Desiree:           Yeah. The good things that came out of getting transplant for me is I got to finish school. I’m a nurse now. And really, my life turned around completely. I just feel 100% better. I’m not on any medications or anything. I just feel like I’m moving forward in life instead of just being stuck in pain.

Desiree, Jackie and Tony talk about how an adult stem cell transplant changed their lives.

Tony:                Just think of the mental satisfaction that you have now. I mean, what’s that worth? Because you can’t put a price on that.

Desiree:           Exactly, you can’t.

Jackie:              Okay, so when you see a patient in pain like you went through, are you more compassionate or you feel…?

Desiree:           I’m a lot more compassionate. I feel like I am just so gentle with people because I know how it is to be in pain and how it is to be in that position. I just feel like I’m a little more gentle with people than most people would be.

Jackie:              Empathetic. That’s how I feel too. Since the adult stem cell transplant, and everything that I’ve gone through, as an occupational therapist working with my patients, I just am so empathetic. I’m so empathetic. I give them all the time in the world. I hated  when a doctor would come in, and not listen to me. I want you to listen to me, take the time. Now, I give my patients that. I listen to them. I take the time that they need and I try to make it that. Today is all about them and I’m not going to rush anything.

Tony:                After I had my stem cell, then I started getting better and things are going back to normal. I said, “I know now why I’m here. I’m here to help other people”. Just like what we’re doing right now. I mean, just think about how many people from this day forward, that us three are going to help.

Jackie:              Yeah, and you’re a nurse and I’m a therapist.

Tony:                That’s why we’re still here. I’ll tell you another attitude change that I had after that is of course, when they sent me home from this big hospital and told me that I had 120 days to live, that really hit deep and really will get you thinking,  get your mind going 120 miles an hour about what you used to do. Of course, you’re not going to be able to do anymore. But nowadays that everything is okay again, sometimes, I’ll stop and smell the roses. Like right now, this little gentle breeze that we got blowing along here, I noticed that. I noticed these people walking, or bike riders, whatever. I wouldn’t have noticed that kind of thing but now, I notice those kinds of things because I guess, it just got me to the point where maybe I slowed down a little bit and just started-

Jackie:              Appreciating life.

Tony:                I’m glad I do because it’s a sign that I’m taking time, and life versus letting life pass me by. I think stem cell transplant helped me to do that