Wednesday, October 6, 2010

thank you, and you, and you...

Today is two weeks to the day of my surgery. Aw, kinda like an anniversary. I'm recovering well, I think. At least I feel like I am. Today was my second full day at work; I went back last Friday but could only tolerate a half day. Monday wasn't too bad, but I left at 3pm. Up until Monday night I have not been able to sleep through the evening and have been experiencing the worst of my pain in bed at night. It's because Derek hogs all the space in the bed. It's because I can't get comfortable.  However, last night was great! A full night of sleep and I felt like a million bucks when I woke this morning.

Because my pain is diminishing daily and I haven't been as distracted, I've had more time to ponder and reflect on this journey, specifically the recent surgery. As most of you know, I live alone. I don't have a husband or a child to annoy care for me. What I do have is an unbelievable support system of friends and family that makes me feel like the luckiest woman in the world. Were it not for their concern, care, comfort and genuine generosity, I know that this recovery would have been extremely challenging, lonely and emotionally painful. I am fortunate to have many friends, almost too many (do you want some?) and this has probably been the first time in my life when I have truly needed their help. It's hard for me to ask anyone for help, and I know that's an ongoing character flaw that I've yet to lose, but I've discovered that these people in my life are there for me because they want to be. What a great feeling it is to know that I have surrounded myself by some of the kindest friends a person could ask for!

So many people did so many wonderful things for me, and I wanted to take some time to thank them, here. Let me start by saying that I can't possibly list them all, the Facebook friends list alone would have you all napping by the 10th name, but I do feel the need to express my gratitude for a select few. If you don't want to stick around for this, then go ahead and bounce over to water your crops on Farmville or tweet your friends about who you hope will be kicked off of Dancing with the Stars next week. Just know you'll be missing what to me is the most important post I've offered yet. Buh-bye.

In no particular order, so don't get all weird about this, ok?
  • Amanda (my sister)  -  You were there to entertain me, make me laugh, reassure and comfort me, calm me and most importantly, provide me with your unconditional love and support. Thank you so much for being there at my side prior to my admittance and after the surgery in the recovery room. You're the best sister anyone could ask for.
  • Mom - Your support of my decision to be a donor means more to me than anything you could ever do for me in my life. This was the most important and meaningful decision I have ever made and knowing you were behind me 100% made this experience so pure, without any hesitation, because of your love. I love you so much.
  • Cara Yesawich (my donor mentor) -  Although I've never met you, I feel like I've known you forever. Your time, information, honesty and care are more than I could have asked for in a mentor. Your phone calls and emails of encouragement, support and post-surgery tips were priceless to me.  I hope to one day be able to meet this angel that I feel so connected to... thank you for being there for me, Cara.
  • Robyn Wheatley (my donor mentor)  - You too live so far away but I feel like you're right around the corner. Your daily emails and calls to me after surgery comforted me and made me feel secure about my progress. It was so nice to know I could just pick up the phone or email you and within minutes you had all the answers. I hope you and I can run a race together one day, just because we only have one kidney doesn't mean we won't kick ass!
  • Harvey Mysel - Without your response to my Facebook status update, I don't think I'd be writing this blog. Your kind and honest approach in providing me with direction and support as I was processing my decision was the confirmation I needed in knowing that this was the best gift I could have ever given to someone. I hope that in the future I can return the favor by helping your organization by becoming a mentor. Thank you for providing me with wonderful mentors and accurate information. I admire your strength and motivation.
  • Diane Zocchia (transplant coordinator - National Kidney Registry) - I know, I ask a million questions, and you deserve a raise! Your specific information and detailed account of your own kidney donation was so reassuring to me. I appreciate all your work on the logistics of our lodging at the hospital - that big 'ol city scares the hell out of me and thanks to you, I didn't worry about a thing.  NKR is lucky to have you on their team and I am so fortunate to have had you with me every step of the way.  Thank you for adding the personal touch to this journey that I found to be so comforting to me.
  • Sue Rice - I now have enough food in my freezer to last me until St. Patrick's Day. Thank you for your generosity and thank you for adding more junk in my trunk.
I want to thank all my friends for the beautiful cards, emails, text messages, phone calls and special gifts you have all given me.  Just knowing you all cared is what really is important, and I thank you for that.

I hope to post a nice detailed account of my recovery soon, as I feel it's very important to share this information with all potential donors that are just beginning their process of being a living kidney donor. Just as it was important to me to know the facts and the personal experiences of other donors, I hope to now be able to mentor others with the same intent.

Until next time... can someone please send me some very hot sunshine and warm weather? I'm already gettin' the winter-time blues...  :-(