365 Days of Life

Sunset.  Foto Credit: Dave
Sunset.
Photo Credit: Dave

Today is a special and emotional day.  A year ago, on September 16 of 2014, I was in the hospital with Dave and my parents patiently waiting for the harvested bone marrow cells my brave sister Caro donated on a pure act of unconditional and endless love to save my life.  I am forever grateful to Caro, Dave, my parents, sister Cris, my in-laws, Marsha, brother-in-law Rafa, my friends, colleagues, and extended family for their prayers and support.

The fact that today I was able to run more than three miles at my fastest pace on record is a result of a joint effort and countless hours of care from my family and the talented team at Johns Hopkins.

Thank you to the love of my life, Dave, for serving as the Caregiver-in-Chief who made sure I had everything I needed to get back on my feet.  You are my inspiration, my everything.  I love you!

Thank you so much Marsha for sharing your expertise as a nurse to take care of me during the tough first period of post-transplant.  I am incredibly thankful to my mother-in-law, Kathy, who dedicated over two months to take care of me and helped us with multiple chores at home, you have served to remind me that love and family matter the most.  Thank you to my father-in-law, Terry, for his support, patience, and humor during extremely challenging times.  Thank you to Dr. Kanakry, Laura, Dr. Bolanos-Meade, Viki, Laura, and Lynne.

Thank you to all my friends and colleagues who shared their love and encouragement in multiple creative and thoughtful ways.

Although this year hasn’t been easy, I am thankful for the gift of life and the opportunity of having a future free of disease. I am certain God has a plan and a mission for me (God, this is just a reminder that I am here, I am listening, I am ready, show me the way….)

Today I celebrate life!

Thank you for reading

70 Days – Grateful

Today is my day 70 post bone marrow transplant.

On day 60 I was discharged from the transplant unit and instead of going to the hospital daily or every other day,  I go only once a week now. My oncologist says that I am doing well and everything looks according to the plan.

I am taking many different medicines to keep my immune system healthy. Each day I feel much better and stronger, I even started jogging and walking again. I can’t wait to start running again soon.

My hair is starting to grow.
My hair is starting to grow.

This Thursday is Thanksgiving, an opportunity to give thanks, spend time with family, and remember what is really important in life: love and gratitude.

Therefore, I would like to thank my loving husband, my mother and father-in-law, and Marsha who took the time and spent countless hours in the hospital and at home taking care of me. I will be always grateful for your support, patience, and love.

Also I am very grateful and fortunate to have incredible parents and sisters. Caro saved my life and now we share an even more special sister bond. I love you sister 🙂  My parents have been fundamental in creating an entire network of prayers, good energy, and positive attitude. This group of family and friends has kept me strong and positive. I am very grateful for their support and love; believe me, it does make a difference!!

With B we Beat It!, Tagline of the video campaign Cris organized.  Thank you!
With B we Beat It!, Tagline of the video campaign Cris organized.  Thank you!

A couple of weeks ago I received a beautiful care packet from my sister Cris. It was a beautiful surprise that included books, a movie, and a video with the campaign “With B, we Beat it!” a series of uplifting, fun, and great messages from family, friends, and others that sent encouraging words to me. Thank you very much to all that participated. A special thanks to my cousin Nane and my friend Monica who helped Cris and Daniel to collect the videos. Thank you Nayelli for the logo and design. Thank you Cris for producing the video that lifted my spirit when I needed it the most.
Today I am particularly grateful for the gift of friendship and love.

Happy Thanksgiving / Feliz Dia de Accion de Gracias!!!

And remember to give thanks 🙂

Love,

Bea

Day 32 Post Transplant

I didn't lose my eyebrows. LOL!
I didn’t lose my eyebrows. LOL!

Today is day 32 post transplant!!! I am tired but feeling better. This is the first time I have a day off and I don’t have to go to the hospital!!!

After the transplant I was feeling well, just tired. However, days later I started struggling with constant nausea and headaches that I have never experienced before; it was rough. Also I lost my hair on day 13.

During this 30 + days I go to the hospital 7 days a week to check my levels and to make sure that I am doing ok. I have to wear a mask most of the time to avoid bacteria and infection. So far I have received a round of platelets and two blood transfusions.

Two days ago I was allowed to go to a public space and we went to the groceries (wearing my mask), It was interesting to see the reaction of other shoppers when they saw me. 🙂

The Mask
This the mask I have to wear.

I want to take the opportunity to thank my husband Dave, my in-laws and Marsha who have served as caregivers and have been patient with me particularly when I don’t feel great. Thank you to my parents, sisters, family, friends, and colleagues that are praying and always ready to help.

Thank you very much for the lovely cards, flowers, gifts, and thoughtful posts on my blog and Facebook which always make me smile. I am grateful for the encouragement and love.

Regarding Music:  Many of you know that my talented sister Cris is on the show “La Voz” (The Voice) in Mexico. She passed the blind auditions, became a member of #TeamYuri and will be in the battles this Sunday. For my friends in Mexico tune in this Sunday at 8:00 pm. Thank you for supporting my sister.

Con todo Cris!!!
Con todo Cris!

Love, – B

Cancer in Reimission – Running for the Cure

Dear friends and family,

Many weeks have passed since I published an update on my blog. This summer has been quite busy: I completed 12 rounds of chemoteraphy and I had a CT scan that revealed that the cancer is in remission!! (This mean that the cancer cells are no longer growing = great thing). One of the side effect from the chemo is that my lungs need to recover and I am under treatment, but this is nothing compared with what I went through the last six months.

Immediately after receiving this great news, I traveled to Santa Fe, New Mexico to spend almost 4 weeks implementing the program I created: ArtFest12 – a summer program sponsored by Laureate for students in the art, design and architecture fields. The first edition of the program was very successful and gathered 230 students from around the world. You can imagine it was a lot of work; but fulfilling and creative work.  

Also, Dave and I celebrated our first anniversary. Certainly this was a challenging year for us, but we are blessed, we love each other and we have the support of great friends and our loving families.

To celebrate that my cancer is in remission and to run for the cure, I have signed up with Team in Training for a post-cancer half marathon that will take place in San Antonio, TX on January 27, 2013. The name of the race is Hero-Thon. My commitment means also to fundraise to support the mission of the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society (LLS). To donate go to:Team in Training.

I am really blessed and thank you for your encouragement during this crazy journey. Cancer took some of my energy and changed my life forever; yet cancer couldn’t take away my desire to live and the love of people around me. Love beats cancer!!!