December 31, 2013
Tonight when the clock strikes midnight 2013 will be no more. This is the time of the year where most people reflect on the year that was and begin to prepare for the year that will be. I am no different than the rest. As I replay 2013 in my mind, it is obvious that this was one of the most special years of my life. Here are some of the highlights:
January - Ann and I flew to Chicago for our initial evaluation with Dr. Burt. What an experience that was!!! If you have not read my blog on the "O'Hare Experience" please do so.
February - My insurance company approved my stem cell transplant. O' Happy Day!!!
March - This was not a good month for me. I was admitted into the Ohio State University Medical Center for 10 days while I was receiving plasmapheresis. Let's just say I was not a very good patient. I just wanted to be in Chicago, but financially Ann and I needed to wait until the summer. Oh, I also cannot forget that my youngest daughter, Torin, turned 7. She is growing up so fast.
April & May - I simply remember these months being 2 of the longest months of my life. My body was deteriorating and I was counting down the days to leave for Chicago.
June - This was truly the beginning because June was the month my stem cells were harvested. In addition, Ann, Taylor, Torin, and myself spent practically the entire month together in a cramped efficiency apartment on the shores of Lake Michigan. In between doctor visits we ventured all over the city trying to make memories that would last a life time. Ann and I wanted to share this time with our daughters because we really had no idea what to expect after the stem cell transplant.
July - July 16, 2013 was my stem cell transplant. July 9th, Ann had to push me in my wheelchair into the hospital and by the end of July I was using a walker or a cane to get around. Simply amazing.
August - Ann, Mom, and I returned from Chicago. It was so great to be home surrounded by my friends and family.
September, October, and November - These were the months that I tried to focus I my recovery. I remember I took a pretty nasty fall and sprained my foot. It should also be noted that in October my oldest daughter, Taylor, turned 10 years old. Those 3 months just flew by.
December - I started getting antsy this month. I had been feeling good for over a month and needed to test myself. I decided I would try to go back to work. Well, let's just say it did not go as planned and I am no longer employed. You win some and you lose some. My final parting shot to 2013 was my blood drive which we received 51 units of blood.
2013 will always be one of the greatest years of my life. I want to thank all of you who have walked with me on this journey. It is only fitting to leave you with one of my favorite Bible verses as we ring in the new year: "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11).