My Double Lung Transplant

Friday, June 12, 2009

Your own kind

I've been thinking a lot about death lately. Not so much about my own mortality (since it won't be expected for another 200 years or such - for real) but, i've been thinking about the people around me who have passed.

Seeing as i've lost a handful of friends since January -literally a handful - it's made my veiw of the world a lot different. It's made me wonder: why are those who suffer, made to suffer more? And what's shocking is that 3 of the 5 people who have passed, have had lung transplants already. Typically, we think that it shouldn't happen; that once transplant comes along, you're fixed, and no dying allowed.

Not off the bat anyways.

And in losing so many people, it's made me afraid to get close to my own kind. Yes, own kind. When i first was thrust into this business of lung transplant, I so desperately wanted to have someone - or someones, with whom i could connect - specifically young people. And it's those very people who i searched so long for who are passing away. And they've all been under the age of 25.

In that, you find yourself slowing withdrawing from your closest allies in this game. You think: what's the point in getting close with these people if they'll just get taken away? Why not just save myself some pain and keep at a distance? You think, why bother forging those bonds?

I've found myself thinking those thoughts but so often neglect to heed to them. In this business it's imperitive to allign yourself with others like yourself - your own kind. You learn who and what are worth your time; do you stick with the go-with-the-flow people like myself, the outwordly-complainers (i complain but i save it for you lucky people - YAY), or do you just remain antisocial?

It's tough, b/c those bonds you form with your own kind end up being the very ones that get you through the toughest shit. Unfortunately, if they get lost in the battlefield, they won't be there anymore to help you along the way. And so you must either retreat, or forge on and find others who havent made alliances.

Transplant is like war: it's a game of strategy. Those with the best strategies and the clearest minds are the ones who can dodge and make it through the toughest battles.

Most of the time.

And in losing so many friends to the same terrible monster, it makes you appreciate those that you have a lot more. Those who are in the battle with you; and the healthy ones who can only watch from the sidelines but cheer you on b/c they're awesome people. In this game, you're torn between normalicy and illness. You must find a balance and not linger on either side too long, lest you lose sight of things.

In losing so many people, the way i see the world has changed greatly. I appreciate so much b/c i know and understand what it's like to have some of the most beautiful things taken away from me. I've lived with, and without. I've had to rebuild my emotions after they've torn down, only to have them knocked over again. But through it all it shapes you and makes you who you are.

Is that what it means to be strong?

Who knows?

This has been too philosophical for a Friday, and i'm sorry. It's a gorgeous day out and it's made me reflexive (oh qualitative methods...thanks for the word that applies to so much). I went and visited Karyn this was good. It was sunny and warm and the sky was blue. It was peaceful and i was glad i got to spend a few moments alone with her undisturbed. I asked her to let me get my tx soon ( i hope she has some pull up there! is that sick to even wonder?). When i left i kissed my hand and touched her stone.

I miss her more than usual lately. I think it's b/c everyone is graduating uni this week?

Who knows. The lesson of this blog is simple: love your friends as much as possible; appreciate what you have and be thankful for what you don't. And know that at the end of it all, good will come. Sometimes you have to wait; and sometimes it's right in front of you, it's just a matter of knowing where to look.

Happy Friday. I'm off to eat some mac and cheese.


Kelli said...

Hi Bree. My first visit to your blog. This was a beautiful blog and thanks for the reminder at the end.

Kira said...

I very much understand what your going through. While my conditions is generally not fatal when I got sick i went to a place called which is a place that holds blogs especially for people with illnesses.

I made lots of friends with many different conditions and became very close. However after losing so many and once 5 children with cancer in a week i just couldn't do it anymore.

So i have basically restricted how many people I follow and keep them as close friends and we each help support each other. You can only cope with so much and be reminded about your on situation through others so much.

Take care.