Welcome to my Blog! Yes, I have been in the fight of my life against Leukemia, insomnia, depression, side effects of medications, molting skin, pooping my pants and this list goes on.... however, I still love my life, and that's what this blog is about Real Life. I hope to meet others who trails have brought them closer to the Lord and molded them for the next step in God's will. In January 2011 , my family, physician, and Be the Match was featured on a Fox 5 news story about bone marrow donors and transplants. In March, I was interviewed on Atlanta and Company along with Be the Match. I was chosen to sing the national anthem at the Be the Match Run last year and will also be doing it this year, along with some other songs. My team, no thanks to me, raised over $4,000 and raised more than any other team! Please join my team this year or consider donating here at the Run those Stem cells out ! Team I was also chosen for a patient advocacy panel for the international council meeting at Be the Match in MN in November. How exciting!! I ended up not being able to attend due to the relapse. I had hoped I could help raise awareness about how easy it is to sign up to be a donor and how many people need your help! Please go to bethematch.org and sign up! I was able to have my bone marrow (same as stem cell) transplant at the end of March thanks to a 22 year old donor oversees that I hope to meet her one day. As I came up on my 6th month mark and continued to add more normal activities to our lives, I relapsed, meaning that the that the cancer had mutated and the leukemia came back. I spent 2 more weeks at Emory and some other nights here and there and now I'm on a drug from the FDA. I have a compassion waiver so I am able to get it. I have to take it day by day sometimes hour by hour. Time keeps moving and my little girl is growing up. I'm lucky that I'm getting to see it. I continue to praise God for his wonderful blessings he has shown us including my wonderful husband Jonathan, baby girl Evalyn Rose, supportive family and friend, great medical care, new readers, and the chance to make a big difference, even if that means being a Lab Rat.
God Bless You!

Please read, comment, enjoy, learn, grow, LOVE LIFE.

Most Recently I have started a booth at a local consignment store with handmade jewelry from friends, crafts, and my own art from recycled materials. It is called DAY by DAY. God was very clear with me starting this. Please look over to the right of blog and click on Day by Day to see some pictures. I'm just getting started but I am taking orders from people that I know. You will be able to personalize items, etc. I just haven't decided how I will be selling them via internet yet. But for now, the jewelry is at A Weekend A'fair in Athens, GA and will hopefully be at some stores downtown soon.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

For the newcomers...

        Many of you reading this already now most of my story. I have decided to do a short summary though for the Be The Match Run and also for my new readers. If you are a new reader of my blog, or reading through the last few months could be a little overwhelming, so let me give you a synopsis.

        I was first diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia after my first prenatal blood work when I was newly pregnant with Evalyn. We had just finished telling our family the great news about our new baby when we received a call from my doctor telling us that my white blood cell count was elevated. Coming from a family of nurses and doctors, we knew that only could mean two things: infection or cancer. We went to see a hematologist in Athens, and soon to the Emory Clinic to see what our options were. It looked like they caught it early enough so that I could go through the pregnancy under close guidance, then after delivery I would start taking an oral chemotherapy pill and I would live a long and full life.
        The treatment went great for a 3 months and then the oral chemo started to not work and I spiraled into terrible pain. They told me that the medication had stopped working and I had to go to Emory immediately. Little did I know I would be there for 3 weeks and have to start chemotherapy, blood work, platelet infusions, x-rays, cat scans, every test there is under the sun… and then find out that my cancer had turned to Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, one of the most dangerous forms of Leukemia.  I found out that I would need a stem-cell a transplant from a random donor in order to live long-term. I was in and out of Emory every 5 out of 21 days, for three months, for chemotherapy. My husband, Jonathan, was in school full-time at the University of Georgia, and trying to take care of everyone. Luckily we had a strong support system. 
We found a stem-cell donor in February. I am told she is 22 years old and lives overseas. I really hope that we get to meet very soon. The stem cell transplant itself was not a big deal, but the total-body radiation and the last doses of chemo literally killed my immune system to make room for the new stem-cells. It has been a long and painful road but I know that because of a person who donated through Be the Match, my life has been saved and I will be able to see my little girl grow up.
                     Please considers donating, volunteering, or participating with Be the Match. You can save a life! 

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