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Topic Title: Be The Match's book: "Blood & Marrow Transplant Journeys".
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Created On: 11/09/2021 06:36 AM
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 11/09/2021 06:36 AM
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dingpatch

Posts: 16913
Joined Forum: 07/24/2003

This lady's story sums it up pretty well, , , , taken from Be The Match's book: "Blood & Marrow Transplant Journeys".

Dear 2003 Ilana, By ILANA, TRANSPLANT RECIPIENT

You will be scared. I wish that I could be there to tell you what is about to happen. I wish I could be there to hold your hand.
I wish I could be there to tell you you're going to be alright.

You will be part of a community. When they first said "transplant," I know how hard that was to contemplate. Everything you knew about a transplant involved an organ. How could you possibly have a transplant? I know you are scared, you don't know anyone who has had a transplant, let alone a stem cell transplant. You are 27, alone and worried. But you aren't alone. You are making great relationships in the hospital with doctors, nurses and other caregivers, even some patients. Your family is right by your side. Down the road you will even find more people just like you.

You will be humbled. I'm not going to lie and tell you it isn't going to be hard. It is. You will feel like you're at the edge of death. The only thing I can think of that comes close to explaining how bad, is a cross between the worst hangover of your life/worst flu of your life/worst food poisoning of your life. You will probably poop your pants and throw up in bed. Luckily, you are so sick, you aren't even embarrassed. But don't worry, they will take good care of you at the hospital and not make you feel bad.

You will have pain. Sometimes they will do things to you that hurt. You can always ask if it will hurt, and they will tell you. It's ok to be afraid, and it's ok to cry. There will be a lot of needles. You won't be able to eat, your mouth will be full of sores. The doctors and nurses will help ease your pain. You will have to work on healing yourself from the trauma of cancer. And you will, I promise.

You will be changed. I know you're thinking about what is going to happen to you; are you going to die? Are you going to be able to have children? Is the cancer going to come back? Will you ever be healthy again? The best thing I can tell you, is to take each day as it comes. Do what the doctors tell you, but educate yourself, become your own advocate and take care of yourself. Your new mantra will be "Don't worry unless they give you something to worry about."

You will be on a journey. Once you get through this there will be more obstacles. New relationships will emerge, old relationships will fail. Your health will really never be the same again. You will really never be the same again. But I'm here to tell you, it will be worth it in the end. In the future your life is amazing. I can't wait for you to experience this; have faith and never give up.
Xoxo,
2018 Ilana
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