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“Every day is a gift.”

Those are the sentiments of long-time Eudora resident Nancy Staples after her third bone marrow transplant in seven years.  She feels grateful for each day she has to enjoy her family, her friends and her church.  She is thrilled to just be alive.

Staples, 67, was first diagnosed with multiple myeloma—bone marrow cancer—in 2006.  She had her first transplant right before Christmas that year.  Before the procedure, she received chemotherapy shots in her abdomen for several months.  Then her bone marrow was removed, filtered and transplanted into her bones.  Enough bone marrow was frozen to use for her second transplant as well.  She received that second transplant in 2009 and the third in 2013.

The hardest part for Staples was the isolation required after a transplant.  It meant she had to be kept away from people for three months, a difficult thing for a woman who adores her four children and twelve grandchildren.  But even in that she found something for which to be thankful.

“If the doctors hadn’t been able to use my own bone marrow, I’d have had to stay away from everyone for 12 months!”

Few people are able to have three transplants, especially at her age.  In fact, Staples was the first patient for oncologist Sharon Soule to undergo the procedure three times.

“The older you get, the harder it is,” explained Staples.  “This last transplant was harder on me.  It wasn’t painful, but it made me nauseated and feel like I wasn’t there.  I don’t remember anything about the transplant or the first week afterwards.”

With each transplant Staples had to go through the chemo and the extraction, a long and exhausting affair.  With the third transplant they extracted enough bone marrow to use for a fourth, but she says that there is no way she would go through it again.  Remission usually lasts 3 1/2 to 4 years at the most.  She is going to treasure each day she has.

“Life is too short.  You don’t know what God has for you, so you just take one day at a time.  I don’t hold grudges.  I forgive.  I make the best of each day.”

Nancy Staples is a great example of someone who makes the best of each day.  Despite her health challenges and the loss of two of her brothers in this past year, she has a ready smile and a great attitude.

“With each transplant I grow closer to God.  I feel so thankful,” Staples expressed.  “I look at all the pictures of my kids and grandkids and I think, ‘Look what God has given me.’”

Now one of her goals is to help other people going through hard times.

“I want to take hope to others.  You can’t do this without God,” said Staples.

Her other goal is to leave a legacy for her grandchildren.  It seems as though she already has.

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14 Responses to Making the most of each day

  • Thanks so much for sharing Nancy’s journey! What an inspiration she is and a beautiful example of relying on God’s strength. Thanks to Nancy for sharing her struggle and triumph!

  • Nancy is a woman who has chosen to live a life that makes a difference with God’s strength. Thanks for sharing Nancy’s story. It inspires me to “take more time to smell the beautiful daisies” in my life!!

  • What a beautiful story, Nancy the Lord has been go good to you and your family, Thanks for sharing with all of us. May the Lord bless you greatly.

  • This is a beautiful story. Nancy has been my neighbor and my co-worker in the past, and it does not matter what life seems to throw at her, she always has a positive attitude and a smile. Nancy you have long inspired me, and you continue to inspire me to stay positive. Grateful to call you my friend and pray that God continues to bless you and your family. Thanks for the reminder with this story that life is what you make it.

  • Praying for you sweet Nancy! You faith inspires and greatly encourages me! Thanks for the story Diane.

  • I had the privilege to work with Nancy several years ago when her children were all small. Even then she was always up beat, and handled everything with a positive attitude. I am sad to hear that Nancy has been ill, however I am not surprised to hear that she is praising God for everything good in her life. She is, and always will be a person I have will admire for her ability to weather any storm, and still smile at the end of each day….what a gift!

  • My Nancy is an incredible woman who strength and faith is an inspiration to all.

  • One of Nancy’s greatest achievements so far is raising an incredible family. What a creative, diverse group of thinkers! Stay gold, Nancy!

  • Love the article!! So glad others get to see what an example of FAITH LIVED DAILY looks like! She has been an important (and fun!) influence in my life!!

  • Nancy Staples is one of the most courageous, brave, kind, women I know, She never feels sorry for herself, she just holds her head up, puts herself in God’s hands and goes through whatever hardship she is facing.

    She is loved by many, admired by many, an idol to many, and a testimony to all.

    Nancy Staples–you are my hero. Luv you gal.

    Mary B

  • Gerri and I have had the great privilege of knowing Nancy as our friend since our kids were little tykes. Nancy, you have always been a woman of exceptional faith, a thankful heart, inner strength, and abiding joy, despite life’s trials. You were a great Mom who raised some great kids. I can only imagine how great a Grandma you are! May the Lord give you many more productive years and many more grandchildren!

  • I love Nancy Staples. Doesn’t surprise me she is so strong battling cancer, she has always been strong. Working at the Market Basket and being around Nancy and her children always had a positive impact on me. She is truly a beautiful person!

  • Nancy: You were once my little sister, now you are the big sister who is teaching us all a lesson in life.

  • This is a wonderful article about a strong, authentic and inspirational person. The world is a better place with her here…keep pushing forward Mrs. Staples!!!