My Double Lung Transplant

Thursday, April 29, 2010

In the cemetary/Confessions

2 years ago today I was listed.

1 year ago today we got rid of the Red Rocket.

And today, I am alive, no longer on the list, nothing.

In celebration I took the Spawn for a walk in the cemetary. I know that sounds morbid but it's just so peaceful, there no children there for her to lunge at, and it's just...beautiful.

We parked near Karyn and took off from there. It gave me time to think and reflect on the last 2 years. Being listed wasn't necessarily a bad thing as it was the only ticket i had out of my old life. Without it, i'd probably be dead by now. I'd still be struggling for every little thing. But now? Now i can breathe easy and nothing stops me.

I thought about my donor and got teary eyed as usual.

And then i tackled the revelation that i can't have kids.

I've thought about it a lot, but whether i've actually thought indepth enough for me to get upset about it, i don't know. To be honest, i'm pretty ok with it. I've never wanted kids really, and that could explain my general lack of affection for all things children. They scream, they cry, they smell, they shit themselves and projectile vomit all over things. They destroy stuff. They take away 'me' time. And i'm too selfish to have that snatched away from me. But this doesn't mean i all-out hate children, i don't, i like a few of them, just not all.

If we're being honest, i always saw myself as the 'cool aunt' in life, the chick who has a lot of money and is always travelling. BUT. I've thought of adopting too. It's a huge responsibility.

So yeah. Part of me doesn't care, part of me is deeply upset, and part of me is relieved.

Maybe the conculsion is this: I am a horrible, selfish person.

That doesn't suprise me.

Um. I can't think of what else to post. Sorry if this is boring.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Before and After

For those who don't have me on facebook, here is a before and after pic of yours truely.

Before: taken at the hosp while waiting to hear that my transplant was a go. It's about 5:30 in the morning. If you ever wondered what dying looks like, here you go!

After, taken the day i actually got fired. Maybe I knew and that's why i'm so happy. Anywho, this is yours truely 8 months post tx! Weeeeeeeeeeee!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Bookwhoring we will (try to) go

This post is written from an extremely pissed off point of view. Why? Because my exicted attempt at bookwhoring was visciously thwarted by Chapters (and my backup, Shoppers Drugmart).

*wipes tear soaked eyes*

*catches breath*

*places hand on bossom*

*insert lip quiver here*

They did not, ah *wipes eyes*. They didn't have the books I was looking for. Neither did Shoppers Drugmart, who can usually be relied on to carry smutty material. But no. Both failed to enlighten me and I have come home emptyhanded and disheartened.

I even stuffed my face with an extra chocolate chip stuffed cookie on my flee out the door in anticipation of a night draped on the couch reading said smut. And no! It's been thwarted! And ruined! All in the name of some viscious establishment who claims that the 'item is not in store'.

*throws self dramatically on floor*

I love Chapters. And i take back my statement that it is a 'viscious establishment', and there is still hope that i can some how get my greedy little hands on these books if i go downtown to the used bookstore and tame my impatientness and actually take the time to look for them.

The books I am looking for are Outlander-esque, but on the smutty side b/c i am finding it hard to really get into anything. I know, I know i had severe withdrawl 2 summers ago upon completing the series and i do harbour small fears that this could be a revival of it but i doubt it. I just miss novels with passion!

Anywho, the books i am looking for are Kilgannon by Kathleen Givens and The Pride of the Lions by Marsha Canham. Are there any other books similar to them? Why Chapters doesn't have them I don't know, but it really effing sucks and it ruined my night completely. I even parked in a frigging handicapped spot and coughed all over the goddamn place to make it convincing.

Jesus fuck.

Anywho. Onto other things.

I got my palm read yesterday, and I read the palm reader and her daughter in return. Things I was told:

1) I will be packing my bags. I said "my trip!" and she said, "no, you will be moving, and it will do you a world of good"

2) She said i will be getting a job soon

3) I need to get out of my funk and be happy and let go of the past. Some days i find it hard to get out of bed because i can't let things go.

4) I have had a lot of physical trauma. True.

5) I hold a lot of tension in my stomach. This is true.

6) My blood is toxic. Also true. I have a blood disease.

7) I will meet 'the one' in 3 years, and he will be older than me, and not what i'm looking for.

8) I can't have kids. This is something i always speculated but my doctors always told me wasn't true. I've asked them if i can have kids and they told me yes. My parents confirmed it by telling me, no, you cannot, because of medication i was on as a baby. TRUST YOUR GUT PEOPLE.

9) Me and 'the one' will adopt twins.

10) She asked me if i was adopted. I said no. Then i told her about my transplant, and we concluded the lines she sees are my donor. I always speculated that my donor had no family, which is why i never heard back from 'them' when i wrote. I've had a tremendous feeling of sadness sometimes post-tx. She said my donor was either adopted or in foster care. I remember the doctor telling me that 'this person knew what they were doing' by signing their organ donor card, and i remember thinking that they were alone and had no family. I hope that through me - though we never met - that they can find solace and a home.

Um i think that's it? I should've asked about school. She told me to come back in 6 months to see if my other lines develop, so i will.

And that is that. I'm off to go sulk.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I'm going to see a Tarot card reader on Thursday with my friend Andre - but not for a reading. She wants ME to read HER.

Yes. ME reading HER, the TAROT CARD READER.

Word of my spidey senses have spread through my friends, and Andre's friends mother is a tarot card reader and heard about me and is really excited to meet me. As I am her. I won't be reading tarot cards, as i don't know how, i will just read her point blank as i do people. It's called claircognizance for you ignorant bastards who know nothing about spidey senses. Well now you do. I'm claircognizant, and i'm wicked stoked about Thurs.

Will let you know how it goes.

Other than that, things are fab and i remain on the job hunt as per usual...

Friday, April 16, 2010

Be careful what you wish for

My how things change.

Just a few days ago i was saving up to go on my massive trip with Eve, and complaining about (within myself) how i hated my shift and how i sometimes longed for my pre-tx life when i had all the time in the world, when out from under me i lost my job.


Shock and awe.

It's not that I suck as a worker, because apparently i'm a great worker and I follow direction well, and whenever I'm told to correct something I do it and make a great effort, it's just that i'm not bubbly enough. As my employment termination papers say, there was a 'lack of organizational fit', which basically means, my personality sucks.

Wooooooooooooooooooooo. Go me. Shitty personality represent.

Yup. I don't know if i should be embarassed, ashamed, shocked, upset, or what. It is funny though, that the entire time I was employed at the TAC i always had this nagging feeling that something about the place was off. Well, when it's your second day there and someone takes you aside and tells you to watch your back because management will do everything for their members and nothing for their employees, that says a lot. When everyone around you is quitting, bitching about how management sucks, and is generally unhappy, you begin to wonder. And I won't lie, i did wonder about what all these people were talking about and was still actively scoping out other jobs while employed. But I was also aware that no job is perfect and there will always be something to bitch about, someone who's soul you hate, someone who hates your soul, someone who thinks you most likely suffer from some form of mental retardation and thus looks down on you and makes it incredibly obvious to one and all, i stuck it out.

So while all around me I was surrounded my miserable pusses, I generally enjoyed the job and found that i liked more people than i hated (and you know me, i fucking hate people). And i found that it was reciprocated. So when I was pulled aside on Tues two hours into my shift and informed that things 'just weren't working out', because, you know, i have a shitty personality and i'm not bubbly enough, is it so wrong that i didn't squeeze out a tear, feel my soul plummet into the floor, see my future burning in flames in the depth of hell and so forth? I don't think so. I think it's telling. I mean, if i was secretly looking for another job, i see it as a blessing in disguise.

And this is what i've determined: I'd rather work for a humble establishment with people who enjoy their jobs and genuinely want to help others, than work for a superficial place where everyone's in it for themselves and wants to make a dollar. When you're surrounded by people who are so blatently miserable it rubs off on you. I'll do 2 part time jobs if i have to, but I am determined to find another job and most importantly, find something i like, and somewhere i fit in. I didn't really fit in at the TAC; i wasn't popular and in the incrowd like most people were. I was the newbie who asked a lot of questions complete with shitty personality. Don't forget that last aspect: my personality sucks.


But despite having the magic carpet ripped out from under my ass, I'm happy. The weather is great, i feel fabulous, i'm applying to jobs and being proactive about it, and my spiritual center remains balanced which makes me happy:)

And i think that's it!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The 3 Stages of Studying - plus one extra

I've entered into the Studying Phase, of which I've determined has 3 stages plus one extra. I have my final exam on Monday at 8:30am and since beginning studying i've found copious ways to dick around and waste time, many of which include countless facebook status updates about my lack of studying progress. They are as follows:

April 9, 2010, 12:07pm:
on the agenda for today: study, study, study, with lots of tea on hand! Keeping the kettle full to keep me going...

April 9, 2010, 6:01pm:
...and now we enter the final phase of the studying experience: feelings of doom.

April,9, 2010, 11:39pm:
for exams, on a scale of 1 to fucked we are 'fucked'...but not quite in the realm of 'doom' ...which is one notch closer to the realm of 'hope'. at least that's what i'm telling myself

April 10, 2010, 5:38pm:
has entered into the final stage of the studying process: the 'i just don't care anymore' stage, safely surpassing 'hope', 'fucked' and 'doom' all in one svelt swoop. At least i have Doritos for later on when i inform others that i am 'studying' which will make me feel a little bit better and i may just beleive that i have in fact, studied somewhat.

So let me elaborate on these stages shall i, for those who are unaware of what they consist of:

Stage 1--> HOPE:
The first lesson of studying is that there is no hope. We're all fucked and we're all doomed on some plane. But alas, we enter into the realm of studying telling ourselves that we'll accomplish alot, remember our shit, make great notes, and most importantly, that we won't dick around. We will have our snacks, stay off facebook, and tell our friends on MSN to fuck off all because we are 'studying'. This is why stage 1 is entitled 'hope'. It is a fallacy and a lie created by ourselves in order to make ourselves feel better, all the while knowing imminent peril will greet us at some point. Fuck you, 'hope'.

Stage 2--> FUCKED:
We enter into the 'fucked' stage within the first 3-6 hours of studying. Hope can only last for about 6 hours before major emotional upset begins to leak into our system. Soon to follow are feelings of sheer panic, utter failure, ruined futures, and probable death. Your brain tells you that you know nothing, that you will never remember a single thing, and that you should've begun studying ages ago but you listened to the little ego inside of your brain and beleived that waiting a few days would still make everything 'ok'. You had it all mapped out, and now you are fucked.

Stage 3--> DOOM:
Doom. Doom surpasses fucked and is the final stage of the studying process. 'Doom' proceeds 'fucked'. When you enter into the stage of doom your heart speeds up, you become restless and angry and you begin to lash out at all things big and small. You hate your parents, your friends, your pets and especially babies. The world is coming to an end, volcanos are exploding and you feel yourself descending into a black hole of nothingness. You will never remember a single thing and will fuck up on all possible avenues. Welcome to doom: you're beyond fucked.

With 'doom' being the climax of the studying stages, you begin the downward spiral into the extra stage which is the 'i just don't care anymore' stage. Basically, you've given up and you acknowledge the fact that you will probably be ok. You tell yourself that you'll remember what you can while secretly holding fears of failure. The wire around your heart that's slowly squeezing the mortal life out of you (thank you fear!) begins to loosen its grip and you start seeing colours instead of solid black and white. You are no longer tense and you allow yourself more time to dick around and waste your precious minutes. When you sink to the 'i just don't care anymore' stage, you are basically ok.

So there you have it. The 3 Stages of Studying - Plus One Extra. I feel that my obvservations are correct and that the majority of students will sympathize with the conclusions i have drawn.

So that is it for today. I must check facebook, where I remain faithfully logged on in hopes of something coming up to distract me....

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Getting excited...

THIS is what life's about!

Talking to Evlyn right now on facebook (heart-lung tx, she lives in Australia..went to the Aussie games with Alice while i was recovering from my tx...) annnnnnnnd *drum roll please*


It's over a year away, but i'm already SO excited! Thankfully I have over a year to save, but god i'm SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO EXCITED!

1) World Tx Games in Sweden
2) Go to Ireland for 2 weeks afterwards
3) Spend 45 days travelling Europe
4) Go home BROKE but with a LIFE TIME of memories with an AWESOME chicky!

I don't think anyone can know how much this means to me...To be able to look ahead and know that i can do this and that lung problems don't hold me back anymore. It's no longer, "when i get my transplant..." or "after my transplant..." now it's, "next year, after the transplant games..." it's FOR SURE!! AHHHHHHHHHH! Obvs we're still talking about it but in my heart i know it's going to happen. And i'm so excited that I probably won't even sleep tonight. I've never been able to travel - ever. And to be able to say that I can and not let medical stuff get in the way? I will worry about the amount of meds to bring with me later, that is not an issue. The issue now is that Eve (Alice, yes?) and I are gonna do this massive trip and have a blast. That is my goal for the next year: to save up, have fun, love life and live it the way a normal 24 year old should. How many people do i know who've globe trotted? TONS. AND NOW I WILL BE ONE OF THEM!


Friday, April 2, 2010

The Madness of it All

It's going to be 26*C today. I woke up at 8:40am and the sun was blazing into my room. I hauled ass out of bed and threw open my curtains to let the sunlight stream in. I slept with my window open and it smelled like spring time in my room and i loved it.

My first Easter weekend in 3 years without oxygen.

Todays attire: short shorts and a bikini top.

First up on the agenda was dismantling my bed and washing it. Since it's already warm out i washed it and hung it out to dry. I couldn't help but marvel at my speed as i did it. Last year at this time I was really starting to go downhill. I could barely get from A to B. The thought of washing my bedding (taking it off my bed was a chore in and of itself) and then hanging it outside was out of the question. I couldn't take it out of the washer, put it in the laundry basket and walk to the slider w/o gettting extremely otu of breath. I'd have to take a break when i got to the slider. Stop on the deck. Walk to the clothes line. Catch my breath. Hang some stuff. Catch my breath. Repeat cycle.

It killed me. Literally.

But today - at 99% lung function - i accomplished that and much more and not once was i out of breath. I dismantled my bedding, washed it, hung it on the line, made banana loaf, got dressed..all in under an hour. A year ago, this would have taken me the whole morning and would've left me exhausted.

The madness of it's not quite something you can wrap your head around. This is my first easter holiday being an able bodied person. I'm not tethered to oxygen. I'm not freezing cold either (last easter was brutal!). I'm a whole different person and it's been an evolution that i'm proud of.

So i sit here, in my short shorts and my bikini top and i look down to the violet scar that laces its way around my chest and stops at my armpits. Beneath this line is the life that was given to me by a complete stranger almost 8 (8!) months ago. A stranger who this time last year was alive and well and had no plans or thoughts that they wouldn't be here much longer.

The madness of it all.
Beneath the violet scar that snakes around my chest I can only be filled with gratitude this Easter weekend.

Insert donor here.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Home is in the Hospital

I got my regular IV today.

And i realized something.

Home is in the hospital.

Is that weird?

I feel most comfortable when I'm in the hospital. I know everything, everyone...I know what to do, how to do it...nothing is foreign and nothing is a challenge. I can be a medical being and it's fine. It is who I am.

When i go for my IV or go to TGH for tx stuff, I realize time and time again that my idea profession will be in a hospital setting. It is where i am most comfortable. It is where I identify the most. My knowledge is able to flourish and grow and people understand me. I am able to help the nurses, I can pretty much do my own IVs (that doesn't mean i'm qualified though). I know all the terminology...etc. I just feel at home in the hospital and it was really reinforced today when I had my IV.

Maybe I am strange, but when you're versed in this manner it's hard to not have some filial feelings for such an environment. I'm sure other people feel this way, while others don't. I don't necessarily mean it in the sense that i like/want to be a patient all my life (tho i have no choice) but in an environmental sense, it's where i belong and I'm sure others can connect with that being said.

Other than that, the IV was good. Took 2 hours and I was rewarded by my nurse Brenda with chocolate eggs and a barbie bandaid for my port. I was also able to talk to a new lady there (tho she's around my age) who was a child life specialist doing her masters in Social Work which is what i'm considering doing...

Lets just's daunting! lol. But if i want to work in a hospital i have to do it. So deciding must be done!

Onto other things...

Easter is upon us and here in Southern Ontario we are graced with temperatures well into the 20's (for you lazy american friends of mine, that's into the 70's F). It's just gorgeous and all the windows are open here at home and i'm in capri pants chilling out. It's supposed to get humid too and i'm so excited to experience it for the first time without any breathing problems!!!

This will be my first spring not dying, not suffocating, or being sick. I had to go to the pharmacy today to pick up my stomach meds and some prednisone (which is now down to 10mg!) and I walked past the allergy section and was smothered by a sense of nostalgia. Of course i don't miss being constantly sick and being phlemgy and unable to breathe/walk/do anything. But it was weird to walk by that section and know that it no longer applies to me.

I had PFTs Tues and these are the results: 99%.

My lung function is 99%.

And i walked up 7 flights of stairs today in the parking garage b/c the elevator was too fucking slow.

So there you go. Compared to 7 months ago when I was a meager 21% and couldn't even put sandles on, this is astounding to me.

Also, must connect with Alice and Eve about the 2011 Tx games in Sweden and see what they are competing in so i can compete in it too and ultimately kick their asses.

And finally, for Candians: CBC is reairing Eva's documentary tomorrow. What time, I don't know. I just heard it on her blog.

Happy Easter one and all.