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Without the Organ Donor

"Without the organ donor, there is no story, no hope, no transplant. But when there is an organ donor, life springs from death, sorrow turns to hope, and a terrible loss becomes a gift." ~UNOS Without my organ donor, both her story [and] my story, would have ended on 4/21/2008; her story at 17 [and] … Continue reading Without the Organ Donor

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Life Goal: Celebrate Everything [and] Pay It Forward

Eleven years ago this month, my heart was failing, I was dying, and my last life goal was to live to see our son turn 5 thinking that he might have a memory or 2 of me that were his and not merely stories someone had told him about me. I'll never forget his 5th … Continue reading Life Goal: Celebrate Everything [and] Pay It Forward

April: Organ Donation Awareness Month

Did you know that April is organ donation awareness month? It would not surprise me if your answer is no as organ donation awareness is somewhat of a taboo subject largely because it involves acknowledging our own mortality. We, as a culture, are not comfortable with death as a reality. Did you know that the … Continue reading April: Organ Donation Awareness Month

Find Your Tribe

"Find your Tribe'. it's a matter of great import [and] I’ve got some thoughts to share on this under-addressed, yet oh so critical aspect of the lived experience of cancer from diagnosis and treatment to the end of active treatment and the living out of the cure. Cancer is a chronic process whether we are … Continue reading Find Your Tribe

Rosemary [and] Remembrance

"There's rosemary; that's for remembrance: pray, love, remember." ~William Shakespeare It was Sunday morning at the hospice house. It had been 3 days since I spoke with my mom for the last time as delirium and paranoia set in [and] she finally slipped into a coma. Her last words to me, “hey Stephie!” followed by the … Continue reading Rosemary [and] Remembrance

An Open Letter to Healthcare Providers

Although professionally, I was a pediatric oncology nurse practitioner prior to my heart transplant, I write this letter as an individual who lives with long-lasting late effects stemming from the successful treatment of Ewing's Sarcoma as a child in the late 1970's along with the daily implications of immunosuppression. Dear Healthcare Providers, I write because I … Continue reading An Open Letter to Healthcare Providers