New birthday

There is a joke to this picture, well more like inside joke. They say when you get a bone marrow transplant the old you dies and you are reborn. This is pretty much true... everything that make you medically you is killed. Then you receive you donor’s stem cells which in turn you share the same blood type and sex of blood. My sister was my donor... so now we share the same blood type and yes I now have female blood. No I don’t have a monthly visitor... but I do cry at cartoons now. As I go through more rolls of film from my journey I’ll be posting more images, hope to continue to bring you all with me.

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Chocolate pop

There is a lot of things I had to learn on the way during my journey with cancer. One of the was how fucking cold you get after both radiation and chemo. When I was cold, I MEAN COLD! In this picture I had on two pairs of sweat pants, two shirts, a beanie and a hoodie.It is amazing the changes your body goes through, before all of this I couldn’t stay cool. I was “warm natured” basically I was always hot. Now I can’t stay warm and barely ever sweat. If you ask my wife she’ll say the no sweating is a good thing.

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97 days

97 days... it has been 97 days since my big head sister saved my life (thank you Jazz).

It has been 97 days since my Stem cell transplant.

It has been 97 days of have a new immune system (and all the complication that go along with it) and life.

97... seems like a long time huh, to me it flew by. I’ve been spending those 97 days trying to get back to normal. Spending time with my two Zs. Enjoying being free from the hospital bed. Working...

In 3 more days I’ll find out how my transplant has melded with my bone marrow. I’m excited to see and if I might say... a little nervous. What ever might come I’ll take it and run with it, like I always have.

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Finding Glitter

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Life ain’t always glitter and rainbows... how much you choose to be negative about directly influences how your life will end up. I will always find glitter in old soggy confetti. 

New Birthday

Today is the day... I guess I get a new birthday today along with my new immune system. I am so at a loss for words right now. Really I just wanna be with Zoey, Z, mama and sisters. I want to be with my sister while she is going through the process of harvesting the stem cells. I know that isn’t easy. So much going through my head right now... just know that I am eternally grateful to everyone! Ya’ll strength and praying has brought me here. Even if you didn’t pray your well wishes provided momentum. I love you all!  

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Alopecia

Even if you're bald, losing your hair is a humbling experience. It is so crazy to see the hair you been shaving for 24 years be so easy to pull out. I've always joked the I can't wait for my hair to fall out so that I wouldn't have to shave. Now that the choice of having hair has been taking away... it is bittersweet. I think it is more of a loss of choice than the loss of the actual hair.

15 vials

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These 15 vials of blood represent hope... 6 months of hospital stays, chemo, crap load of drugs and uncertainty and it is all coming to a head. A couple of weeks ago we found out that my little sister is a half match for a bone marrow transplant! My sister is saving my life, I still don't think I've processed it completely. I don't know how to thank her... I thought this would be a easy post. I'm just now realizing the gravity of it all... she is saving more than a brother. She is saving a son, a husband and a father. My little sister is saving my life, the person I called Monkey Face Jones all through high school is saving me. I'm trying not to cry while I type this (at the dentist). I'm at a loss for words right now... but am also in a good place and can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'll make a more cohesive post when I can gather my thoughts. 

Casi ahí

Ask not for a lighter burden but for broader shoulders. - Jewish proverb 

Almost there, just have to strap in and push through. 

Bone biopsy & tools of the trade

Bone biopsies are weird, I've had 6 and don't remember a single one. I know years ago when you received a bone biopsy it was carried out with just local anesthetic. Well I'm a big baby, so they knocked me out every time and I'm very grateful for such kindness. I received a non pain medicated spinal tap once... NEVER AGAIN! I learned quickly that I don't like pain. Ha... ha.. ha... 

12, 4, 8, 12, 4, 8,

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12, 4, 8, 12, 4, 8... those are the times that I have my vitals checked. Blood pressure, pulse rate, oxygen and temperature, nothing too bad. I'm asked frequently " doesn't that get irritating?" My simple answer to that is NO. Simply put, if you had a bomb strapped to your chest and you couldn't reach it... the timer was set for detonation every four hours and five minutes wouldn't you want some one to come in everytime to disarm it? Pretty extreme way of thinking about it I know, but it hits home none the less.

Bordem is the loneliest number

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What matters most

When I'm out of the hospital for a week or 2 weeks I try to document my family as much as I can. They are definitely a huge part of my life.

Influx

One of the saddest things about being in a hospital for 3 weeks has nothing to do with me. It is seeing the amount of people being life flighted in everyday. I see this helicopter fly in at least 3-4 times a day... hopefully the people they fly in get to walk out.  

Side effects

There are somethings you can't avoid... no matter how healthy you are. In some shape, way or form side effects from either chemotherapy or assisting drugs will be present. My side effects have been pretty mild considering what others have gone through. I've only had some appetite problems and acne (from methyl prednisone). Nothing really to complain about, but a side effect none the less. My mindset is "It can always be worse", and with cancer it most definitely can be. I've learned to deal with my ever changing body... as long as I'm alive to see it change and hopefully progress to a place where I can mold it back to where I was before. 

Keep moving

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