10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF A BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT

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On this very day 10 years ago, I had just finished 14 bouts of full body radiation in 7 days, 2 days of death-inducing chemotherapy, and had just received 2 bags of stem cells that were to help heal my body from a woman I had never met. Each year, February 12 is a very nostalgic day for me. I reminisce on not just the day that was a huge moment in my life, but the entire 5 year adventure of medications, vomiting, confusion, fatigue, confusion, depression, and hope.

I look around me and I see beauty, I see Love, I see joy, but I also look around and see sadness, scarcity, and fear and yet with all those “negative” occurrences I always get asked why I am hopeful. All I can say is, “Sometimes hope was all I could hold on to.”

Throughout all of my treatments I was blessed to have had an incredible support system in my family; having parents, brothers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins that were always there for me. But even with all their support there were times when giving up just seemed to be the easiest option. That just throwing in the towel and letting life do what it wants with me seemed to be it for me. And in those moments an inner voice made its Presence known. Each time I grabbed the towel, that voice spoke up, “Keep going!” Every time my arm went to toss that towel, that voice spoke up, “Keep going!” There were times that I felt so broken and didn’t think I could walk any more, but the voice spoke up, “Walk my child, for I will support you!”
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I think about the person I would have become had I never seen all the suffering I did. Would I have continued on with my tirade of egoistic boasting? Would I have drifted down a road far different than I am right now? Would I have the appreciation for life that I currently hold? Would I have this yearning to be of service to the world in whatever way possible? Would I want all my brothers and sisters to see the world for what it truly is rather than what we’ve made it? Maybe yes, maybe no, but I am here now and that is all I know.

This day reminds me to take every single solitary fucking breath as a gift! That each moment is a chance to express Love. There were more than a few times where it seemed like death was on the horizon. There were more than a few times where death actually seemed like a release from the constant vomiting, dizziness, weakness, fatigue. But this day, February 12, reminds me that I am here, alive! It reminds me that I am here for a reason. It reminds me that I was not through being a Warrior of Light for the Infinite Source, and that my work was not done. This day reminds me to smile at every single person I see because I don’t know what battle someone is facing. This day reminds me to TASTE my food! Truly TASTE my food, because I don’t know when it’ll be my last bite! This day reminds me to say goodnight to my family even if they’re all asleep because waking up is not granted. This day reminds me to be a friend to anyone who needs to talk and to hear what they have to say because they are important. This day reminds me to kiss deeply! To laugh uncontrollably! To sing as loud as possible! To look into her eyes and see her! To cry with abandon! To just fucking live baby!!1545868_10203098977541770_930541599_n

Truly, each day is not a right, it is a blessing! February 12 reminds me that I had another year to give the gifts bestowed within me onto the world. This day is a day of both joy and reservation. It reminds me of my 5, 9, 10, 11, 13, 16 year old friends that have returned to our true home, no longer present in their physical bodies. It reminds me that being denied by a crush has no bearing on this moment because it means nothing in the grand picture. It reminds me that to LOVE is the greatest gift we can ever give each other, for it will heal all wounds. It reminds me to FEEL every emotion, good, bad, ugly, just to fucking FEEL and to be alive!! To really LIVE!!! It reminds me to do something every day that scares the shit out of me, simply because I can!!!1233485_10202187132946225_482663674_n

As I went through the process of chemotherapy, radiation, pills, pills, pills, all I could remember was wanting to be “normal” again! Not having to take anymore pills, not feeling so damn tired and fatigued, not wanting to puke all the time! February 12 reminds me that I made it! It reminds me that others weren’t so fortunate! It reminds me to pray, to meditate, to walk every moment with the Infinite Presence, God, and to always be grateful! It reminds me to look at everybody with compassion and do my best to understand their story! Others may be on the same path I once walked and who better than to show them Love than someone who has found the Light in the darkness? February 12 reminds me that no matter how separate we think we are that we are all in this together! That we all live under the same sky, drink the same water, breathe the same air, look at the same stars, walk on the same earth.

This day is no longer a day of sorrow for me and a day of pity, but a day of remembrance! February 12 is the reminder of why I am here today writing this to all of my beauty-full friends! This day is a reminder that although life seemed like I was in the pits of hell, that the fire fused my soul full of Light.

I AM grateful to be here now. I AM grateful for your friendship. And I AM grateful that we each have another day to live true to our deepest hearts! I Love you all!!!

All My Love,
Zach

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