I was at City of Hope today for the official, rare, wondrous moment that all BMT patients pray and hope for: The two-year follow-up appointment. It’s an odd thing to look forward to… a hospital appointment with a doctor... But for someone who is told they would likely NOT see that day, it is a day welcomed indeed.
It took over two years but my blood counts are FINALLY totally normal! Yes, even those stubborn Red Blood Cells are back to regular levels. I’m not anemic anymore. My body can fight a cold. I don’t have to worry about bleeding to death. My brain is getting a decent supply of oxygen. No more excuses. Yay!
In the midst of our mini-celebration, I shared with Dr. Nade about how I have watched too many friends succumb to their disease - Friends who once stood with me, side-by-side. Sometimes it felt like these friends and I were on the battlefield together, holding our ground united. But soon the bullets began to hail and one-by-one they started to fall and all I could do was to keep holding my ground and not give in or give up, lest they die in vain. I thanked Dr. Nade for saving my life. She was the wizard behind the BMT. She was the bulletproof vest that pulled me through. We both teared up and hugged. Then, feeling a need to escape from the emotional vise, we just as quickly broke away and made hasty exits. Funny how we humans can be about emotions.
Well, at this point you’re probably wondering, “What’s the good news and the bad news?” Well…
I am THRILLED to announce that I have been accepted into the Graduate MFA Writing program at Pepperdine University! The program’s focus will be Writing for Screen & TV. Not many of you know that back in 2002, I had been stashing money away and was in the midst of applying to graduate schools when cancer took that all away. Now my dream of attaining a Masters Degree is finally in reach after being put on hold for the six years of my cancer struggle.
The bad news? I applied to Pepperdine enticed by the fact that the department said they would probably be able to give me a full-scholarship. Unfortunately, according to the head of the department, the monies they thought they would be allocating did not come to fruition. So instead, I have a scholarship that will only cover 10% of my tuition and a TA’ship that will cover daily expenses. I’ve already applied to a few outside scholarships and I’m planning to work all weekend to find other sources.
So I’m asking for help. I know we are all busy, but if anyone has any ideas or knows of any resources / foundations / funds / organizations or angels who may be poised to help, please let me know. After coming this far, I don’t want to give up.