Thursday, September 3, 2015


WOW! I cannot believe it is September already. The year is flying by and yet at the same time it's hard to believe we are here as some days and weeks seemed to drag.

But today is yet one more important Milestone for me. Today is the 10 Month Anniversary of my life saving Lung Transplant! 10 months since I was given the ultimate Gift of Life! I am still here and doing quite well.

The Transplant Team is happy with how I am doing and I am making progress every day. It's very hard work recovering from a Lung Transplant, but it's worth the effort. A year ago, sitting in a wheel chair, on oxygen 24/7, needing a Bipap to sleep at night (if I could); having to try to sleep sitting up. I  am so blessed to be here.

As many of you know, I am so grateful that I got my Lung Transplant, I have committed to participating in the Respiratory Health Association Hike for Lung Health on September 20th; in just a few weeks. It's a 3 Mile Walk. That may not seem like much to healthy folks who exercise and walk regularly. But it was hard even before my Transplant due to my bladder disease, IC. I have no choice post transplant, however; as I am required to exercise and walk to rehabilitate myself. If you don't promise to do this, they won't give you your transplant. They don't want to waste a perfectly good Lung on a "couch potato" when it could save someone willing to take care of such a precious gift.

I told my Transplant Team that if I was to get a lung, I would do everything they told me to in order to take care of myself and my lung. Someone gave the ultimate Gift of Life to me and I do not take that for granted. So I am walking and preparing for the 3 Mile Hike for Lung Health!

I will have one more Bronchoscopy on my one year anniversary and then I've been told I don't have to have them anymore unless there is something suspect going on. I don't know how often I'll have to see the Transplant team going forward after that as well. A conversation I plan on having in October when I see them.

In the meantime, every month that I can check off the calendar is a good thing for a Lung Transplant patient. Making it to 1 year is a BIG deal in Lung Transplant, as lungs do not have the success rates that all other organs do. So I am happy to be doing as well as I am. 

I have written to my donor family (anonymously through a complex process) to thank them for this precious gift. I finally received a letter back from my donor's family telling me about my donor and saying they hoped to meet the recipients. I filled out the paperwork/release form and had it forwarded to the donor family so they now have my information and I hope to hear from them at some point. I would love to meet them and tell them face to face what their gift means to me and my family.

So today is an important day to me. I mark each anniversary as I reach it, as it is an accomplishment that no one knew that I'd ever make. 

So 10 Months ago today, I was in the ICU after having a Single Right Lung Transplant. Today I am working hard exercising and walking all over the house, running errands, visiting with friends and being with family.

It's a great thing! Happy Anniversary to me!

"I'm Alive" - Kenny Chesney

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