Numbers are funny things. They look nice and neat, march in straight rows. They create groups (3 of these and 5 of those) and somehow make us feel that everything is under control. Until one personally finds herself in one of those groups – the wrong one. The one that people don’t like to mention. You know, the C word. Cancer.
That was me. The C monster opened its mouth and grabbed me right before my trip to South America. I had been planning it for months but it wasn’t going to be. I gave myself a compensation prize of some amazing tours in different countries but in between, I toured hospitals.
It was on the big trip to New Zealand, exactly a year ago. Right in the middle of a fantastic trek, when, dressed in a sunhat and attempting to conquer some mountain, I fell apart. I could barely do the last part of the trail, because my body started to weaken. They started doing all kinds of tests. It seemed that my liver, lungs, mouth, nose, skin were all affected but I was still going. The Ezer Mizion staff was there with me every step of the way, holding my hand, offering professional advice and helping out in countless practical ways. I started taking steroids and began to look like a balloon, and then things calmed down a little.
But not for long. One day, I felt really strong pains in my leg, like I’d never felt before. We went directly to the Emergency Room to check out what it was. It turned out that… I’d broken my hip. Yes, it sounds strange, but it had broken, without my falling, without anything. They explained to me that this is one of the side effects of steroids. Those numbers again. I was “privileged” to be one of the “lucky few” for whom steroids cause fractures. Since then, there were a few other breaks in places that you can’t put a cast on. If I were a car, you would just replace those parts. But, guess what, I’m not a car. My body is not built for new replacement parts. It prefers to keep the ones it has. So now, I can’t run, dance, walk, hike, and some other things like I used to…
The cancer did not stop me from living, though. I switched from hiking to taking some courses that I had always dreamed of. It also brought many new things into my life, some good ones like meeting the unbelievably caring people at Ezer Mizion and some not so good like blood radiations that I had to do every two weeks and million new pills of all colors and sizes that decorated my kitchen counter.
But not forever. I’m celebrating a birthday this month. It’s the two-year birthday of my replacement. I did get a replacement of sorts. A bone marrow replacement. My friends at Ezer Mizion set it up for me. They had to find a DNA match. I was very lucky, they said. From the over 856,000 people on their database, there was one match. His name is E. and he was happy to donate his marrow. Even though he didn’t even know me. I’m on my way to full recovery now.
So, happy two-year birthday to my body! Some birthday wishes…
I wish me that I should soon stop going to hospitals, taking pills, and getting stabbed with needles.
That I should continue growing and flourishing in my new career (remember those courses?).
That I should soon have the strength to begin paying back and joining the thousands of Ezer Mizion volunteers in helping others like me.
Thank you, E. for donating bone marrow to me without even knowing me!!! You are a part of me now, whether you like it or not…
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