Talk to others who have been through transplant
Our Be The Match Peer Connect program can connect you with a trained volunteer who’s been there. No matter where you’re at in the process, recipients and caregivers like you are available to talk by phone or email, sharing their experience and tips. Request a connection.
People often hear that a person’s life can change in the blink of an eye. January 10, 2012 was the day we found out I had chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Then, 20 months later I had a transplant from an unrelated donor. My doctors and nurses went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure we went through this life event supported and cared for in every way. Through this process, my caregiver and I have learned more about the human body than we ever believed possible. Although this journey has had hills and valleys, we are forever grateful for my second chance and for the selfless donor who saved my life and whom I now proudly call my friend.
We believe that patients and caregivers need to take each day as it comes. Do not pine for the past nor anticipate the future, but live for today. Understand that transplants change lives forever. Your new life will be what you make it. So always advocate for yourself in all areas of your life. Accept, embrace, and rejoice in your “new normal” and do not compare it to “before”.
I was diagnosed at age 31 with Hodgkin lymphoma. I went through 6 months of chemotherapy, an autologous stem cell transplant, followed by radiation, and then an allogeneic stem cell transplant. I've always said that going through cancer was a journey and wild roller coaster ride, but a journey that made me stronger as a person.
My advice for others is to be patient and kind to yourself. Be honest with your doctors and nurses as to how you are feeling, emotionally and physically. And finally, take things a day at a time, as you never know what the day will bring.
Meet Tracy and Don
Our son, Cameron, was diagnosed with leukemia at 2 and it came back when he was 4. He needed a bone marrow transplant (matched, unrelated). He had his transplant in April 2008 (4½ years old). He thinks it’s cool because he now has "healthy cells, an awesome blood-brother (his donor) and TWO birthdays every year!" I was terrified at first but now think that it was the best decision we ever made.
The message we would like to give is that there is a light at the end of this long tunnel. Our greatest fear, transplant, ended up being our biggest blessing and gifted us with a lovely extension to our family - the addition of our son's "blood-brother" (donor) & his incredibly beautiful family!