worth it. Life means so much more to me. People mean so much more to me. I’m so thankful for this. I know it sounds crazy but I’m so glad it happened. I’ve met so many amazing people and had conversation with people I never would have if this didn’t happen. I know how lucky I am and I’m ready to give back.