A deadly blood cancer
When you hear the phrase “you have Cancer”, everything is a blur and becomes instantly clear, it speeds up, and it slows down, all at the same time, if that’s possible. You remember every detail of that moment unlike anything else. My first thoughts were, “how do I find the strength to get through this?” “How do I survive this? I’m not done with this life!” So, I leaned heavily on my husband and he took the full force of my rage, my denial, and my despair. He became my rock, even more so than before.
I couldn’t live without several blood transfusions every week and needed a stem cell (bone marrow) donor to save my life. Without one, I only had a 10% chance of survival. Luckily, someone, somewhere in this giant beautiful world was a match and they agreed to be my donor. And if it wasn’t for all the wonderful people who take the time to donate blood, I would never have even had a chance for a stem cell transplant. So, I began many intense treatments at the Princess Margaret Cancer centre in Toronto that lasted over a year and is still counting to this day, 4 years later.
I like to tell people that I was lucky to get through it all without major complications but my doctors would probably say otherwise. It was the hardest thing I have ever endured and I often found myself crying into the soft folds and fur of Norman to get through it all. He was the one that patiently held me up with his giant shoulders while I was in the deepest depths of my despair. And Lucy was the one who used her body to protect me from falling down the stairs.