Three Years Out….just thinkin

Today is my 3rd birthday!  Three years ago I received a stem cell transplant at MD Anderson Cancer Center.  For the past week, I’ve just been doing a lot of thinking.

Thinking about Robert, my donor.  It was because of Robert’s totally unselfish, brave, and life saving act of donating his stem cells to a complete stranger, that I am writing this post today.  He was 19 years old at the time.  Even if he wasn’t my donor, I would still be completely impressed with Robert!  We had a great time together last summer in Chicago, along with my husband, Wade, Robert’s girlfriend, Theresa, and friends, Josh and Nicole.  Since Robert and I both like baseball, we attended a major league game in Chicago, the White Sox vs the Yankees (on that very day it was decided A-Rod could play…we sat 13 rows above 3rd base, and it was awesome!).  One perfect moment of this trip was getting a cab with Robert that had a Be The Match ad on top of the car with a photo of Robin Roberts!  It was mind blowing, and I really don’t feel like it was a random thing! 



Thinking about how my life has changed.  I have a new ability to see people and things differently.  Call it intuitiveness, perceptiveness, achtung.  My priorities have changed.  I see things differently.  I have felt more connected to people, more caring toward people.  Just one example…last year while staying at the Greenbriar in West Virginia,I felt compelled to make friends with the doorman who has been employed there for more than 50 years.  We became great friends, and have in fact, corresponded.  His name is Frankie, and he is a loveable, perfect gentle man. He was very cautious not to breech any confidentialities, but did tell me Bob Hope was one of his favorite guests!   He was going to church that night and put me on their prayer list.  Here is a photo of Frankie and me.  (And go to the Greenbriar if you can!  It is an unbelievable place!)



Thinking about MD Anderson Cancer Center, what a great institution it is, and how many lives they have saved.   Thinking about how caring and professional the staff is.  And my Awesome Doctors!  They truly are the best, the cream of the crop, unparalelled.  Dr.Garcia-Manero, my MDS doctor, and Dr. Hosing, my stem cell transplant doctor.  I can’t thank them enough!


Thinking about my husband Wade, my care giver.  He truly gave me the best care in the most loving, understanding way.  He provided me the opportunity to receive the best care in the world at MD Anderson.  And his caring and love never ends!  Thank you Wade!


Thinking about my family and the sacrifices they have made for me, and the unconditional love they have for me.  Thinking about my adorable grandchildren whom I love deeply am able to act normal and crazy with now that I am well.  This thought brings me back to Robert…


Thinking about Robert, who made this all possible for me.  Thinking about how thankful I am for him.  Thinking about how alike (but different) we are.  Thinking about how much I love him.  Thinking about how excited I am to see him and Theresa in just 3 1/2 weeks!  Thinking about how it was a “meant to be” thing that he joined the Be The Match registry.


It’s been a wonderful, eye-opening, blessed, amazing journey!  Thank you Robert!



Wade, Holly, Robert, Theresa

6 thoughts on “Three Years Out….just thinkin

  1. Reading this post truly lifted my spirits! You bring us such hope! My husband is now at 19-months post-transplant and doing very well. We signed the paperwork at the one-year mark to meet our donor, but he has not responded yet. We hope to one day connect as you and Robert have! Warm wishes and continued prayers to you and yours and all others on this crazy journey! ❤ Laura

  2. Julie B says:

    Happy birthday, Holly! Wishing you another fabulous, healthy year — and many, many, many more!!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    You and Wade went out of your way to see me and Jimmy at MDA. This meant the world to us. Your story has encouraged me MANY times! I to hope to meet my donor someday if he is willing. My target date is June 26th to go home.
    I am so thankful that GOD allowed us to go to MDAnderson. HAPPY BIRTHDAY #3!!!! I love you!
    GOD’s Blessings,

  4. Anonymous says:

    Holly I enjoyed the pictures. You are looking great. Love that red hair. I miss you and Jan. Your Mom and Dad. It was a short time but it was a wonderful time. Prayers are always given for you and your family and people like Robert.

  5. Fonda says:

    I’m a 48-yr-old single mom of 2 teenage sons. I was dx with Castlemans disease in 1993 after having splenectomy & lymph nodes biopsied. I have lived a relatively healthy life with this disease, having only a few benign nodes removed in abdomen, suffering from moderate night sweats & occasional fevers. However, I had a terrifying grand mal seizure a few weeks ago which led to an MRI which revealed “abnormal masses” in my dura region of brain. Just got home from JHH yesterday after having a LF craniotomy biopsy to determine if this is Castlemans yet again. Does anyone know of anyone who has had this disease occur in their brain? I’m nervous about 10 day follow up for results of biopsy. Although, my PET & lumbar puncture revealed no evidence of cancer so far.

  6. Garry Yosten says:

    Celebrate Life! It is HUGE what you and Wade went through! And yes, you do see all people as worthy of the extending LOVE of JESUS CHRIST our Savior! But along life, we get blinded thinking our way is the best way. And we do not KNOW what others have been taught and conditioned to believe. So extend LOVE and lead by example. Embrace LIFE! Hug anyone that looks like they need a hug. Smile at everyone, for we do not know what they walk. And who are we to say! We are God’s People, not GOD! Walk humbly. Love what has been given to us and protect it for it is a Gift from GOD! Robert will blessed for what he did on this earth. It is part of his inheritance. He is as blessed as YOU are Holly! Happy Birthday! Just got my wireless computer set up and I do not have the gift of technology (haha). Love Linda

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