After all this time, that is it? 12/15/2010
Heart and Soul – One woman’s journey through a heart transplant
Welcome to the weekly blog of a Donate Life Northwest volunteer who has graciously offered to tell the story of her journey through the organ transplant process. She will post to this blog every Monday and Wednesday so you can ride this bumpy road with her.
UPDATE! After successfully receiving her new heart a few weeks ago, our guest blogger is now home! She is still recovering, but is doing well. We will be sure to keep you updated on her current status as her blog is about 8 weeks behind actual time.
I received a call from the transplant coordinator this morning. He is listing me with UNOS and checking my contact information. In my panic, I give him my husband's cell phone number instead of mine. He always said he would trade places with me if he could….okay. I hang up. After all this time, that is it? A validation of my contact info. No clowns, no certificate that documents my membership in a very select club? I cry a little bit. I call my husband. I don’t panic when the phone rings again. It's Kathryn, how appropriate.
I go to Costco (good to have a full freezer right now). A friend recently told me she was amazed by my network of friends. Me too and somehow they (those of the inner circle) knew. Kate called, my sister-in-law called, another good friend. A friend from Texas came to visit as well. His wife just had a successful bone marrow transplant. Talk about blessings and networks and such good, good people I have in my life. I put out a “Friends and Family” group list email to let them know I have actually been listed (is that a verb?). I heard back from most of them within the hour and with such kind words and loving thoughts and prayers. It kind of overwhelmed me. “What did you expect?” my husband asks. One of the most poignant responses came back from the woman who had the bone marrow transplant following chemotherapy for advanced leukemia. She is doing very, very well. She too was a hospital administrator, knows a lot and hated having to relinquish control. Her advice, in order, #1 pray, #2 if you can't pray, get on every prayer list you can. And the list goes on, all very helpful tips. I think I should wallpaper the email to my ICU room. What struck me in all of the quick emails I received back, was that while I don’t have all 50 states covered in prayer, I have a lot. I am truly blessed to have lived the life I have with these people whom I love in it.
The author is a heart failure patient going through the transplant listing process. She also is a nurse and former hospital administrator. She would like to thank Donate Life Northwest for permitting her to post her observations on the Donate Life Northwest website. She also wants to emphasize that all opinions and views stated in the posts are her own and not those of Donate Life Northwest.