As I sit in this busy, loud, cramped airport terminal gate waiting to return home from my 8 yr Post Double Lung Transplant check up from UPMC...I have the capability to block out all the chaos and anxiety of traveling with a simple song. I have my headphones plugged into my ears to block out all the noise and focus on the words that speak to my spirit more than anything right now...."I swear I lived" (song by One Republic). Those words have so much meaning and power for me now more than ever before.
My checkup with the amazing and compassionate Doctor Pilewski was better than I could have ever dreamed. Eight years after he and the team of surgeons, doctors & nurses saved my life when they had every reason to say "no, she's too sick...she has Cepacia...she lives too far away..." But they didn't. They took a chance on a young woman from Idaho who they'd never met...who just showed up in their hospital in desperate need of their help. And in the words of Joe (my doc) "Jamie, I'm glad we took a chance on you 8 yrs ago" those words bring me to tears every time I think about them. It's so true, they all took a chance...one that they didn't have to...one that most hospitals would not have done. He says he remembers meeting me...knowing If I didn't get a transplant I would have gone home to Idaho in a pine box. That's the absolute truth.
After (almost) 8 years my donor lungs are clear and working fabulously! The X-Ray looked so clear... No white spots anywhere my Pulmonary Lung Functions are steady: FVC 103% FEV1 89-90% my weight is nice and healthy, kidneys are working good...my oxygen Sats were 98% and my blood pressure was perfect. Not only have "I Lived" but I'm living beyond what any medical professional would have thought 8 yrs ago.
I know my health is not the "typical" results for every CF/CEPACIA transplant however, I am so very thankful. If I can do it so can other patients. It's worth fighting to "LIVE"
We also enjoyed some sight seeing in Pittsburgh & Wash DC :) my amazing husband is truly lives me & takes such good care of me. He took care of all our travel arrangements so I didn't have to have any added stress.
Even during my recovery after my transplant when I had to fight harder, dig deeper, and pray my hardest than I ever had my entire life...I Never gave up...remember to always have hope!!