Friday, August 14, 2015


It's hard for me to believe that it's been 9 months since I received the Gift of Life and got my Lung Transplant! While you are going through it - the surgery, the pain, the rehab, the medication and recovery, one spends a lot of time in the doctor's office, especially early on following surgery. As time passes, you move away from seeing the doctor at your visits, which are now every 3 months, to seeing the Transplant Nurse Practitioner.

One of the many tests a Transplant patient must undergo every 3 months (more if there are signs of rejection) is a Bronchoscopy. You are sedated so it's not an unpleasant procedure.  The scope is gently passed through your mouth, and into your lungs. The doctor takes about 10 tissue samples from the transplanted lung which are sent to the lab to look for infection or rejection. They also do a bronchoalveolar lavage where fluid is squirted into a small part of the lung and then collected for examination. This is all done to check for infections (viral, bacterial or fungal) as well as rejection.

I have gotten so that I look forward to this procedure every 3 months. I find them reassuring, as my results have all been good, but if there is something we need to know about, then it's important this procedure be done so we can discover whatever it might be and treat it. So I have always been more than happy to have to go through this procedure. I made my Nurse Coordinator laugh when I told her this, but she understood what I was saying.

Well, as the time has rapidly (in many respects) flown by, I could not believe this past Monday was to be my 9 Month Bronchoscopy! Already! It takes a few days to get all the lab results back from this test, but I have heard from my Coordinator and it's all good:  NO INFECTION & NO REJECTION!

That's what we want to hear! Making it to 9 months with such good test results in Lung Transplant is a big deal, as Lungs don't statistically do as well as other organs. So I am thrilled! They also drew blood to check on my kidney function, which I've previously written has been elevated, requiring me to go for two IV infusions. We are checking it every 2 weeks. Well, I got basically good news. It's unchanged since the last check. It's still a bit high (certainly for a healthy person), but for me, since it did not go up but stayed the same, that's good news! I'm drinking my water religiously, and hopefully that will keep things holding steady.

I can't believe it, but the next Bronchoscopy will be done around my one year transplant anniversary! I can't believe that is only 3 months away. A year ago I didn't know if I'd even get my lung and here we are doing well 9 months post transplant, with my one year anniversary rapidly approaching! 

Making it to one year in Lung Transplant is a Super Big Deal! I hope to get the same results in November that I've gotten all along and have even more reason to celebrate making the one year mark! So, I actually look forward to my next Bronchoscopy. Call me crazy, but I like knowing what's going on and this is how we know! Here's to the next Bronchoscopy in November and continued good results!

Bronchoscopy Procedure!

"Fight Song" - Rachel Platten

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