Seven Quick Takes Friday Vol. 23



This is the transplant anniversary and Les Miz post. 🙂 On Monday I went to Children’s for day one of my annual testing. This included blood work, chest x-ray, PFTs, a six minute walk, and a bone density scan, as well as a talk with my doctors, the social worker, and the dietician on the team.

The social worker can help with any sort of insurance questions, family support, etc., that you may need. I had a few questions regarding the Finance Office, but other than that, I’m easy for her. 🙂 The dietician and I touched base about my activity level and diet. My doctors are very pleased with how I’m doing. My PFTs are stable, and my bone density is actually normal! Go cheese !

The only thing that wasn’t normal was my triglyceride level. I’ve always had high triglycerides, as do a lot of people in my family (on my mom’s side), so this is genetic and also medicinially based (the immunosuppressants give you high cholesterol, no matter what.) We’ve tried lots of statins (drugs to reduce your cholesterol, like Lipitor) and I just can’t tolerate them. I have awful bone pain and extreme lethargy.

So the team was powwowing about the results and one of my docs said, “Let’s try red wine.” No, I’m not kidding. So I’m supposed to have one glass (maximum) of red wine a day. That’s a prescription I an willing to try, right? 🙂 So–here comes the wine!


The transplant anniversary is always a mighty powerful day. It’s a day of resurrection, of new chances, of celebrating being alive. (Cue the song from Company)

(yeah, video clip!)

Or, as Emily Webb said in Our Town: “Do humans ever realize why they live it? Every, every minute?”


This year the transplant anniversary fell on our last day of Les Miz tech week. We were warming up, preparing to go on, when my friend Bethany steps up and starts talking about me….and I turn bright red. One of the girls gave me a bouquet of flowers and Doug, our Javert, led everyone in singing happy anniversary to me. I was so touched by this. My friend Abby and our director, Robin, were also behind this scheme. I felt so loved. Afterwards a lot of people asked me questions (including the 11 year old playing Gavroche), and I was happy to  answer them. I just felt so wonderful. Thanks to all of you (again!)


Also on my anniversary, I got to have lunch with my transplant nurse, Karen, and her precious little girls. I just love spending time with her. She was a great nurse and she’s also a fantastic friend. Her little girls are 5 and 2, and they are adorable and fun. They also have two Westies that I adore (except for when one of them brings me dead Rabbits that he’s killed, but that’s another story…) And Karen’s husband is pretty awesome, too. Basically I just love that family. A true gift of Transplant has been getting to know them!


So this year was the 8 year anniversary. That’s a pretty darn good milestone, given that only about half of the lung transplant patients make it to 5 years. Lung transplants are not done nearly as often as other organs, so we’re still setting precedents, in a sense. 🙂 There’s so much we still don’t know about transplant science, in general. So I’m very glad that I’m doing so well.


Opening night for Les Miz was last night. We had a full house (really. Full house) and got an immediate standing ovation after the finale. I clutched hands with the girl next to me–we were so happy and proud and excited. It was truly a memorable night. Tomorrow and tonight are the last two performances.


A few fun transplant facts for you: My surgery was over 12 hours long; My lungs were too big for me, so my center trimmed them; they came from Minnesota, from a 50ish year old woman who died of a brain aneurysm. I am so thankful to her and her family for giving me the ability to sit here and type to y’all. 🙂


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