We had no idea that the next morning, after I dropped her off to work, we'd get the call that would change everything for the both of us.
It'll be two years this week that I got my new kidney.
Whew. Wow. I gotta breathe that one out.
And I have to confess - I still get terrified that despite my best and most meticulous efforts, I'll get that news that the kidney is failing.... it's a constant worry, especially for someone who has had a transplant before, and lost it. I will admit, living like that does cause me some stress at times, and it will probably be a while before I ever feel truly comfortable - if I ever do.
But, I am happy - I'm happy my wife no longer has to work a 12 hour over-night shift, and come home to put me on a four hour dialysis treatment. I'm happy we're able to travel more easily - even if it is just heading up to camp for the weekend. I'm happy that I don't have to have a dialysis room in a house I share with my brother, and that he doesn't have to live with that. I'm happy that Jordan and I have been able to finally begin to live a more "normal" life!
It is a struggle at times - I've talked about this. I have a lot of anger and sorrow about dealing with this for not only the last 10 years of my life, but also for knowing I have to deal with it for the rest of my life. I lament that feeling of having my youth stolen from me, but I temper that with remembering that I did some pretty amazing things in my time on dialysis - things other patients could never do. I pushed myself for years, and I finally feel like I've had a chance to catch my breath, and try and rest for a moment. Heh, and yet, many amazing things are occuring in my life!
So, like any other person, I'm just trying to live my life the best I can - and enjoy my pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. I have to thank so many people.... so many people in the last decade have championed me, carried me when I was weak, helped me when I was lame, and given me the confidence in myself to allow me to life a life of quality in the face of adversity.
Thank you, all. I'm pretty sure that most of you who might read this know who you are - if you've ever been there for me, know you're in my heart and mind almost everyday, even if it doesn't seem like it.
And when I'm appearing bitter, angry and cynical, you remember that inside, I am a big softy inside, with a lot of love for everyone and everything. For as bitter and mad as I can seem sometimes, I'm really full of wonder at the amazing beauty in this life. So thank you for being patient with me, and not hating me when I'm less than pleasent. I know I can be a pill, but thank you for letting me know I'm worth it - I'm worthy of your friendship, your love and your support. That means more than anything in this world.
Thank you, loyal readers, those who read, lurk and peruse, and those who leave comments. I'm glad that my words can inspire, touch, or even amuse you.
And, of course, to my anonymous donor and his family - thank you. I'm so sorry that you had to pass from this world, and that on your families most horrible day - in their darkest hour, they let their light shine into my life to lead me into the light. This is sacrafice. This is what it means to be truly human. To be humane. I shall never forget this.