I have a story to tell and it's a good one. This is how it ends...I'm dieting and I'm not cheating. Here's how it begins...Ten years ago, I saw on the news, a sick man. He couldn't have been more than 30 and he had cancer and was dying. The newscaster told everyone, who wanted to help, to go to Layton (about 30 miles from my home) and see if you could be a bone marrow donor. It was a Saturday, and I decided I should go. As I arrived (out of my comfort zone and all alone, I was grumpy), I saw a hundred or so people in lines and people giving a blood sample. I filled out the paperwork and the volunteer told me I needed to pay $60.00, so they could process my blood. As I said, I was already grumpy, now they wanted money. For some reason, I had put the checkbook in my purse that day, but feeling duped, I wasn't going to part with the $60.00. Beside, things were tight, so I just couldn't. I turned to leave and there sat the sick man. He was the color of a brown paper bag. It wasn't natural. His face was gaunt. He played with his little boy. I turned back and took out my checkbook.
I wasn't a match for him and I never did hear whether or not he lived. I hope he did, but he sure looked sick.
It's been ten years since that happened and about two months ago, I was called by the Be The Match program. They thought I might be a match. They asked me a long series of questions. (i.e. Have I had sex with a man, who's had sex with a man in the last 3 months?) Then, I had to go give blood samples. Then, I had to answer more questions. (Was I planning on getting pregnant within the next six months? I answered, 'Only if George Clooney insists.') Actually, other than the 'George' comment, I played it straight and told the complete truth. Except for one question? How much do you weigh? I lied by 30 lbs. All in all, they've asked me that question three times and all in all, I've lied every time.
So, one month ago, Be The Match called again. I'm a match for a 50 year old lady (I'm 51) and she has leukemia. I started to cry. What if she was a new grandma, like me? What if, a lot of things. I couldn't stop thinking about her. Be a Donor asked me my weight again. I lied again. I've discovered I'm a chronic liar about two questions: How much do you weigh? and Did you buy a new purse? I can't help it. I feel pushed up against a block wall, my heart pounds, and the lies roll right off my tongue. (Don't get too judgmental, it's tough, I'm telling you.)
So I'm dieting for my dignity. It's amazing how well I'm doing under such pressure. I've also had nightmares about me making this poor lady sicker because there might be a fat to blood ratio that I've far surpassed.
Here's the good news in all this. It turns out, there is no donor site in Utah. They have to fly me to San Francisco on June 4th where I'll donate the marrow and I get to go with a friend (husband) and stay two nights. I've told my husband, we are telling everyone I won a free trip to San Francisco, so they'll think I'm lucky. Isn't that great? (But apparently, I now lie about a third thing.)
I'll keep everyone posted on my how my weight loss is going. Today, tears...lots and lots of tears. What if this doesn't work for the lady? There has to be people praying for her and hoping for her. I pray for her. It has to work, but the responsibility is weighing me down (oh, get it?). Also, I find it odd that I'm going to be so close to her and yet I'll never know what happens. At least, I think they don't tell you what happens. Why would they? When I donate to the food bank, no one calls and says, "Hey, a nice lady named, Marie, took your can of chili." So I'll always wonder and worry and hope and pray and right now...DIET!