Mike and I went over to Vancouver for a couple of day’s to meet with the surgical staff team that will be involved with, not only the transplant surgery but the after care as well. It was four and a half to five hours long. The visit was productive. The medical team, all individually met with us and talked thoroughly with us for about an hour-long each. Than took my picture for my medical files. It’s a technique they use for kidney patients,( A kind of Put a face to the name ). It’s a really nice idea. It feels more personal. Too bad our regular G.P’s are not a little more like this. My Nephrologist John S Gill said, “I was healthy and young, a good advocate for my-self and that this is what they looked for in a candidate.” He also said,”that it just makes sense, for me to receive a new kidney, because of having excellent odds for success”. We got the impression, that there are people who are not accepted, for one reason or another. I think physical and mental health has a lot to do with it.
I can’t begin to imagine what it would have felt like to have had the opposite result of what we received. Our hearts go out to any who have experienced this. Mike and I were thrilled to say the least with our out come!! Our names will go into a computer program every four months, three times a year. This is for the kidney cross paired exchange program, which enables Mike ( my husband,who is not the same blood type as myself, so there for can not directly donate to me) but can greatly shorten my waiting time and the other recipients match with ( B positive, my blood type), waiting time as well. Doctor Gill explained to me that this,my first and prefered method, was a good option but that having a match from one of my sister’s, with B positive blood type, or my daughter would be most ideal. I would be less likely to reject the donated kidney, if the donor is a sibling,or relative. He also mentioned for every year that a patient is on dialysis they lose what is the equivalent to ten years of life. As well, the kidney transplant last approx. twenty years. So I would be sixty-eight when, potentially I’d be needing another kidney transplant. The older you are the more that the rest of your organs start to fail, when on dialysis. So it is of the utmost importance to receive the transplant as soon as possible.
He reminded me (that for my daughter sake), if I didn’t give her this chance to do for me, what I would do for her, it could be deeply hurtful to her. She had expressed this very same thing to me, her self early on and I had reluctantly given her the phone number where she could receive her medical folder, which she has now received. She will get a very good medical ” overhaul”, is what I reasoned to my-self. What mother wouldn’t want that for her child. One of my sisters, has already received her folder via e-mail. Modern technology! She called me so exited that she had just found out her blood type is O. This means that she is a match to all blood types. I’ve always known she was unique! Terri’s bravery and selflessness are deeply moving and personal to me, more than silly words could express. To feel truly loved by so many is overwhelming to me.
The people and all of my family members, who have come forward to offer me one of their kidney’s is surreal. The only way I can describe it is to use an analogy; which immediately came to mind, one year ago when Dr. Booth, the first kidney specialist I saw In Nanaimo General Hospital, asked me if any one of my family members had offered one of their kidneys? as silly as it may sound to you, dear reader. This seemed to be no different from if a person( even a family member), had two cars and I my-self did not have a car but I did though, have access to the bus system, (which is how I view the miracle of dialysis), It would only stand to reason (in my mind), that I could continue this way until my circumstances changed and I could get a car. how much more so would this,”car/bus” analogy apply when dealing with a living persons organ. I have been reminded, though that my “bus system” is wearing out and that when people want to give life as a gift, who am I to say no thank you. Or to rob them of maybe what is part of their journey in life. This is still a hard gift to accept for me. This fact and humbled realization is also something that helps in my, ever broadening perspective. If I can give , than I too should be able to receive. I am starting to see that I need to accept help from others on occasion, or my desire to help others is not a balanced desire.
Yet no matter what any of my dear loved ones choose or what my circumstances eventually are I am being changed by this ordeal in such a way that is truly amazing and I wouldn’t for one minute go back in time to erase anything that has happened to me. I do realize how this must sound to someone who have never gone through a life altering experience. I am much more present and enlightened than ever before because of my Renal Failure. I wouldn’t change the outcome for any thing. I have always believed in self-improvement and this has hurdled me forward at a rate of growth, that quite frankly, may not have been possible in our present world, such that it is. I’ve always been somewhat of a confident person. Yet once I began to study the bible, this confidence morphed into a much more balanced confidence . I can honestly say though that I feel even more comfortable in my skin today. I am so thankful for the gift of free will, to choose, or not to choose, to grow and become a better and more positive person when life throws us a curve ball.