10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF A BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT

Uncategorized

 

2

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!”
3
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

Anniversary of a Bone Marrow Transplant

Uncategorized

3

I’d like to tell you all a story…a story of a young man who exactly 9 earth revolutions around the sun ago (or 9 years) had a bone marrow transplant. This is a short story about suffering, deep intense suffering, and the results of that suffering. So if you have time, and this calls to you, here we go…

After 7 straight days of full body radiation 2 times per day, 2 days of intense chemotherapy, and 2 days to prepare for the day of reckoning, that day had finally come, February 12, 2004. As he laid there he watched the nurse come in to his room and inject the pre-meds into his chest catheter. 30 minutes later the Bone Marrow Transplant team of doctors walked in to his room with 2 liters of stem cells harvested from an unknown donor. They hung the blood on the pump stand and the process began. It was just another blood transfusion, but this blood was the blood that would now run through his veins, no longer the blood of fear and stress, but that of new life, a rebirth.

The transfusion went perfectly as planned, but the days to follow were going to be the most physically and emotional demanding moments of his young life. More difficult than the first 9 months of chemotherapy that he endured during his first diagnosis, and more difficult than the days of holding himself up without moving while receiving full-body radiation in the previous weeks. As if he had questions before about the meaning of life and why 2 year old children were being diagnosed with cancer, this experience would not only test him far beyond anything he could imagine but would catapult him into a realm of questioning.

The radiation had begun to show it’s side-effects…constant nausea while being unable to vomit because he no longer had any stomach acids to throw up, intense burning sensations in his hands as if his hands were on fire, excruciating sores along his mouth and trachea not allowing him to swallow but only drool. Each day his body withered away more and more because of his inability to move, unable to muster up the strength to even get up and shower most days. He constantly used morphine to dull the pain and to put him into a self-induced coma because of the constant pain.

His parents looked on at this in despair. Feeling unable to do anything but send their love to him and answer any request he had, not knowing that that was the most powerful thing they could have done. Not knowing whether their first-born son would live or die, stay sleeping or awaken, speak to their son or to the altered state of consciousness he became from the drugs. What they didn’t know was that their Love would help him through this and he would fight through the darkness to bring forth the Light.

The month following February 12, 2004 seemed to be a dream for him…entering in and out of consciousness from all of the morphine he continually pushed until he finally began to awake from the fog. As he did, he no longer recognized the form that he perceived the world through. His temple had been pillaged from substances that at the time had removed the impurities.

As the days passed, he dreamed to enter into the world again. To not be stuck in a prison for healing. Staring out the window, wishing to walk in fresh air again. He dreamt of the young man he had been…the athlete, the joker, the ladies man. The days went by, and he began to fall into a depression. He looked at where he was and was so scared that the mountain he would have to climb was far too great. He questioned at times if he had the strength to climb the mountain before him. He fell deeper and deeper into sadness. He called his father on the phone one night sobbing, spilling all of his fears that he didn’t know if he was strong enough to climb this mountain. Crying, wanting to give up. His father did his best to console him, to support him, to send the boy his Love. When the call ended, the boy felt stronger. At that moment, a voice within told him that he would get through it. That although the mountain seemed far too daunting to conquer, that together they would walk as One and reach the top. The boy didn’t know what was telling him this, but he KNEW that the voice was right.

As the days passed into April, the boy began to find more strength. His family surrounded him with Love and he knew that he was strong enough to overcome this obstacle. His physical strength improved week by week, and the stem cells began to assimilate into his body, to recognize their new home. Finally, the boy was allowed to re-enter the world.

It took many months for him to fully regain his strength physically. It took a determination not of his own will, but the Spirit within that pushed him along. He knew within his heart that his experiences had not occurred to simply be forgotten. He had experienced this suffering so that he may help heal others. He did not know how he would help heal others, but he knew that with the Power of his will and the will of the Father within that he would help.

Now, as I’m sure most of you who have read this have figured out, this story is about me, Zach. Most years this day passes by and I don’t even recognize it, but this year I felt compelled to write this. In this new age of Aquarius, this age of Unity and Love, I felt that this story may help some of my brothers and sisters out there who are suffering. I am always asked, “Did you ever feel like giving up?” And this shows you just how close I was. I wanted so badly to give up, to call it quits because I didn’t see how I could possibly reach the mountain top. I knew that was where I wanted to be and I could see myself there, I just had no idea how I could accomplish that. But I always had that little voice within me, that God-Self, Higher Self, pushing me along, just as it pushes you and all of us along in difficult times.

I’m always asked, “That must have been horrible. How did you get through it.” All I can say is, I kept walking. I chose to listen to the voice that said, “I AM here with you and together we will overcome this,” rather than the one that said, “This is too much, you should just give up.” And…I had a lot of support behind me — parents, siblings, and family members that loved me. The other question I always get asked is, “Did you ever ask ‘Why me?'” Of course I did! But I didn’t ask that and want someone else to get sick, I just wanted to know why I got sick, period! It’s normal, if you’re not questioning why things are happening how will you ever learn from them? How will you ever help others to live the life they want if you’re not questioning how you got the life you have?

But I ultimately wanted to write this to say that although this story sounds horrible, for everyone involved, every time I think about it I feel grateful. I feel grateful that I suffered like I did! Everything that I experienced in my past has made me exactly who I am today. The vomiting, the mouth sores, the crying, the despair, the physical deterioration and weakness, the chest catheter, the pain in my family’s eyes, the pain in the eyes of other families who had a sick child, all of it. Do I wish I could go back and heal every single child that I met in the hospital…absolutely!!! Do I wish I could have told the nurses to give me the chemo instead of those children…absolutely!!! But I also know that the suffering experienced by those children and their families, as well as mine, have made their souls evolve and become stronger.

Every bit of suffering has made me stronger, just as each step up the mountain has made me stronger. Our suffering makes us who we are. Does it always feel great while we’re in it?…absolutely not. Do we emerge stronger and evolved from it?…Absolutely!

On this day, which has immense significance for me, I am grateful for every bit of suffering that has allowed me to become who I am today. I want you all to know that even though it may be difficult, you are so much stronger than you recognize and you will always have Source walking with you when you feel weak. These experiences are dear to my growth and I wanted to share them with you…my dearest brothers and sisters. This is the first time I have expressed this to anyone, and I am honored to have shared this with you all. I Love You all so much, truly and forever, and hope this message can help you see how incredibly strong You are!

With All My Love, ❤
Zach IAM