Saturday, December 20, 2014


The Christmas Season is upon us. I can't believe December is half over and we are rapidly approaching 2015! I don't know what happened to the past year. My life changed forever but not in a way one wishes for.

It's been over a year since I developed the mysterious lung disease that would mean I needed a lung transplant. I still can't believe that this happened to me. Such a mysterious and rare disease requiring a lung transplant; where the heck did I get THAT?!

Idiopathic Bronchiolitis Obliterans; not something I ever expected to hear of let alone get! The doctors still don't understand how or where I got it. They never will and I guess it will remain a mystery from here on out.

As we approach Christmas, I am still recovering from my life saving lung transplant. I still can't believe I got my transplant! I seriously still find it hard to believe my lung came and I got my transplant! It is truly a blessing and a miracle. Just having doctors that can perform such a complicated surgery as a lung transplant is a miracle. And I got one of the best in Illinois. I am so lucky. My Christmas present arrived early and I cannot express how grateful I am.

We are going to have a VERY low key Christmas this year. No presents and just one of my brothers and his wife and my niece. My other brother and his family have issues and they, too, will be having a low key Christmas. We'll get to see them at some point and that's all that matters. All I want for Christmas I already got. I got my lung and that means if I take care of it, follow doctor's orders, take my meds and do all I'm told, then I get to live and be with my family. All I want is to sit with my family, share memories of Christmases past, enjoy our tree and rest. 

So I have many to thank for getting here this Christmas: 

-I have my family to thank for so much I can't even list it all, but without each and every one of them, this would not have been possible.
-I have so many friends to thank for calling, visiting, sending cards and gifts to help support me as I went through the process of trying to get on the list and then supporting and encouraging me while I waited for my lung.
-So many friends and neighbors who have driven us to countless appointments and brought us meals-this was so much help I cannot say, especially for my Mom.
-I have Loyola University's Transplant Team to thank for even taking my case when no one else would and saving my life! They are the "A" Team and I had a top notch surgeon, that things could not have gone better than they did. I was able to meet and shake the hand of the surgeon who saved my life. That will move a person to tears, let me tell you.
-Finally I have to thank the family of the individual who gave me the gift of life and donated the lung I received. I have no idea who they are but I am grateful beyond words. One day, Loyola will help me anonymously thank them and if they want to respond they will; if not that's OK too. I just want them to know how grateful I am.

This will be a very special Christmas; the best ever really. I am doing well after my transplant and we are so grateful. 

I already got what I wanted for Christmas - my family did too. I got my transplant. We will raise our glasses (mine filled with water) in a toast to my new lung and life. 

I have much joy in my heart to share with so many. Take time to be with those you love; you never know how much time you have. We will be enjoying Christmas in a whole different way this year; grateful for the gift of life!


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