October 18, 2011
flip of a coin
Have you ever had a moment in life where your very survival was distilled down to two very real and very different possibilities? I can think of one instant in my life. I had climbed Mt. Kenya and while coming down at the very end of the trip when things are supposed to be safe and triumphant, I came face to face with a cape buffalo. I was five feet away from him and if the bull charged, there was little chance I'd survive. My climbing guide had lost his dad to a cape buffalo so it wasn't a trivial thing. For what seemed like an eternity but in reality only lasted a second or two, my existence was called into question. Fortunately, the bull didn't feel much like goring me and gave a warning snort and wave of the horns that I promptly honored. I imagine that's what life must be like for my dad right now. His brother, the donor, is down at MD Anderson again. He's in the apheresis unit again. They've given him shots to stimulate his stem cells again. And they're collecting his blood again. All to see if he's able to produce the stem cells. If he is, then my dad gets a very good chance at life. If not, and that proverbial bull rushes, who knows what will happen - will we find an unrelated donor, how good of a match will they be, how long will it take, how many complications? It seems as fickle as the flip of a coin.