It's my one year lungiversary!!!
I keep sitting here trying to write something profound about today, to reflect meaningfully on the past year and marvel about how much my life has changed. It's changed in so many ways that the list is endless. To start, I'm alive. I'm able to breathe on my own. I'm able to walk for blocks without getting short of breath. I'm able to laugh without coughing. I'm able to talk without wheezing. I could go on for hours.
I'm really struggling to put into words what the one year mark means to me. Thanks to a transplant donor and their family, I was alive for the past year and experienced so much. I can't properly convey the gratitude I feel toward my donor and the transplant team for saving my life a year ago. Not just enhancing my life as I thought it might but saving my life.
There is no doubt that I would be dead without the transplant. I was so ill and my body was shutting down as my lungs were failing. There was no extra time for me to think about the decision. If I hadn't had the transplant a year ago, I would've been put on a ventilator which could've prolonged my life for some period of time but with any real quality of life.
Not that everything has been all roses the past year, there is no denying it was rough. I had a hard start with so many setbacks. It seemed like I would never feel back to feeling normal and capable. But after many months and perseverance, I seemed to scratch my way back to how I wanted to feel and it was incredible.
Even now, with everything that is happening with PTLD, I'm a million times better physically than I was before the transplant. My emotional side is a bit battered with the new setbacks but I'll get through. Because if it wasn't for the transplant, I wouldn't be able to be complaining about a month-long hospital stay. It's a really weird feeling to both be celebrating my transplant lungs and cursing them for giving me cancer.
I have a new set of challenges to overcome. The future seems as uncertain today as it did a year ago. All I can do is take it one day at a time which is a cliche but a cliche that has worked for me so I'll keep saying it.