I’ve written a lot in various places over the decades [and] I went searching for this post about my relationship with our son. I wrote this 3 years after the transplant [and] it reflects my persevering belief that joy, loss, [and] grief can co-exist without diminishing the significance of any one of the others.
From February 2011:
“Tonight, our son was sitting on the counter watching as I added the cold water to a batch of BLUE jello. After I put the jello in the refrigerator, I hugged my little man. He wrapped his legs around my waist, I lifted him off the counter and whirled him around in my arms.
I must confess I did not want to put him down for in THAT moment my 7 year old was four years old again.
You see, I vividly remember holding him in my arms at the Cleveland Clinic, then putting him down on 12/10/2007 not once thinking that 16 months along with my heart would pass before I would be able to do so again.
Scooping him up, nestling into his neck, showering him with kisses, joying in his giggle, whirling around in circles was the stuff our days were made of, lifted hugs were an [everyday-many-times-a-day] kind of thing with us.
He was FOUR years old, a babe in arms when I placed his feet on the ground that day.
He was my little bundle of snips and snails, and puppy dog tails;
my first born, only born;
flesh of my flesh;
the one I was told I would never carry within;
the one who now carries the ONLY remnant of my heart.
He carries my heart.
My heart pumps life blood through him.
My heart works for his good, God’s glory.
My heart is not lost.
My heart remains standing fast in him.
THAT little boy became a teenager this week [and] my joy in him and over my presence in his life, his in mine THIS day, every day is truly inexpressible.
She has been a cancer patient, survivor, heart transplant recipient and documentary film producer.
As a child, she was successfully treated for Ewing’s Sarcoma. Her experience led her to become a nurse serving the physical, psychosocial, and educational needs of children, adolescents, and their families along the cancer trajectory.
Stephanie holds a B.A. in Psychology from Furman University, and a B.S., and M.S in Nursing from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Florida. At Dartmouth, Stephanie helped establish the Survivorship Clinic with Eric Larsen, MD and Sara Chaffee, MD. This clinic provided ongoing personal support and education for childhood cancer survivors and their families.
In April 2008, Stephanie’s heart failed as a result of the radiation and Doxorubicin used to cure her Ewing’s Sarcoma as a child. She received a heart transplant at the Cleveland Clinic.
As a result of this experience, she co-produced an award winning documentary ‘Resilient: the Story of Late Effects of Cancer Treatment’, highlighting the challenges faced by survivors, families, and friends.
Stephanie resides in the metro Atlanta area with her husband and their 12-year-old-son. The Zimmermans enjoy everything from Formula One Racing and college & NFL football to go carting, ziplining, and cycling.
Please feel free to contact Stephanie at email@example.com.
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