Friday, January 25, 2013

One door closes, a window opens

Latest news are somehow mitigated... The BM transplant was successful, but it woke up a normally benign and dormant virus, so additional treatment are still needed.

Waiting for YC's immune response to strike back, we would like to share with you that wonderful article written by his wife:

Was it T.S. Eliot who said “What we call the beginning is often the end...the end is where we start from”?
As I look towards the New Year, this notion of closing a door to open another, has begun to resonate with me more profoundly than it has ever had.
In mid April 2012, my husband was diagnosed with Acute Leukemia and given only 4 months to live unless a bone marrow donor was found. There was no match in his family, no match amongst our friends, no match in the Hong Kong Red Cross.
7-months, 7 rounds of chemotherapy, one overseas donor, and one transplant later, he is finally home, though still fighting off an infection caused by his body’s rejection of the bone marrow. It is normal, we are told. So we remain hopeful.
But it has changed everything.
And it changed everything because I learned so much.

I learned that my children are strong.
Last weekend, as I hung out with my kids, I am struck by how they have dealt with their father’s illness and all its implications. Their initial fear was heartbreaking, but through the months, I see their resilience kicking in. At only 10 and 6 years old, they have managed to find the patience to deal with absentee parents; and an understanding that they have a role to play in keeping the family going.
That’s a lot to ask of kids. But I feel proud, and relieved. Proud that my kids are strong, that maybe how we raised them contributed to this strength; and relieved that my parenting skills couldn’t have been all bad if they turned out they way they have!

I learned that I have good friends.
How many people have the opportunity to “test” the depths of their friendships? While I would never wish this on anyone, I count myself lucky to have witnessed the lengths they will go to help us. Through their willingness to tap their personal and professional contacts, my husband was under the care of a top oncologist in Hong Kong; we had access to the top cancer researcher in the US for advice and consultation; we even received a personal call from the General Manager leading pharmaceutical company informing us of new drugs.
Their tireless campaign to encourage Caucasian donors was so successful that the HK Red Cross received more registered of Caucasian donors during the 2-month campaign period that they had over the last 10 years.
People who did not know us were willing to give a part of their body, undergo a surgery, to help. Our bone marrow match finally came from a donor in Germany, named only as “Donor 2191453”. Watching his/her bone marrow drip into my husband’s body, I felt an overwhelming surge of gratitude and humility.

I also learned that whatever happens, life will carry on.
I had always been a positive person. But life did get to me, and I did focus too much on the unimportant minutiae. At the risk of sounding like a Hallmark greeting card, I approach the New Year with a greater appreciation for life’s simple pleasures.

I walked passed a cafe the other day - it was the same cafe I passed almost every day on the way to work. I had never gone in, thinking it silly to pay for expensive coffee. But on this day, there was a sign on its window and it said, “Life’s too short to drink shitty coffee.”
How true.
And the coffee
was great! 

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