This week is the anniversary of my stem cell transplant. It certainly makes me thoughtful about what’s important to me. First, there are all of you who showed your ‘true colors’ when I was so sick. That’s unforgettable.
Equally unforgettable are the colors of autumn that are returning this week; at one point I wasn’t sure if I would see them again. However, it would be wrong to say I was downcast about it. At that point I was ready to ‘move on’ if that was what lay in the cards.
I’ve spent a lot of time with my family this year; certainly more than in decades. Instead of only traveling to a work conference, I’ve specifically traveled to see the kids and my dear sister, Genie the transplant donor. My sister Meryl came all the way from Israel and camped out with us for weeks to get me through it all. She even sent her son, Dov Baer, to represent her 31 children and grandchildren. Add to that Peter, and Lois...and I wish I could name everyone....
I’ve seen friends like Ron Fishbein whom I hadn’t seen in 30 years and Barry Mennen who has been a fixture in my life (and lived between Ron and me on our ‘booming Brooklyn block’).
I started back swimming this month, which doesn’t sound like much but since the transplant prevented it for a year, it was a big landmark and I missed it.
I’ve returned to work with full force and enthusiasm, and for me, like many, that is a touchstone of what I do and who I am in the world. I can't thank my friends from work enough, at Beaumont and around the world, for having faith that I would return (and keeping my seat warm).
Most of all, I love my wife Karen and owe everything to her. She was with me every day and night throughout some very long and dreary months. You should have someone like her…I strongly recommend it. This photo from our recent New Hampshire vacation is dedicated to her.