Tuesday, December 27, 2011

6 weeks post op appointment!!

My staples are all officially out!! My PFT's are higher than I have seen them in YEARS and I haven't even really started working out yet. Now that my staples are out, I am allowed to return to Pulmonary Rehab. I am going to call later to set up my schedule. I honestly can't wait to start, and have a little routine to follow! I also bought myself a new treadmill so that when I do not have rehab and it's cold out, I can still work out! Nothing is going to stop me from maximizing the full potential of these amazing new lungs of mine! I'm also allowed to start driving again. I feel like my life is getting back to normal! It's SOOOO crazy. I feel amazing and I am more excited for the new year than ever before!! Bring on 2012!! I'm ready =)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Forever Thankful ..

I'm not the best with words but I feel like it's necessary to get down exactly how I am feeling this holiday season. Blessed and Lucky are two of the main words that come into my mind. I honestly cannot believe that I am sitting here, able to take a DEEP breath in and not end up in a coughing fit turning up my oxygen and wondering when it's going to end. That's all BEHIND me now, and it's completely surreal.

I wish that I could meet my donor's family right now and let them know during this holiday season that they have given me the BEST gift in the entire world. I wish I could hug them and make their pain and sadness go away. I owe my life to my donor's family for making the decision to donate his/her lungs.

Just two months ago, I had lost complete faith that I would still be alive right now. I had gotten so sick that I don't even think I realized how bad I was. I couldn't walk by myself, I couldn't bathe myself. I was completely dependent on my family to help me around, I couldn't breathe without oxygen, I was hooked up to the strongest IV cocktail almost 24 hours a day. I was in so much pain from my diseased, yucky, CF lungs. Now today, 6 weeks after my life saving transplant, I think about what it was like right before surgery, and it seems like a bad dream, but it was real. My donor's lungs are the ULTIMATE christmas gift. I will cherish them forever.

In the new year I cannot wait to start giving back to the community. I want to help spread awareness about organ donation and how amazing and truly life changing it can be for people. I really hope that I can make a difference and make people realize that donating their organs is a beautiful thing.

This is going to be the best Christmas I have ever had. All I need is to be with the people that I love. My family and friends have been amazing throughout my transplant journey. The love and support I have received is completely overwhelming. I want to thank my boyfriend, Joey for being my rock through everything. I want to thank my cysters who have been there for me, preparing me, answering my crazy questions and just knowing what I am feeling and thinking.

I have never been so content and at peace with the world. I honestly feel like for once, everything is happening just like it should. I am very excited to start a brand new year, and put this new found "health" to good use!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A little pre-Christmas excitement!

My two week post hospital check-up went PRETTY well. Turns out there was some fluid building up around my left lung, that went from a small amount to a more moderate amount. Being so new post-op, my fabulous doctor wanted to be aggressive and make sure everything was okay - so I was admitted yesterday. They placed a chest tube, took lots of blood and cultures and did a bronchoscopy this afternoon. Everything looks like it is resolving on its own and I should be able to go home in another day or two once they have definitite results from all of the tests they performed and are sure nothing else crazy is going on. Let's face it, sometimes I don't always follow the "norm", so being extra careful I guess is a GOOD thing!

What's kind of cool is that my really amazing friend Kristy is here in the hospital as well, recovering from her double lung transplant which she received on December 9th! I took a stroll down the hall to see her a little while ago and she looks absolutely amazing!! Our mom's just went to grab a bite to eat outside of the hospital walls. They are really cute! Kristy and I also went to the same Pulmonary Rehab program pre-transplant, so we should be able to go back to the same program once we are both out of here and ready to start! Afterwards instead of going home exhausted, we might actually want to go out and do MORE fun activities!!

That's it for now. I am BORED in here, so you might actually get another update before I leave.

I am getting really excited for Christmas! I can't wait to see the kid's faces when they open all of their presents. I was able to get pretty much all of my shopping done online before I got re-admitted. All I have to do when I get home is wrap, which I actually love to do. I'll get all settled in my room, put some christmas music on, grab some hot chocolate and get to work!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

What a wonderful year!

My transplant center has a sign up that says "Amazing Things are Happening Here", and I honestly am going to agree 110% with them! Since March they have been kicking ass at saving fellow CF patients lives! In March, my friend Charlie had a double lung transplant. Lyndsey followed in April! Most recently, my friend Allison who had a lung transplant back in 2004, needed a kidney transplant, and received one on 11/9/11 from an amazing friend of hers. Who knew I would be called two days later for my double lung transplant, followed almost one month later by another amazing friend of mine, Kristy! This is going to be one of the BEST holiday seasons ever!! I can't even imagine that we have all been blessed enough to have a second chance at life, free from the CF burdens (coughing, hours of therapy, hospital stays, nebulizers etc.). Not that we are in the clear and scott free because we had a transplant. There are tons of medications, and doctors appointments and tiny things that you need to pay close attention to, BUT doing all this and feeling GOOD is NO comparison to what it was like dealing with the old, sick, crappy CF lungs.

The picture above was taken this summer. Lyndsey, Piper, Kelley and Alli all had their new lungs already. Alli was waiting for her kidney, and Kristy and I were waiting for lungs. All of our prayers have now been answered! The next time we get together, there will be NO oxygen cannulas, and rushing home because we ran out of oxygen! We'll be able to laugh without coughing, maybe even take a stroll on the beach once the weather gets warmer! There are so many exciting things that are now a possibility. I am so lucky to have this group of girls to go through this amazing journey.

That's it for now. I promise I will try and update more often! Please pray for all of our donor families, as this first holiday season without their loved ones is probably going to be the hardest. Also, please, please, please, become an organ donor if you aren't already! It really does save lives - just look at the picture above! That's SIX people who would not still be here right now if it wasn't for organ donation.