My Double Lung Transplant

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Only temporary

I need a new layout. I need something happy?

Is this too fucking happy?

Something bright?

Well I thought i liked the forest but it looks weird. Will need time later on to fuck around with it. In the mean time, apologies.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

3rd degree bacon grease burn and 6 months scar pic

For the morbidily curious like myself kinda ppl.

*insert maniac giggle here b/c you all know you're morbidly curious*
My scar, days away from being 6 months post! Barely visible! INSANITY!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"Forever Young..."

"...I want to be forever young/Do you really want to live forever?/Forever?And ever?"

HAPPY NEWS ON THIS DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After 2 years, my dear dear friend Amy V, who re-located from New Brunswick to await her second double lung transplant, got the call today and went into surgery at 4pm!!!!!!!! Any thoughts and prayers sent her way would be muchly appreciated! She waited long and hard for this and i'm sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo happy for her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Second, and ironically, today marks 6 years since the passing of my dear friend Karyn. 6 years and i can't believe it. I miss you tons but i know you're up there watching over, and maybe you even had a hand in today's events? As i state every year on this day, Karyn was an organ donor and saved 11 people's lives. Can you define hero for me, please??

In another twist of irony, "Forever Young" was playing on the radio today and i found myself happily (and horribly) singing along to it....Did you have a hand in that too, K? Maybe? There are no coincidences...

"Yearbook write up found, in her pocket, at the accident scene: "Someone once told me, live for what you love, die for what you beleive in, always remember who your friends are, and when the day comes, hold your head up, it's not an end, merely a second start...never stop dreaming, dreams make life bearable. They give you hope and that's exactly what i have...this is my second start."

And i recommend you people go to my side bar and check out Merv Sheppards blog. He outlines the brilliant success Trillium Gift of Life had in 2009, seeing over 200 organ donations made. In Ontario alone, there were 102 lung transplants! WAY TO GO!!!!!!!!


Middle finger, goo-filled finger popped in the shower the other night, promptly deflating and releasing a steady stream of goo everywhere soon after. The excess skin soon caved in and made a grotesque looking pile on the top of my finger, where it remains, but is hidden beneath a bandaid.

There is no pain. Thank-you for your concern and words of support.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Crippled Update

Went to the docs today to firstly, inspect the incision from my port surgery on my neck, and second, to inform my doc of my current state of crippled-ness.

First, neck incision is fine. Not infected, just has a bundle of scar tissue underneath and will scar a little hard. She wrote me a 'script for an antibiotic though incase the inflammation doesn't go away, but i will only begin it if that is the case.

I go back in a week.

Second, i showed the doc my fingers. The verdict is in and I have 3rd degree burns. I have to put Polysporin on the blisters repeatedly and keep them covered with bandages and gauze until they erupt. The blister on my middle finger is the worst, as it looks like a dome and is roughly the size of a dime. You know those googly-eyed fish at the top? The blister looks like that. Like if it bumps into something it will explode goo everywhere.
Will keep you updated on the current state of my goo-encased crippled finger.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


I am crippled.

I got crippled this morning at roughly 11am when I made a shoddy effort to pour steaming hot bacon grease from the pan into a wobbly container, and alas, it missed the wobbly container and instead flowed freely over not one, but three of my fingers.

Soon followed were shouts of 'fuck', 'omg', 'oh my fuck', and banging. It was witnessed and said witness failed to take action and save me, and rather opted to remain in a laying position on the couch, looking over their shoulder at the actions unfolding before them.

I spent a good hour with my hand thus submerged in a cup of cold water, and any attempt at removing it proved to fail and caused the pain to come surging back with a vengence. Dad brewed me up a cup of tea, saying that the tannin in the tea would act as an agent to draw the pain out. Well, submerging my hand in cold tea worked fine, until it came to removing it from the tea, whereupon the pain surged back and forced me to re-submerge it.

I tried aloe vera and gauze. It failed.

I tried baking soda and water to make a paste. It failed.

I tried packing my hand in ice. It failed.

And then my friends, a genius idea struck me. Instead of walking around with my hand planted in a bowl of cold tea all day, thus rendering me somewhat crippled and unable to do anything, why not get out some latex gloves I have upstairs, pump the afflicted fingers of said latex gloves with aloe vera gel, and wear the glove?

Any my friends, my invention work.

I now sit here, 6 hours after being smited by the hand of disability, with a single latex glove fully loaded with aloe vera gel and it's working well:)

So what have i done today you ask? How did i manage to use this to my advantage? Well, I determined that the best way to treat a horrible, triple fingered bacon grease burn is to let said mangled fingers steep in tea, then cry, complain, cry some more, complain to anyone who will listen, and then determine that latex gloves loaded with aloe vera lotion is just as effective - and continue to complain to anyone who will listen.

Which means you people.

Friday, January 22, 2010

In this moment, nothing else matters

"how does it feel/ to be/different from me/are we the same/how does it feel?"
~ How Does it Feel
- Avril Lavigne

I laid in bed
And nothing else mattered
Because I am alive
I opened the drawer beside my bed and pulled out my stethoscope
And listened
To all that i've been given
Safely enclosed inside my chest
Behind a tiny wire
Behind a long, clamshell line
Surrounding my heart
Two beautiful creatures
Kindly entrusted to me
In my care
Given and received
Taken with thanks
Celebrated in all aspects

So i listened
Not a sound
Not a crackle, or wrinkle
Not a wheeze or a pop
Nothing sloshing or gushing
Beautiful silence

Where once i could not blow out a candle
I can now run down the street
Where i once could not laugh in the slightest
I laugh long and hard
Even though no sound comes out
Through the casing of my stethoscope
Can i hear my life
Can i see it rise and fall beneath my eyes
Fragile, yet strong
From the bottom to the top and all around
Sounding like parchment paper, so thin, yet two little warriors
Keeping me going
Keeping me breathing
All thanks to the kindness of another whom I do not know
And never will

It is strange to me that these wonders were not born with me
We were not made together
But manufactured apart
Yet somehow, someway
Our lives became one
And you saved me
And will continue to do so

So tonight
When the world may seem scary
And material things uncertain
I listen through my stethoscope
And remind myself
In this moment
Nothing else matters

Happy birthday(s)!!!

Today is a monumental day.

Number 1: It is Alice`s 2 year post-tx birthday today! Happy lungiversary, dahling!

Number 2: It is Cassie`s 1 year post-tx birthday today as well! Happy lungiversary, dahling! Use it wisely!

Number 3: It is my dear friend Karyn`s would be 24th birthday. Instead of celebrating here with us, she is up in heaven instead, probably having a rockstar birthday regardless of the fact that she is not here anymore. Happy birthday, K, we miss you tons!
I`ve never posted a pic of her before but today it feels like it would be ok to do so. So yeah, here`s my dear friend Karyn, the beautiful creature that she is and was. You are missed, but you are felt every single day, in every single way.

Two days before she had the aneurysm/accident, we were talking on MSN and i mentioned her birthday coming up. I will never forget how happy she was that I remembered. I remember her saying, "It's the 22nd...but it's cool that you remembered:)"
GAH woman! What i wouldn't give to see your face again and just talk to you and hug you and squeeze you and/or throw your books on the ground like old times...but, to quote the old Rose from Titanic, now, "you are only in my memory". Again, you are missed, but you are celebrated.
I am visiting you today with Jess.
Hope this blog finds everyone well and celebrating LIFE!:)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Port Placement Debauchery Photos

Here they are, from the beginning when it was grotesque and horrible and i somewhat regretted it, to now, where it's swollen and somewhat lovely, to a recent photo of me (taken today) to showcase my still-alive sass 5 months post-tx.

Enjoy, my kittens.

Friday, January 15, 2010


I've decided/learned that I am too hard on myself.

It's pretty obvious that in my last entry I was writing from an incredible place of mental turmoil, which is never fun, and I thank all 3 people for their kind comments! Today I woke from a great sleep (got ALL my readings for school done which always helps), and then the wheels in my head started turning and i started sinking into the "what the fuck do I do with life/how do i get there?" mode.

Mistake #1: thinking too hard too early in the morning.

Mistake #2: thinking with no tea in my system.

I can write this from a state of mental clarity. I'm on my 4th tea and am feeling pretty amped. I've decided that as for work, I will put that off till around April when the semester wraps up, and for the time being, focus on school and health instead. I think having a job while trying to manage school and my health would be too much, too soon, and work can wait. I'm only 5 months out of transplant, still have frequent appts and I think that would be putting a lot of undue stress on myself that I don't really need. That was stressing me out. Stressing me out so much that i was almost physically sick with wanting to drop out of school and say fuck it all.

But finally - finally! - a mental breakthrough today! AND I FEEL FABULOUS! Stress sucks balls but I do beleive you need it in order to realize what exactly you want, and elminate just what you don't need. Regardless of how much of a bitch stress is, I do beleive it has some purpose.

Also, a huge extended thanks goes out to English Breakfast tea for playing an imperitive role in restoring my sanity. I'm on #5 right now, and i feel sane. To again, quote my friend Robert, "It's a public service that i drink caffine....otherwise, don't come within 1000ft of me"

I agree - i'm quite a miserable bitch w/o tea in my system.

So yes, gone with stress. I'm done my readings for the week, i've come to academic conclusions (go see guidance and career councelor on Monday to get my career on track - which i finally know how to do!), don't worry about work, and just chill, and be zen, and enjoy every moment i am blessed to experience.

Hope you're all lovely.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Now comes the scary part


Oh life.

You slap me in the face at the worst of times.

You scare me when you creep up on me and remind me that it is time to remove myself from my sick little bubble that has kept me safe for these past 2 years and finally emerse myself into this world called 'life'. While it was not the most fun thing I could have ever done, you did have perks: worries were small; things were taken day to day; my days were governed and planned by how i felt and how much energy i had; i wore sweatpants all the time; i didn't need to worry about going out and finding a job or being back at school; i had no commitment to anything.

And now...I'm 5 months out, and while no one forced me to enroll back in school, i've got 1 online course that i'm doing and already feeling stress for; i want to start applying for jobs so i can get work and make up some much-needed money, maybe finally graduate in the spring(?), work a lot in the summer (which will be fine b/c i won't have academic commitments then - weeeeee!)...and maybe apply to a college to go through for counceling? We'll see...

So yea. I've been a ball of stress trying to make my way through this crazy jungle called 'what the fuck do i do now, life?' phase. It's scary when it just shows up unannounced. I no longer feel safe and protected by having the leisure of saying 'i'm a student', because honestly, i'm way past being a student, i want to be out there and doing a normal job...or at least something more focused rather than an undergrad.

One. Thing. At. A . Time.

I know.

But fuck.

Life. You're here; but why must you be so scary!?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Port-o-Cathing we will go

Yesterday morning started at about the same time as I write this: 5:30am ish. I hauled ass out of bed, washed my face, found a good pair of sweatpants to put on, a nice warm sweater, and carefully and skillfully applied my face, gathered my shit, made a call, and was out the door. I was greeted not only with freezing cold upon entering the garage and opening it, but also a good inch of snow that beautifically encased and hid my car. Fucking great. I was going to have to clean it off. However, unlike last year, it took all of 5 minutes of doing so and in that time it allowed the car to warm up just a tish before i hit the road (making a stop to pick up a special someone). Best of all, was that I was able to clean off the car in a hurry and not get out of breath!

I arrived at the hosp at about 7am. Traffic was terrible and i fishtailed on the ice twice. Port placement was scheduled for 7:15 but with one thing and another, it didn't happen until around 10am b/c the doc was late on account of the shitty drive.

I wasnt knocked out but I was given an ativan or something to allegedly 'relax' me. I don't beleive this worked b/c i was present for the whole thing - in my head and in my body. This meant that I felt every needle that went into my neck and chest. In total, it was about 7, and it wasn't fun. The first needle i felt go in was in my neck. I felt like those ppl who claim to be abducted by aliens in their sleep and when they wake up they're in a lab and the next thing they know they're being prodded with needles in parts of their body that needles should go - like your fucking jugular. I wasn't lucky enough to get just 1 needle in my neck and feel it, but rather, was graced and blessed with having 2. And let me tell you, never again. "This is going to sting a little" fails to encapsulate just how horrifying an big huge needle is. I never got to see it, but what i envision in my head is much like the scene from The Exorcist where they take Regan to the lab and they shove that huge ass needle in her neck and thread something into it and blood squirts everywhere. I could feel them (this needle apparently numbed me - well, it fucking didn't) threading something into my neck....and when the freezing started to work it was just this unpleasant numbness.

(Moving along about 15 minutes. Bear in mind, i was 100% conscious. I don't think the 'this is supposed to relax you and make you irresponsible for your actions' meds kicked in until after all the pain and tortue was done.)

Next up came the actual part where the slice you open. They apparently numbed me before hand but in all honesty it felt like they sliced me open (it's about an inch and a half to 2 inches) before the had the grace to numb me. Either way, there was a series of 7 sharp pains, a tear which almost escaped but didn't, me asking when the hell things would be done, and pressure. Lots and lots of pressure. At one point, I was gonna remind the doc (who actually was humming 'Single Ladies') not to apply so much pressure to my chest and squish my sternum seeing as it was special and should not be squished or manhandled. Again, I asked when they were gonna be done. It felt like the end of the op but apparently it wasn't. Apparently they were inserting the cath and sewing action I was feeling (and trust me, feeling yourself being sewn up is not cool) was the feeling of the cath being sewn into place. It's a lot of pressure, and it's time consuming and takes patients which i just don't have. Best of all, he was teaching one of the attendees how to sew it in. Fucking great. Sure, you have to learn somewhere but why does it always have to be on me?!

Anywho, the torture soon ended and i got patched up. What a horrible job they did. I felt like i had been hacked up or something. Yes, everyone who was there was lovely and I enjoyed them, but the next time i go through something like this i'm being knocked the fuck out. The glued me shut, steriestripped it, sewed my neck where they stabbed me, and put on as much gauze and tape one could imagine. For such a small procedure, they sure as hell made it look like i had been shot or worse. Not one peice of gauze but rather, a huge maxi pad strapped to my shoulder to protect it from danger.

And the best and most dignifying part is that i cannot shower for a few days. I can only sponge bath..but i refuse...I will shower I will just seran wrap it.

So here I sti, at 5:38am, in pain and waiting for two T2's to kick in. I did not heed the advice from my pharmacist long ago when i first started taking tylenol 2: take 1 with food, wait half an hour, take the next. In doing so, you avoid the effects of drowsiness and getting high. Well, seeing as i woke up at this time yesterday, went to bed at midnight, woke up at 5am b/c my brain hates me. pardon me when i pop 2 T2's on a empty stomach, back to back. I'd rather be drowsy and high than in pain. Maxi pads slung to your shoulder to protect tiny yet incredibly painful incisions do not protect you from pain - only danger.

So that my friends, is the horrifying experience i had getting a port placed.

Thursday, January 7, 2010



I've made it 5 months! And what better way to celebrate than with a nice big fat email from the university informing me of my tuition fee that's due! Not.

Yes yes, education is commencing for me next week on the 11th. I begin my distance ed course (aka DE/online). I'm pretty stoked but already i can feel the stress mounting with it: the textbook purchasing, the re-orienting oneself with the world of online education, the coursepack finding, site navagating,....all that fun stuff that stresses a student out but it's normal stuff! Oh life, i love thee.

What else? I have my port surgery tomorrow and i hope all goes well with that! It's at 7:15am so it will be early to bed and early to rise...Ugh. Oh well. I don't have much to report other than that.

I am loving my lungs.

In scary news, I read in the paper that there could be a worldwide shortage of black tea.

*screams in terror*

*starts hoarding*

Friday, January 1, 2010

HAPPY 2010!

THE FUTURE HAS ARRIVED!!!!!!!!!! My new years was fab! Ended up going out to a bar and stayed out till 4am, almost lost my feet to freezing-ness, have not really slept at all since i woke up Thurs morning at 10am. YAY pred. induced insomnia! Fucken right.

Needless to say my new years this year was vastly different than it was last year, which saw me, katey, and krystal crashing at jenna's (and i say this with the utmost affection jennana) crumbling appartment. After initially planning a low-key, night in this year, i somehow got convinced to go to a country bar with friends and ended up having a blast! And you know, not once did i think about being out of breath as i was constantly hauled around the place by someone i barely knew (nor was i really concerned that i was being hauled around the place by someone i barely knew; yay free drinks; yay men who are willing to buy each and everyone for you) I learned that i can stomach several glasses of rye and ginger on nothing but caesar salad, that sweet chili heat doritos really do contain the secret ingredient of 'fire', and that lack of sleep actually doesn't turn into an out-right zombie the way some people speculate that it does. I did learn however, that going to a bar on New Years makes it near impossible to arrive home via cab before 6am, especially in this shitty, freezing weather. Oh well, regardless, i had a blast and made memories i will cherish forever!

It is now 5:27am. I have slept maybe 5-6 hours (broken since I woke up Thurs at 10am) needless to say this insomnia dealio kind of sucks. I just took something to help me sleep so hopefully it works b/c i'm really not cool with this lack-of-sleep business. I kind of need it for survival purposes and all.

What else? Keep checking Alice's blog b/c i'm sure she'll be breaking her exciting news soon. And if she never plans on disclosing said exicitng news, then, oops...from your friend in Canada.

HAPPY NEW YEARS 'Y'ALL'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!