It had been two days since I went to get tested to see if I was a bone marrow match for London, and I had just got off the phone with the doctor, who told me my results. I needed to call London.
“Hey, Paris. What’s up?”
“Nothing much. How do you feel today?”
“Okay, just tired. How was your day?”
“Well, I just got off the phone with the doctor who told me the results of my bone marrow test.”
“We aren’t soul sisters for nothing— I’m a match!”
The next week, my mom and I had a doctor’s appointment so they could make sure that, besides just being a match for London, my bone marrow was healthy enough to be donated. I passed everything perfectly and could not have been happier.
However, the doctor then began to describe the procedure of how they would be extracting the bone marrow. It was considered surgery and I would have to be put under anesthesia. I clenched my jaw. I could feel my mom look at me. I just kept nodding and did not say much else.
The doctor finished the appointment by telling me that if for any reason I decided to not go through with the procedure, I would have to let him know within a week. If not, he would see me for surgery on February 4— our birthday.
Surgery and going under anesthesia. Two of my greatest fears.
When I was five years old, my mom’s appendix burst, and she was rushed into emergency surgery. The nurses told my dad and me that it was a fairly simple surgery and that we did not need to worry. It ended up taking an hour longer than expected, and when she finally got out of surgery, she would not wake up from the anesthesia.
A half hour that felt like days went by, and my mom finally woke up. Everyone was afraid that she would have irreversible brain damage. Thankfully, everything was fine, but I will never forget how scared I was. That day instilled a fear in me that, to this day, I have not shaken. What if my body did not react well to the bone marrow being extracted and it led to complications? What if after I went under anesthesia, I did not wake up? For the first time, I questioned my decision to donate my bone marrow to London and was not sure what I was going to do.
That night, I went to bed early because I wanted to stop thinking about the choice I would have to make within the next week. I fell asleep right away, and something that had not happened in years occurred. I dreamed of my dad.