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!