New Beginnings – Happy Birthday!

On was the day before Easter Sunday, Wade and I were outside doing some major yard work/cleanup.  Thanks to the drought we are in, there was lots of dirt from dust storms and suffering plants and grass.  Not a pretty sight…  The following morning there was one lonely, lovely purple flower on the vinca growing along the driveway.  I had to snap a picture…it was a sign of new growth, hope, rebirth, new beginnings…all of the things we are mindful about on Easter Sunday.  It was a sign!  I was in awe!

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Two days later, the birth of a new grandchild Ella, Haley and Jon’s first child.  A new beginning!  And since then, new beginnings everywhere in my great big wonderful family and family of friends!  Relationships mended, old friendships renewed, new friendships nurtured, moving on with new jobs and endless possibilities, new opportunities, and graduations from high schools and college.

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On my last appointment at MD Anderson a couple of weeks ago, everything was really good…only a few minor problems.  Dr. Hosing is letting me very slowly try weaning off of the immune suppressant drug I am on, sirolimus.  When I tried this last fall, it didn’t work very well. Graft Vs Host set in very quickly.  There were liver issues, and I was back on the drug.  However, last Monday when I had my blood checked, it was the most normal blood test results that I have had in years!

Today is my SECOND birthday!  Exactly 2 years ago I received stem cells from my donor, Robert.  What a trip it has been!  During those two years I suffered temporary blindness and migraine headaches from drug reactions to tacrolimus and cyclosporin, all of the usual terrible side effects from busulphan and ATG, weight loss of 40 pounds, graft vs host on my skin, in my upper GI and lower GI tracts, liver, and gums, muscle weakness and foot-drop from steroid use for GVHD, deep vein thrombosis in my left leg, and a very rare virus that we stem cell transplant patients are extremely unlucky to get – The dreaded BK Virus!  Then there are all of the emotional issues I dealt with.  Some of the most difficult were friends that moved on without me, chemo brain, and dealing with depression and forgetfulness.

I am not griping!  With my wonderful husband, Wade, constantly by my side, all of my energies, which were mostly spiritual rather than physical (fellow survivors will relate to lack of energy!), were devoted to getting through…getting by…getting well.  Each baby step offered new hope.  Baby steps turned into more normal steps, and sometimes even happy feet!

So, on this special day that I am now 2 years old, I want the world to know that all of those trying times are worth it.  Be steadfast, hopeful, positive and kind, appreciating each day, turning baby steps into happy feet.  We can only have positive outcomes when we have positive attitudes.  I pray daily for positivity in my life.  And I pray for those less fortunate than me.

Speaking of all of these new beginnings, Robert, my donor, is my life saver!  With out his complete and selfless act of love and compassion by giving me, a total stranger, his stem cells and a new chance at life, I would not be writing this post.  He just graduated from college and will soon be entering law school.  Another new beginning!  I know he will be very successful with anything he does.  Robert, you are awesome and amazing!  Today I am celebrating 2 glorious years of new life and new beginnings.  But I am also celebrating Robert!  I love you Robert!  And I love my great big beautiful family!

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30 thoughts on “New Beginnings – Happy Birthday!

  1. Anonymous says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY Holly. I meant to send a card, but completely forgot about it….and I don’t even have chemo brain! It was so great being with all of you when we came to Hereford, and we are thankful for your good reports from MD Anderson!! Love you, Pappy and Mama Glo

  2. Happy, happy, happy! So glad things are going well! Praise GOD!

  3. linda block says:

    Such great news, holly. You are still in my prayers every night. Our GOD is so good. Hang in there sweet friend.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Holly, I am so proud of you and your influence on all of us. And speaking of influence, you write so well, I think maybe you could have a career in that field! Love, Mikie

  5. Anonymous says:

    I am so happy for you!
    Love,
    Gay

  6. Becky Scurlock says:

    Happy birthday Holly! So glad to know you and call you friend sweet girl!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Happy Birthday, Holly! I’m proud of you! It’s ABSOLUTELY worth it!!!

  8. Laura Barber says:

    Holly – What a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing and being our inspiration! Happy Birthday from your fan club in Florida!

  9. Louis says:

    My Dear Holly Polly you never cease to amaze me I Love so very very much Daddy

  10. Anonymous says:

    I just read this quote from “Joel Osteen Ministries” Get up today and say, “This is going to be a great dayl Im excited about my future. Something good is going to happen to me.” You are an example of this Holly. Congratulations. Chris and Kristi

    • hollyeasley says:

      You are so sweet, Kristi! I have had those days when I have thought “Something weird is going to happen to me”! It keeps life exciting, but Joel is so right…we have to look for the good! Thanks!

  11. Kelley Rivers says:

    Glad you are so positive and at the same time praying for those less fortunate. Happy Birthday. Mick Rivers and I just celebrated 21 years of his donation of a kidney to me. :-) Keep up the Great attitude Holly.

  12. rap55 says:

    Holly!!! Happy Birthday!!! I am finally online, although I do have some internet connection issues at times!

    So wonderful to read your words this morning and trust your journey will grow better and better.

    I LOVE YOU!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Holly, I was so excited when I got home and saw you had put a blog out there. Been wondering how you were doing. So good to hear the progress. You are still in my prayers, and I believe in divine healing and God will take care of his children. Well, you have a new grandbaby I hear, congrats to you and Wade. Be sure and give Wade my love, I miss ya’ll so much, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is not another family like your’s out there. Had a lot that I really enjoyed working with, but none like your family. God really bless me with your mom and dad, how is your dad, been wanting to go see him, was working in Jacksonville for about a month, but never got by. I will soon I hope. Tell brother and sisters I said hello, and I miss you all and love you all so much…..love your friend Pat Dawson

  14. Anonymous says:

    what I do remember is that you started your journey right before or right after my birthday,, but i was 2 years old, I was a whopping 61…aweeeeeeee that’s old girl friend…..MAY 23RD

  15. I feel so privileged to know you, and am humbled in the face of your positive spirit. Thanks for taking all of us along on your journey.

    • hollyeasley says:

      Linda, I am the privileged one…it is you, who, with many others have carried me along, keeping me smiling, and making my journey easier to bear! Thank you dear friend!

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