A new birthday

Day zero; Transplant day. October 24, 2012

The bone marrow transplant nurses call the day of the transplant the patient's birthday.  I think it is very fitting that our sweet Lorelei gets to celebrate THREE birthdays; her physical birthday, her spiritual birthday and now her cancer-free birthday.

Lorelei woke up this morning at 4:30 and has remained awake. (She would like me to add that she awoke because nobody here lets her sleep.)  It's an exciting day. She's been watching Thunder video and interviews trying to understand the possible psychological plan behind the decision to play Harden and sit out Durant and Westbrook in last night's game against the Bulls and trying to determine the best man to place in the last spot of the 15 man roster.  She gives me an analysis of the strengths of each player and how they work together as a team to be even greater than the sum of their parts. Her basketball IQ amazes me. She truly loves the Thunder. And they certainly have loved her! I am so grateful that she has had this special relationship with them to allow her to focus on something positive during some very dark times in her life.

Yesterday (the "Day of Rest" in the transplant process) was filled with wonderful visitors. It's amazing how God sends the perfect people into your life at the perfect time.  One of those yesterday was Brittany Swank. She entered Lorelei's room and introduced her self. We'd never actually met her before. She is a beautiful young woman with precious freckles (like Lorelei) and very short hair.  In fact, her hair is about the length one would expect of someone who had been bald only a couple of months ago. It suited her perfectly; highlighted her striking features even better than long hair could have. What was even more beautiful about Brittany was her spirit. She too had been diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma in January 2012. Her treatment facilities were different than ours so our paths did not cross there. Kevin's cousin Mike (who's been battling a brain tumor) met her during his treatment.  As is the case with most Christians on the cancer journey they reached out to each other and Mike told Brittany about Lorelei. So Brittany began following Lorelei's journey and praying for her. Brittany completed her chemo and resumed her education and is in the final weeks of her training to become a Physical Therapist. She'll be here at OU Medical the entire time Lorelei is here for the transplant! Brittany even knows Sky Reeder who is another Hodgkin's warrior God sent to Lorelei. They go to the same church in Stillwater.  Sometimes (most of the time) it amazes me how "small" the world is. Lorelei and Brittany talked for quite a while and were particularly cute when talking about their boyfriends. Brittany prayed over Lorelei before she left.  What a gift.

After Brittany left I asked Lorelei a question. I asked her how it makes her feel to meet so many people who have beaten Hodgkin's Lymphoma without having to go through RICE chemo or a stem cell transplant.  There are many; Sky, Torbin, Elizabeth, Austin, Brittany, Blake.  Lorelei's answer was typical Lorelei. She was happy for them. She was not focused on the "Why couldn't I have been one of those?" question. Yes, that question crossed her mind.  But she has never let it stay there. She carefully choses what she will allow her mind to focus on. She trusts that God has a purpose in the more difficult path she's been given.

Happy Birthday Lorelei.

1 comment (Add your own)

1. Chelsea (Just) Merideth wrote:
I have been reading and following Lorelei's journey, and I can't help but remember first time I saw her. She was a little little girl toddling around Cherokee Hills Baptist Church with her blonde hair in baby pigtails. What a beautiful young woman she has grown to be. Her faith and love for God is contagious. And since I have recently become a mother and have a daughter of my own I can relate with you, Andrea, so much more. I not only pray for Lorelei, I also pray for you and your loved ones!
Happy Birthday to Lorelei, I don't know if she remembers me but let her know she is in my families prayers and I think she is one of the bravest girls I know!
With love,
Chelsea (Just) Merideth

Wed, October 24, 2012 @ 9:05 PM

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