I had my blood drawn today. Seven vials to be exact. The most I’ve ever had drawn at once was 12 vials so this wasn’t so bad. Sister, our second cousin, and I all have had lymphoma. We share a set of genes that know how to line up and release a chain of events — a perfectly horrific symphony, whose sole achievement is to kill it’s most captive audience of one. What is it that we share? I want to find out what’s in me that has the chutzpah to do such an act. I’m tired of these shadows lurking around my family and so I jumped at the opportunity to participate in a study that is seeking to identify genetic factors in close relatives with lymphoma. My body is now forever tainted from cancer. So much so, that I’ll never be able to donate blood again or anything else for that matter. Today, I donated my tainted blood for the last time.
I sat there and stared at my blood in those small vials. Seven vials of vile blood, I thought. I began to feel hatred. In a way, just the sight of my blood made me sick. If my blood were a person, I would slug them in the face and drop kick them across the room. I hate that something from my own body has been so evil. I hate that it did this to me. What did I ever do to you? I cared for you, fed you, clothed you, cherished you. What more could I have done? My blood has a dirty secret and now is the time to let it go and to reveal it to the world. It’s ok, you’ll feel better when you come clean, just be honest. And so, as I held each vial, warm from the heat of my own body, and while I carefully placed a label on each one with my name and medical record, I thought, you betrayed me once, but this is your time, your time to shine. Reveal yourself. Come clean. Tell us your secret. Please, make me proud. Just help them find a cure.