Day +2,624: Let your mind rest easy….

“Sleep well my friend
It‘s only our bodies that betray us in the end…

…We are alive
And though our bodies lie alone here in the dark
Our souls and spirits rise…”

(Michael) Mike Orlowicz
May 7th, 1952 – January 17th, 2018
All words are inadequate … or maybe it is the author; so the tag line is from Bruce Springsteen’s “We are Alive” from the Wrecking Ball album.

So now a step back in time…

“…Day +31 Happy New Year (2010)…
Happy New Year and a new beginning, hope food is becoming more tolerable
Debbie and Mike +91 …”

Early in the blog, I likened the whole bone marrow transplant to being a lot like standing on the edge of a cliff…the fear involved depends on the view and if you have to take the next step.

The “+91” was Mike’s day count after his stem cell transplant at Sloan Kettering, and he and Deb were blazing the path, stumbling along, and meandering through this medical miracle towards a life we all hoped would just be normal.

60 days may not seem like a lot, but when you’re looking for blood counts to go from zero to anything, it was Mike’s journey that showed hope and glimpse into a possible future. The scary stuff is always there, and a simple comment from Deb made it easier to deal with the crisis of the moment – the lifeline to be woven into the rope bridge to get beyond the cliff.

As the blog was the primary connection for our parallel journeys, a note here and there was valuable beyond measure and often eased or answered worries of our own. Over the years, as we struggled towards the place called normality, it was easy to lose yourself in yourself. As the Rebirthdays started to add up, the occasional note served to reassure. Then Mike relapsed and underwent the second stem cell transplant. The turmoil on our end was almost paralyzing; Mike was battling for his life again and Deb rededicated as the primary caregiver – What would we do if it happened to Karen? … it’s a question we had the luxury to ponder, the answer is entirely to obvious if one is facing the consequence.

Mike’s spirit and Deb’s love and support let them move on – and to our joy, Karen was extremely pleased that they visited for her fifth Rebirthday, and we all were able to meet for the first time outside of the virtual world.

This is the best memory and the picture to hold in our heart.

Never to be forgotten, you stepped beyond the cliff of the mortal realm and journey outside the twisted tangled paths of time. Farewell until we meet again.

“Across the universe divide,
And when I reach the other side
I find a place to rest my spirit if I can.
Perhaps I may become a Highwayman again
Or I may be a single drop of rain
But I will remain….”

Thank you, Mike and Deb.

Michael and Karen


  1. I am sad and horrified. Such a nice man. We had a real connection the night of your party. We can sometimes actually forget the dark thoughts that creep in occasionally. But not today. RIP Mike.

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