Speaking on the patient panel was a super fantastic opportunity and I left there feeling soooooooo much love and support from all the CF family, staff. . .whoever was there. I feel so uplifted and I feel like all the pain, tears, fear, and hope continues to pay back and when I share my transplant story I can only hope that it gives others something that may have been searching for! I spoke to many people that where in the auditorium, most all of them were family members of Cystics. Another great speaker was a man who spoke about his wife and watching her as she gets sick and the sadness and emotions that he shared with us was just incredible and also painful for me to remember. But he also shared their hope and plans for their future. It was truly an amazing and wonderful experience for me!
The first speaker spoke about being an adult CF patient in college and the challenges that she is faced with. She sounds like she is doing very well, she was a beautiful woman who has set some pretty incredible goals for herself and I hope and pray she will reach them!
Next was a 34 year man who had a very interesting topic. . . having a 'normal' life with CF and working a very hard job! He is a prosecutor for the County DA?(I think). He was a charming man with a sense of humor and was very enjoyable to listen to. He's pretty amazing and is able to balance life, work and CF.
3rd was a girl who had given birth to 2 children. She spoke on wanting to start a family as a cystic. She was very detailed and gave a really in depth look into the process of her husband and her's decision to conceive a baby. She had a 3 year old and a 2 year old (I think) Beautiful family!! She went over the risks, the complications and the after effects to her health to be able to experience bringing a miracle into this world. It was also inspiring. . . .to truly follow your heart and do what you know will bring you happiness and fulfillment.
Following her was a young man who has a wife who has been put on oxygen. His speech was difficult for me to hold back the tears that has welled up in my eyes. I understand the pain that it is to have front row seats to the deterioration due to Cystic Fibrosis. . . his heartache and compassion for his wife was truly inspiring. His wife is an amazing and talented woman and she has all the prayers I have to offer for her! Thier journey is ahead of them and they know God has a plan. Thier faith is inspiring! His love was evident and it was a highlight to be able to speak to him after the panel discussions.
Then it was my turn! I had notes. ..but I didn't even glance down at them. I don't roll like that :) Luckily I was asked to speak on something that is far enough out that my emotions and memories of how difficult it was didn't spew out as blubbering crying. I shared a shorthand version of my transplant. I didn't have a lot of time and I wanted to have time to take questions. The questions were wonderful! The love was poured out to me. I still wonder how I got to where I am. God truly gave me sooo much more than I asked for. I just wanted to be healed. . . .but he had a bigger gift to give me. I get such love and support from the people I meet online, and now those I met at the conference today humbles me to know that God gave me something so miraculous that I can help inspire and bring hope. To share my burden that I carried until I could no longer and the strength that I KNOW I was given to walk and not stumble. Miracle happen. . . because I am proof.
To really top the day off I won in their door prize raffle!!! They were raffling off a lot of stuff . . .when they announced $25 gift card to the AMC movie theater I was like "I hope I win that! . .I hope I win something!!" I like to win stuff, who doesn't. When my ticket number was not read as the winner of the AMC gift card I was distracted and didn't realize what the next gift up for auction even was! They called out my number and I didn't even realize that MY number was a winner! Bryan's like "You won it, go up there!" . . .When I returned to my seat with just an envelope with a shiny sticker seal, I was shocked to find a Dinner for 2 at a very fancy restaurant!! A value of $125. . . .and just think of how excited the movie tickets made me. Needless to say I am glad I didn't win the movie tickets!!
JesterZ was hard tonight I think due to the convention and speaking and just a plain, flat out loooooong day. Too much thinking for my prograf brain! Also I would like to add that my amazing supportive husband who has to get up at 4am Sunday (so in 2 hours) and work tomorrow supported me through the whole day. He was by my side at the CF convention and drove me to Jester'Z and back home. . . .I have a pretty amazing guy.
Long post, sorry. . ..but it was a BIG day!!
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