A call to action. A cry for help. An opportunity for you to realize your power to give strength to someone affected by a blood cancer (Leukemia, Lymphoma, and Myeloma). Get involved. Make someone stronger.
I am Ekata, Adarsh’s sister.
On May 25, 2011, my doctor called to tell me I had Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL). The first thoughts that came to mind were – How am I going to tell my parents? How am I going to tell my brother who is a grown man, but still my baby brother?
Will I be around to meet my brother’s kids? Will they know me or just hear stories about me?
How is it possible that I may not be around to take care of my parents? They spent their whole life taking care of us and now it was our turn to do the same for them.
If I do live through this, will I ever be healthy enough to be a mom?
So many questions and thoughts flooded my mind, but that was nothing compared to how difficult it was going to be for me to share this news with my family. Telling them about my condition was harder than hearing the news myself.
After the initial shock and as things settled in, it was no surprise that the message from everyone was the same, “We will beat this together.” and “You are not alone.”
Every day since that day, we find strength in each other and those around us.
I have been tremendously lucky in the amount of love and support I have received from my family, friends, acquaintances and strangers. Whether it’s a silly text to make me laugh, inspirational anecdotes, a night out, booking a trip for me or keeping me company on my sofa when I’m not well enough to do anything else…each of these gestures #makemestronger.
Strength helps us deal with our situations and prepares us for what may lie ahead.
Although my bad days are starting to outweigh the good, I’m blessed to be healthy enough that I’m not in the hospital. I’m able to visit with family, go out with friends, enjoy the city and do whatever it is I want on my good days because I value them so much more. I’m not sure if and when that will change.
So, we take it day by day. Hoping and praying for the best, while we try and prepare ourselves for the worst.
Unfortunately, these emotions and the journey ahead for my family and me, regardless of the outcome, is not a unique one.
There are several people living with a blood cancer who need or may need a bone marrow transplant before their fight with their disease is over. There are several families looking for a match for a loved one. There are people whose lives have ended too early because they couldn’t find a match.
Although this site is inspired by my situation, my story is only one of hundreds. I am only one of thousands that was diagnosed with leukemia in 2011.
Initially, I was very reluctant about my family creating a page for me, feeling all the natural emotions of increased awareness of my condition and the additional attention that I may receive as a result of it.
If I’m being honest, I didn’t think I would ever be 100% comfortable but I try and remind myself of one of the many beliefs my parents have instilled in my brother and me. They always told us that everything happens for a reason. Regardless of whether it’s apparent to us right now or not, and despite the situation, there is a purpose and something that can be done that is bigger than self.
I can no longer ever be a donor for someone else, but there must be something that I can do…
I recently heard that a 19 year old young man we had done drives for passed away. To some, I may be young, but compared to him, my life would be considered a full one.
Maybe my story will reach people who have been fortunate enough to not have been touched by this terrible disease. I could use my situation to create awareness for the need for bone marrow registrants, help convince minorities to register and dispel myths that people have about bone marrow donations.
Maybe I could be a voice for a cause that could use more voices and that will #makemestronger.
Read my updated story – “Heartbroken”