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A community of cancer survivors supporting each other.


Vital Info

Luis M. (lmonzon)

July 27, 2010

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Chicago, Illinois

October 12, 1984

Cancer Survivor

Cancer Info


October 1, 2009



Cancer robs individuals of their God-given right to live.

I've learned humility and patience. I have also gained a greater appreciation for my family and friends.

Become a bone marrow donor, donate blood or both. Consider volunteering as well! :)

Thoughts, prayers and an occasional "How ya doin'?"

Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL

Be vocal and an active participant in your treatment. Voice your concerns to your treatment team. Every question is a good question.

Try not to focus on "why did this happen to me?" Focus on getting better and what you want to do to "pay it forward" once you are well. Remember, this is only temporary.

September 10, 2010

Easily fatigued, night sweats, bone/joint pain, petichae (red spots on face/through-out body), weight-loss, loss of appetite.

PICC Line & Hickman Line placement.

Unrelated Allogeniec Stem-Cell Transplant August 18th, 2010 Neutropenia Mucositis (Mouth Sores) Nausea, Diarrhea, Vomiting Easily Fatigued Change in taste Anxiety



Luis M.'s Cancer Blog

Meeting My Hero

Hello friends, About 3-months ago I posted about having the opportunity and honor of meeting someone very special. Over the holidays I was finally able to meet the woman who selflessly joined the Be The Match marrow registry and saved my life. Usually I'm good at expressing myself through my posts but this experience has left me at a loss for words. So, I made a video instead. I hope you enjoy and join me in my efforts to grow this very important registry. Hope, strength and healing to all my fellow patients and survivors! Hugs, Luis =) Angels do's mine! [[Me_and_My_Hero]]
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Thank you, this is truly wonderful. I wish I could stay on the registry. Put this on YouTube so the world can see it!!!
Luis, I watched this again and I cannot imagine how it would feel...thank you for sharing...a big hug from far west Texas...
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 Thanks Helen! The video has already received nearly 2,900 views on YouTube. I wonder how many of those have joined the registry. Big hug to you as well!
Amazing story! :) thank you for sharing... tears...
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Great you were able to meet your donor. Mine unfortunately has decided to remain annonymous. Just know the donor is a 34 year old male. Still have the letters from my kids and myself. The donors in the bank truely are heros.
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Hello friends- I haven't posted in about 3 months. You see something pretty amazing has happened in these three months. It's taken me awhile to wrap my head around it and to organize my thoughts. Today, I want to talk about what I am thankful for this thanksgiving season. I am thankful for the extra time I have been given. I now consider everyday since that night in the E.R. in October 2009, a gift. I do not consider my cancer a curse or a punishment; bad luck...perhaps. A blessing in disguise...most definitely! Don't get me wrong. I'm all for gaining new perspectives on life without the use of Chemotherapy and Bone Marrow Transplants but I have come to accept that these were the cards that were dealt to me. So, I have two options. I can feel sorry for myself and live the rest of my life asking, "Why me?" Or, I can try to find the good in what has happened over the past 2 years and use those experiences for the good of others. I've chosen the latter. About 3 months ago, I met the newest member of my family. Her name is Ana. About 3 years ago there was a recruitment drive organized at her workplace where she stood in line and joined the national Be The Match bone marrow registry. In May 2010, Ana was notified that she was a possible match to a 25 year old male who was suffering with Leukemia. She went in for further testing and was told in June 2010 that she was a match. On August 16th, 2010 she underwent a procedure called PBSC donation where her Stem Cells were harvested and collected in a bag (similar to blood donation). That bag was then flown to my treatment center where I received them on August 18th, 2010. I had the privelege of communicating with Ana 1 year post transplant. She emailed me. I read her message while I was at work and I nearly fell out of my chair. I had finally met the person that saved my life! She sent me a slideshow of pictures of her donation process. In one of the pictures she is looking straight into the camera. I felt like she was looking right at me. I felt like I knew her. Her blood runs through my veins afterall. In fact, my blood type transitioned from O+ to A+...Ana's blood type. I expressed to her these feelings and that I gained a big-sister because of all of this. My own little sister wasn't a match for me but Ana, a complete stranger, was my best chance for survival. In December, I will be traveling to visit her. The details are not worked out yet but I will finally get to meet my hero. What do you say to the person that saved your life? I want to come up with something where I can show her that her "gift" is being put to good use. I want to demonstrate to her that not only has she saved a life, but she has impacted countless lives. My family. My friends. My co-workers. The patients I work with. Because of her, my parents still have their son. My sister has her big-brother. My best friend still has a friend. My patients have somewhere to turn for hope. The list goes on... I am beyond thankful for Ana. I am thankful for all that I have gained from the past 2 years. I am thankful that I am still alive and that I have extra-time to enjoy the little things in life. I am thankful that I work with cancer patients every day. I am thankful that I am acheiving "normalcy" everyday. I am thankful that I am returning to school (after 8 years...ahhh!) in January. To the cancer fighters and survivors reading this: Don't give up. Keep holding on. I know this is easier said than done but remember that the light at the end of the tunnel get's closer everyday. Strength, Healing and Happy Holidays to you all, Luis :) Meet my hero: My_Hero
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rigidridr sent you a prayer.
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Oh. There are really no words for this. She is a true hero. It's incredible that you have been able to plan a meeting and look forward to seeing the photographs of such an amazing reunion! I signed up many years ago to be a donor, but was never called - and now I'm not only too old but also a cancer fighter, so I can't be an Ana for anyone now. It makes me sad. All I can do is pester everyone else who can to do it!!! XOXOXO
Luis I had my Allo BMT from an unrelated donor Feb. 2011. All I am allowed to know at this point is that he is 36 yrs old and he is from Germany. I have to wait 2 yrs to learn more about him only if he is willing. I was allowed to write to him. The letter went through my Cancer Center so he would not know my idenity. I know how you feel. It was so hard for me to write that letter. How do you say thank you to someone who gave you life. These donors must be amazing people. Let us know how it goes when you meet your hero. Different subject. When did you get your taste back? Bill
That is so cool! I got my cells this last September 20 from one of my sisters; and I feel so blessed especially since she is the only one wih no serious health problems in our family. I'm still recovering but everyday gets better. Anyway, it's so cool that you get to meet your donor! :)
That is so cool Luis. All I know about my donor is that he is a 34 year old male. I have tried a few times to gain contact with no success. Would like so much to let him know how much his selfless donation has meant to me and my family after nearly 2 years. Keep fighting the fight. I will do the same.
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Day +365

Hello friends- One year ago today, on August 18th, I was born...again. A total stranger decided to join the national bone marrow registry and because of her selflessness I am alive today. A year post-stem cell transplant I'm feeling good! Words can not express the gratitude I feel in my heart towards the woman who saved my life. Words can not express how thankful I am to be alive. All of the emotions racing through my mind are difficult to convey to you. Last week, I had my 1yr post-transplant work-up, which meant 9 tubes of blood were drawn, breathing tests and a dreaded bone marrow biopsy. I have to admit, the biopsy wasn't too bad this time (Thank God for pharmaceuticals...I was pretty 'high'). I have to admit...I was a little anxious last Thursday. I started reliving some, not so pleasant moments I experienced during treatment. Transplant moments. Moments I never want to live through again. For a few hours, those "cancer wounds" felt like they re-opened. The cancer wanted to take control again...I don't think so! I let my tears roll down my cheek, dried them off and walked into clinic with a smile on my face. I remembered the good that has come out off all of this. The new relationships I've made that would have never otherwise happened if it weren't for my cancer. My appreciation for the little things in life has increased ten fold. Humility, patience, generosity, compassion, love...all virtues that I have learned this past year. 1 year ago I was given a beautiful gift. I'm at a loss for words! :') -Luy P.S. To all the cancer fighters & caregivers reading this...strength and healing to you all!
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Luis, thank you for this, you have expressed so beautifully emotions that I have felt in this cancer journey. I never understood the idea that it was somehow a gift until I fought my own battle. You are a young man and have a long life ahead of you - appreciating the little things that make life a wonder. I have been on the bone marrow list for years - in honor of my father - but of course now they would not want my blood or bone marrow, and I'll probably be too old when the five years post-cancer period is over. I will encourage friends and family who can to join. Please keep posting! And be well. A big hug for you.
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Hi have such a talent for expressing yourself and making others able to relate to what you're saying. God bless you and your donor for making it possible for you to be reborn. Mari
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Luis, You are such an inspiration to me. Whenever I am feeling sorry for myself, I think of you and what you have been through. I admire your strength and courage. Always, Lena
Luis M. likes this comment
Luis, What a beautiful tribute to those who register and are willing to donate. You have been such an inspiration. You are looking great!
Dear Luis, I hope you had a great "First Birthday" this week!
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