Today has been a really good day and I wanted to share it with all of you…
So basically 2 weeks ago when I was at the hospital I had my blood tested. I got a phone call saying my red blood cells had dropped to 7.9, which mine average around 9. something though most people are higher. Anyway, I knew I had this silly chest infection, so though I worried, I was not panicking anyone. I say this because when my blood levels start to drop my first thought is the leukemia is attacking my blood production. This will mean my time is very limited.
Let me explain a little medical stuff as I understand it. Our bone marrow makes all the blood cells for our body, the red cells, platelets and white cells. The white cells fight infection. My bone marrow is still very immature. Like a new born really though lacking the nourishment obtained in the womb and vaccines as once I had my transplant they were irradiated and due to many complications never redone. So when my body gets an infection my immature bone marrow cells have to not only produce all the blood cells for my body but also fight the infection trying to attack my body. At this point after transplant my cells should be less immature however, which is what makes me terminal, is that my own cells have begun to regrow. This is bad as my own cells carry all the dna to create the yucky leukemia cells so the more of my cells that my body produces the more the leukemia develops.
However, for some unknown reason my superhero donor ninja cells though diminishing are doing their ,excuse my language, damest to fight back. For whatever reason, and the reason is beyond medical explanation, at this point they are fighting hard and not going down without a battle. Maybe its my stubborn nature or my crazy Italian lineage, I come from some tough stock… or by the Grace of some power beyond me I am still here 7 months on from my terminal diagnosis.Today, my doctor refered to me as their miracle. I couldn’t stop smiling. I always say I don’t know how much time I have left, my doctor says who knows just keep doing what you are doing so that’s the plan. I have embraced my need for a wheel chair as I have 2 choices miss out or join in with wheels.
I have embraced needing help. Though this is hard, very very hard. When you desire your whole life to be in the role of carer. Being a special needs teacher, I genuinely loved my students and my profession. I loved my students and sat in awe of their families. They would thank me or tell me how much they Valued me and I would brush it off. Why, because I loved what I did. I did it , its wasn’t always the easiest or the most glamorous but it was my passion and my heart was in it. I devoted myself to what I did and took pride in it. But it was more then just my job. I also have been blessed to work with some amazing teachers and teaching assistants which made my job easier and who inspired me and helped me be who I was. I know they say not to get attached to your students but you do and I remember every single young person and adult I had the pleasure to work with. I am saying all this becuase now in life I find myself on the other side.
Since carrying our gorgeous girls I have been at the mercy of others. Those amazing living on Earth angels that are in the medical profession have devoted their lives to taking care of others. I speak of all those in the medical field I have been so privileged to be cared for by. I am grateful for their choice of profession, sacrifice, kindness, their brains and their determination to keep me alive and not only to care about me physically but mentally and emotionally as well. I could sing their praises for days and I can not thank them enough. I write them notes and bring them in goodies, not unlike what I would do for my teaching assistants, come to think of it. Sidenote, I have been blessed by so many teaching assistants who helped me look good and love what I did. Who supported me and helped me be the best teacher that I could be. Anyway, being on the other side is humbling. I hope they realise how much I value and appreciate them. As with all those in our life who support us. Who help us be the Plumb-Bilottas. Who enable us and encourage us and support us to be the family we are. We would be lost without your support and love. My eyes and heart are open and the joys that fill our lives becuase of all of you out there is mind blowing. Wow, I have gotten really off track….
The girls came with us to the hospital today. This is rare as I normally get a taxi to and from the Royal and go on my own. However, I hoped I wouldn’t be there long but clinic was very busy, just one of those things. The girls were amazing and loved going on mini adventures while we waited about 3 hours. We even created a Plumb-Bilotta all in cheer. haha sorry for those waiting who were hoping for some piece and quiet. Instead you got 2, 3 year olds singing and dancing, colouring and chatting ( no idea where they get that from). Then, I needed a chest x-ray, so they headed on an adventure to get my antibiotics as Ive been prescribed another 2 weeks for this infection. Then we headed up to daycare for my blood test. Going to daycare in a weird way, is like going home for me. Anyway, they entertained all in there by being their amazing little selves. Dancing to the music and colouring and chatting away without a care in the world.
Side note again, I made my recipe book for friends and family with a lot of help from ,my amazing sister through friendship Tricia and Sarah who scanned my hand written recipes in and helped me create my book. , Anyway when I got them printed there was an error so they were reprinted free of charge. I have collected donations with the reprinted ones in daycare for £5 each to raise money for the Bloom Appeal. I have run out, but the bloom appeal and daycare are looking at cheaper ways to print more to raise more money as 45 copies have already been taken, which has raised £225 for the bloom appeal. Any ideas with this would be greatly recieved. Since cooking is a passion of mine it also is a way to share another legacy. It was so amazing to hear fro some of the nurses saying I made your…… and it was amazing. I am quite proud of that. It’s kinda my way to take care of others with my cooking, which if you are my friend or family know is my great joy and love.
Then, I got the news my blood levels are all back to normal. My superhero bone donor ninja cells are still kicking butt. I have no idea how or why but they are and someday I hope to get the chance to thank my donor in person. I wrote him a letter last week and wait very anxiously to hear back. I say letter it was more a 7 page novel but how do you express all your gratitude to someone who has literally given you time. I wanted him to know that his gift and sacrifice was a gift worth giving and that without him I wouldn’t be here. I have a watch engraved with’ Thank you for the gift of time’ I hope to be able to give him someday. It’s the least I can do. I will never repay the gift he has given me not once but twice.
Then tonight, the girls were on form and Emma told me I was the best Momma in the world and Lily kept running her fingers through my hair and kissing me. They thanked my nurses for taking care of me. I felt such love and pride. They are truly amazing. Then to top it off we relocated our caterpillars now in cocoons to their butterfly house. Seeing them watch was magical. I can’t explain the joy I get from teaching them through books and experience. Its like using all of my 4 and a half years of uni put into the 2 most important little people in my life. We read the hungry catipillair tonight and monkey puzzle and their ability to remember and their vocabulary amazes me. Tonight we talked about animals hatched from eggs, delivered alive and ones like catipilliars that don’t look like their mummy or daddy or momma. We talked about different families and just loved each other. I don’t mean to gush but these simple little moments like bed time and just being together fill me with pure joy. I am, Mand and I, are beyond blessed. Not a moment goes by I don’t realise this. Anyway its late and I have rambled enough…. so for now just go tell someone how much you love them, value them, cherish them, breathe in the life you have and the gift of waking up and being alive. Above all just keep swimming… much love San xx