Sunday, February 17, 2013


I have some AMAZING NEWS today!!!

I can now officially say:


Yesterday my counts went WAY up, meaning that my sister’s cells have officially “engrafted” to my bone marrow!! With my white cell counts coming up to an almost normal level, most of the pain and side effects I’ve had have almost magically disappeared and finally left a happy, comfortable Sarah. Today I was talking with my Aunt and said something about me having cancer; she said, “Sweetie, you don’t have cancer anymore.” It totally took me by surprise. I knew I was going to be cancer free after my transplant, but the engraftment makes it official. WOW. Thinking about all I’ve been through since this whole process began, from mid-September to as little as 3 days ago, I can’t believe that I’m moving from being a cancer patient to a cancer survivor. The word survivor holds so much meaning for me: it means that I was challenged to fight for the rest of my life, and I not only stepped up to the plate…I WON.

As I lay in my hospital bed with tears of joy but exhaustion from a long and difficult battle, I’m preparing for the last leg of my journey. Although it’s been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, I have worked my butt off through this entire transplant. Although I was really sick, in pain, and exhausted from getting chemo and radiation before my transplant, every day on the bone marrow transplant floor I had to meet certain goals: Be out of bed and in a chair for 10 hours a day; eat 1,500 calories a day; exercise 60 minutes a day; and take 2 baths a day. All of these measures are to make sure that patients stay strong during transplant since it’s such a critical time. Staying in bed all day, for example, can very easily cause pneumonia, which could be fatal to someone with low white blood cell counts. While it was extremely difficult to meet all of my goals, I was absolutely determined to get out of this hospital as soon as possible. In order to be discharged from the hospital, the nurses had to have charted that I was accomplishing all my daily tasks no matter how high my counts were. My doctor estimated about 2 weeks from transplant until I could leave, but my social worker warned me that most people take 3-4 weeks to reach the eating and exercise goals. However, my doctor told me I was ready to leave on DAY 12 after transplant!!! I had worked so hard every day, even when I was feeling sick or in pain, and it ended up paying off. All those prayers for strength and endurance were definitely heard, so thank you for all of you guys who were praying for me! <3

Here are some awesome pictures from the actual transplant:

 My brave little donor who saved my life <3 Love you, Mary!!!

As I said above, I’m now on the homestretch: getting ready for the rest of my 100 days that I’ll spend in an extended-stay hotel. It’s actually a really nice room that’s almost like a little apartment for me! I still have strict rules to follow about diet, exercise, and keeping myself away from germs. However, to me this is like the sprint at the end of a marathon; the finish line is finally in sight. Thoughts of going back to school, going on vacation, or even just little things like going shopping or going out to eat are keeping my head up and becoming more real every day!

Overall right now, life is GOOD. I’m almost pain-free, I’m out of the hospital in just a day or two, and I STILL have amazing family and friends supporting me every step of this final sprint. Tonight, I’m praising God and counting my blessings for a successful transplant that is giving me years and years of LIFE and a life that will be lived with more contentment and meaning than I would have found otherwise. “Living life to the fullest” sure does have a whole new meaning to a girl who can now say that she is a SURVIVOR.

Love love love,

P.s. This song was all I could think about while writing this post, so enjoy a little old school Beyonce ;)


  1. You are my hero. You are so bad ass Sarah. There is no other way to say it. You are so inspiring and so strong. I love you so much and will always love you! :) Can't wait to see your beautiful face again! :) Nothing can get in your way now. Nothing can stop you from life, from living. Finish strong! :)

  2. : ] AHHHHHHH!!!!!! My entire sorority has been thinking of you! They always want to hear more news and now I have the best! Keep it up, girly!!! You are so wonderfully strong and beautiful! <3 I sending my love to you and your entire family!! <3 <3 <3 Survivor has an amazing ring to it!

  3. Hi Sarah, I am so happy for you and praising God for what he has done for you.

  4. Connor Parker's mom here. Sarah, we are all so please with how you have handled everything that has been thrown at you this past year. Survivor is correct! Keep up the good work, and let us know if we can do anything for you.

  5. Sarah, I'm your g-ma Vivs cousin Ellen. She shared your blog & transplant news on FB & I prayed for you & your family, & shared your blig on my wall & asked everyone to pray for you! You have an amazing prayer chain going from afar! Reading your blog tonight it brought tears of joy & gave me goose bumps! Im so happy for you, God is watching over you & you are surely blessed. Godspeed through the last leg of your journey. ~ <3 Ellen