Sunday, September 20, 2015

Somewhere, an almost forgotten birthday

Somehow, I have lost track of a birthday.

I wrote all but one of my birthdays down in the little blue spiral notebook that Diane gave me when I first got sick a dozen years ago. I had a feeling it was Sept. 18, but when I went back to check in the "new and improved" Patient Gateway site where I used to be able to see all of my appointments for the past 12 years, that information seems to have vanished. I wrote Melissa, but it was late on Friday when it occurred to me; I'm sure she'll write back eventually, and then I'll write it down for future reference.

In any case, the date of my first transplant is somewhere around here.

I wrote in the book: last day of work, Friday April 4 (2003), and hospital admission, 4/9/03. It shows you how fast I got swept out of the life that I knew. On a Friday, Ray and Mimi were helping me squirrel through the pile of papers on my desk to find the sheet containing my low blood counts so I that I could give them to the receptionist at Dana-Farber. That Monday, my tennis friends Korby and Kit drove me to the Dana-Farber clinic, where I had taken my bags because I knew I wasn't going home. Two days after that, I was hospitalized for my induction round of chemotherapy. Six months later, I got the first of my four transplants.

I quietly celebrated "new birthdays" one, two and three, but never made it to the magical five.

I wrote this down in the book: relapse, August, 2007 (after Korby and I had played and won in the Districts, how strange is that); admission, Aug. 10, 2007; transplant #2, Oct. 18, 2007; graft failure, April 21, 2008; transplant #3, June 10, 2008; sick and relapse, Dec. 21, 2008; transplant #4, Jan. 31, 2009.

That is definitely a lot of birthdays.

Of course the only one that matters is the last one, and as I think and say all the time, thank you Dana-Farber and Denise for giving me this beautiful fall day and the rich, full life that I have.

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