My Double Lung Transplant

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

If you don't feel it, it doesn't exist!

Once again, a monkey wrench named 'anemia' has been thrown into my blood work. And i refuse to beleive that said condition exists since i feel fine - minus the sleeping for abnormally long periods of time bit and the odd bit of dizziness and the feeling of tingliness in my legs upon extreme exertion. My philosiphy is thus: if you don't feel it, it doesn't exist.

And that my friends, is the moral of the story.

I refuse to take iron pills because they turn my gut to stone and i then turn into a miserable uncrappable sod who reflects upon former days of being able to crap freely. But instead i sit and mope and spite the tiny little iron pills who i hold soley responsible for the unforunate state of my stomach. I try my best to eat foods that are 'rich in iron' and blah blah blah.


But! Stupid supposed 'anemia' aside, things are swell! I've exercised almost every day since Sunday and I'm quite proud of myself! Sunday I went for a walk with Krystal and the Buffasaur, and came home and made (from scratch) 3 loaves of cinnamon raisin bread as per my sister's request, and 2 batches of chocolate chip banana muffins. Mmmmm. Monday *drum roll please* I RODE MY BIKE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 5 YEARS AND THE FIRST TIME POST TX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *applause all around* weeeeeeeeeeeeee! And it felt wonderful! I kept wondering when the short-of-breathness dealio was going to kick in, and it only really did when i attempted to ride uphill, which, holy fuck people, is a feat in and of itself. And i wouldn't even claim this to be a 'hill' or any sort; it was more like a lump, but my thighs threatened to snap in half and burst through my skin. As for the lungs, it was just slight laboured breathing that is easily controlled and not the result of illness or rejection but just generally being mildly out of shape. I can hike for 4km easily, but riding a bike requires more thigh power than i possess, so we shall work on it!

Yesterday i took the girls for a walk at the university, in the Arboretum (it's like giant botanical garden, truely lovely) and we had a great time. Ironically enough, as i was debating which path to take, I was lured to the left whereupon i was greeted by a sign that said "Wall-Custance Memorial Forest". I had always wondered where this mystical place resided because when Karyn died, the funeral home planted a tree in her memory. So this is where it is! my brain thought. As as I made my way to the plaques to see if i could find her, "Breathe Me" started to play on my iPod. A sign from her? Maybe...because it's currently one of my favourite songs. Needless to say, I didn't find the tree planted for her but it truely moved me to see that people care enough for their loved ones to plant trees in their memories as well as contribute to the environment by restoring it's oxygen-giving counterparts. Hurray!

Anywho, onto the horror story that happened to me - or us, rather. So the girls and I are walking down a trail when i see a sign that says, "<--- Nature Valley Trail " Ooooh! my brain said. And in we went.

We're well into the covetted nature valley trail when we reach a boardwalk. It seemed sound enough so the girls and i took it, but could only go so far when i noticed that the rest was utter muck. So we turned around. As we neared the end of the boardwalk back to the entrance the girls leashes got tangled, which bothered me because they are constantly entwining themselves. As i was in the midst of sorting out what leash belong to who, I had one dog to my left, and one to my right, when i felt a violent tug on the right-side leash. I looked around. Maddy was missing. And that's when i saw it.

Maddy had gone overboard. Into the muddy pond 5 feet below.

And the only way to get her out was to jump down myself and get her.

Wearing white.

So down i jump. Try lifting a sheltie whose been stuck in the mud out, as the other sheltie decides it's the perfect time to fall down and get her foot stuck between the boards. Brooke is up on the boards, scrambling away like a fool as i'm failing to lift Madyson out of the muck. It's at this point that my patience crumbled and i yelled, 'HOW THE FUCK DID YOU MANAGE THIS?!'


Long story short, we scaped, no one was injured, and i realized that i had no option but to just laugh at what had happened.

As we left, I decided to venture back into the Wall-Custance Memorial Forest in hopes of giving it another go at finding Karyn's tree. And this time, as i entered, "My Immortal" came on my iPod.

That's the song i listened to 7 times the day she died before i even knew she had passed away.

A sign? Perhaps!

As for today's exercise, i rode my bike to the grocery store to pick up some beef soup broth for the homemade soup i'm making.

And here i sit, listening to piano instrumentals, reading, cooking, and enjoying all the things that life has to offer.

Still job hunting, but lets not spoil a good post with the moanings of that.

And! What else makes this day more perfect is the copious amounts of tea at hand. Woo hoo. And next to all the exercise i'm doing, i'm also eating better and my body feels good because of it. Woo hoo!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

It`s a scortcherr!


I write to you from the premises of my backyard deck. Currently, it is 31*C with a humidex of 38*C (like, 100*F for you lazy american friends of mine who refuse to learn to convert C to F). I LOVE IT. And what`s even better is that this is the first post-tx entry i`ve written that takes place outside! woo hoo! I remember writing a few entries last year from my deck in this kind of weather, hooked up to oxygen, dizzy, coughing everywhere, dying all over the place, and exhausted. But this year? BLISS! WOO HOO! I feel completely awesome. This morning I got a call from my co-ordinator informing me of my 12 month assessment date! It is aptly scheduled for Monday, August 16! WHO KNEW! AHHHHH!

I am very happy overall. My mental state is good today so that makes me feel good. I havent been as agressively looking for jobs as I was however. I'm still looking, but i'm not a complete fiend about it. I've finally found balance and ways to keep myself occupied: I'm back to reading a lot, going for hikes and walks with the dogs, and baking. Friday I baked 4 loaves of the highly covetted Mama Bread (thanks Jenna! Sent all the way from the Wilderness!) It took me 7 hours to make. I started at 11am, punched the dough for an hour (my arms threatened to break off at the shoulders), let it rise for an hour and a half, re-punch, let rise for an hour and a half again, re-punch, pour into 4 loaf pans, let rise for another 2 hours....but it was fabulous! And today i used that bread as sandwich bread! Mmmmmmm. There's something so satifsying in being able to say "I made that". Yesterday I made Newfoundland Partridgeberry Bread - but since this is Ontario and we don't have partridgeberries, i substituted said newfie berries for cranberries.

The bread calls for the rind of one orange, and the juice of said orange. The bread is very orange-y. But it's good. It's good with tea and stuff. Dad likes it.

Father's Day was grand. I cleaned the whoooooooooooooooooooole house: dusted, vaccumed, sanitized, you name it. Main floor, laundry room, bathroom, stairs, upstairs, bedrooms, upstairs bathrooms...I went on a frenzy, and I loved it. Why? BECAUSE I CAN. I can clean now and my chest doesn't pain me, and i'm not hooked to O2, and i'm not coughing and out of breath. It's lovely, and it's those domestic moments that I love experiencing.

Um what else? They are calling for severe weather this afternoon, and it better frigging happen. There are too many times when they call for thunderstorms and they just don't happen, which is disappointing for a storm lover like myself.

Ehm........I'm back to reading An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon and totally loving it so that's good. It's only taken me almost a year to truely get into it. But i'm glad i'm back into it!

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand before I go, June 21 would've been Megs 1 year, and i can't fucking beleive she didn't make it to see it. I was speaking to her brother on FB 2 weeks ago and it really hit me that she wasn't here anymore when he said he was going to go visit her at the cemetary:( It never seizes to pain me when I hear the mention of my friends who've passed in the same sentence as 'cemetary'. Megs+cemetary=sadness. I miss you woman. And I miss our chats. A lot. We could tell eachother everything, and we could bitch at eachother, because we loved eachother enough to be mean to the other person. One of our last convos consisted of me bitching at her to get off her fat ass and get food at the grocery store and make something healthy instead of ordering food or going to a restaurant. She bitched back that she didn't have the money to go to the grocery store, to which i said, "you must, if you're going to a restaurant"...and though she was mad, she later thanked me.

Gah. Post tx life, you are both beautiful and incredibly cruel. But it still doesn't make sense that megs isn't here still going through this with me. I am again, on the Island alone. *sigh*'s some news that'll make you happy: nana and papa news.

Nana got a walker. She calls it "The Machine".

Over and out.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mozel Tov

I feel like i'm dying.

No, not in the physical sense. The body is alive and well, but mentally, i feel like i'm dying.

This is normal, of course. I go for my monthly IV next Friday and i always begin feeling like this exactly a week before I need to get it. Having a blood disease sucks. When I need to get it, I just feel lethargic, mentally numb, blah...and yeah, I pretty much just want to lounge on the couch and not be bothered. I just feel unmotivated, low on gas, can`t be bothered.

Like i`m dying.


I made 4 loaves of bread the other day. Multigrain Mama bread to be exact, sent from the Wilderness, delivered to my door, directly into my tummy. It was fabulous, and my next recipe to tackle will be Newfie-land Partridge Berry Bread. Mmmmmmmmmm.

Today, I`m having a huge prednisone fail. I just can`t seem to stop eating. Cheerios, orange, watermelon, 5 oreos, Nature Valley bar, crackers, then spaghetti. All i want is an extra large tea which i shall promptly go get. And maybe a donut since i`m a humungus pig.

What else?

I think that's it, but i'm sure I'll think of something the minute i log out.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Where Are You?

I laid on the floor tonight
And thought about you
Listening to the same song over and over again
And I wondered where you were
My donor
Are you there?

I think of you often
And it brings me to tears
I don't know how you died
I don't know anything about you
At all
All i know is that a peice of you resides in me
Perfect neighbours to my heart
They fit in well
But what about you?
Are you in the ground somewhere?
In ashes do you lie?
Something beautiful once had died
And the tears burn my eyes

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Starkey Hill

Yesterday was my 10 months post tx! To celebrate, I walked a 4k trail with Krystal again. We brought our dogs and had an absolute blast!
The view from the summit
The girls - not acting like assholes for once.
This was our second trip on this magnificant trail, and unlike the first go 'round (note final picture, it started to torrential downpour on us. Dogs, humans, 5 bitches completely soaked), this time i took a humungus spill. We're not talking just a small fall, oh no, we're talking an all-out plummet from a standing position to flying over a rock that appeared out of nowhere, to landing in full-on victims pose, apple bits scattered all over the trail, sunglasses askew, shock-and-awe all around kinda fall.

As you can see, I gashed my palm open. When i told my parents the tale of my fall, my dad could only counteract with a "make sure you don't land on your back or chest and hurt your lungs" *eye roll*. Well, it's almost 24 hours later and I'm still wholly in tact, thank you very much. I felt wonderful after doing the largely inclined trail. To just be able to breathe and do it and not get out of breath is wonderful. Yes, I do get out of breath like a normal healthy person does when they walk up steep inclines, but there is a difference from pre and post tx out-of-breathness. Pre-tx, I got out of breath doing everything, and there was a sense of panic and ugency with it. Your lungs can't expand fully and they more or less constrict and you can't inhale to your full ability which makes it worse. Post tx, you can regulate it. Take deep breaths in and calm yourself down. You don't need to stop walking or sit down because you feel like you will die all over the place and kill people out of rage. You're fine, and it's ok.
I've been in a very good mood lately. Not worrying about things, not worrying about a job (obviously i'm looking, but i'm not bummed out), just overall happy which is grand. Last week I made an awesome lasagna, and Sunday I watched Discovery channel all day because that special called "Life" was on. I made beer chili, and while it was completely awesome, it was also completely spicey and i don't think i exaggerate when I claim that it set everyone's asshole's on fire the very next day. Ermmmm i don't know if there is anything else for me to write about? I know a good entry was in order since i've been writing poem crap lately and i know that doesn't offer any real insight as to what yours truely has been up to.
Can't wait for the next trail walk with Krystal! Here's hoping neither of us fall (Krys fell twice during the downpour, I fell like a champ yesterday, and we got rained on the first try, dogs included)
Actually! I must mention this: you know how i always talk about getting signs from Karyn, and Megs, or just signs in general? Well i never thought that I could be a sign for someone else. Yesterday, after my massive spill, we were back on the trail when a woman appeared on the trail headed our way. She saw my dogs and her face lit up. She came up to us and was saying how beautiful they were (to which i proclaimed "when theyre not acting like idiots"), and asked if they were related. I said yes, they're mother and daughter, and she automatically knew which one was the mother (Maddy). She was just so elated to see them and her face lit up as she patted them. Then she looked at me and said, "I used to have 3....havent yet gotten a new one since we put our last one down..." and it was almost as if seeing the girls was a sign for her letting her know that it was ok, that she could move on and get another one or something. Just seeing the girls and patting them made her so happy, it was nice to see. I'm glad that when they're not being spastic that they can offer hope and comfort to other people other than us.
Ok that is all. Here's a pic from our first excursion when we got caught in a torrential downpour. We're soaked!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Letter to my Scars

I looked in the mirror tonight
And saw you were almost gone
Memories of a not so distant past
Yet the gap that bridged and made my future

Healed skin so soft to the touch
Yet a touch I cannot feel
Disconnected and healed nerves
Of a scar that snakes around me
Keeping me whole
Keeping me closed

Chest tube scars
2 on the left
3 on the right
Memories of tortorous pain
Just memories now
Of an experience that shaped and made me
Do not escape me
Do not disappear
Stay as dark and scary as you need to
But do not leave me
As you remind me every second
Every minute
Of what I have been through

I carry you day in and day out
With pride
beneath my clothes
My little secret
My pride
I have the privalege of seeing other people's curiosity at will
Yet so loved

My scar
I love you