I was shocked, scared, terrified and at the same time…. Excited at the potential to feeling better afterwards
With doctors standing before me as I lay on a gurney as they shared that news, I looked behind me to see who they were talking to? This was 1994 and (as still is true for most people) this was not a subject of general discussion or knowledge so it is too common for patients to feel like they are lost being the only ones facing that challenge. Despite all our efforts to share the need for organ donors and so many awaiting and receiving life-saving transplants, for most receiving that news, it still is a lonely feeling when told, thinking "Wow! I'm so alone in all this."
Shock and denial. I had been at stage 4 CKD for so long and then my nephrologist told me I was stage 5 and needed to get a fistula. I ignored him for a few months.
Scared, overwhelmed, pure joy and thankful that I could forward to a future life without the pain and constant doctor visits.
So interesting how that feeling is so shared between all of us and yet we cannot get more people to sign up as donors and industry to develop better drugs with little side effects…. We need more of a movement in this space!!
I always knew I’d need one. I don’t remember not knowing. When my doctors and I mutually decided it was actually time, I just remember thinking “well, here we go!”
I knew it would be hard, but not harder than what I had been living with, and and that it was the next right thing.
My cancer journey was odd. When I was told I had stage IV colon cancer, my first response to my doctor was, I can beat this, right?
I held onto that attitude all the way, at first resisting the western medicine approach of chemotherapy and searching for natural ways to heal my body.
After my research, I agreed to chemotherapy along with many natural therapies to heal.
Many surgeries later, my only hope was a transplant. Only, I need 2 donors and one had to be a living donor.
My 1st thought was who and why would someone be willing to have their body cut open and scarred for life to give me life?
The second was, where do we get a piece of the largest vein in our body?
The answers came in less than 30 days and I received the gift of life.
Now my mission in life is to help caregivers and their loved ones dealing with disease by providing Hope, Healing, Education and Relief.
I can’t even begin to say exactly how I felt. My local doctor told me I had liver cancer and my liver was was bad and he could help me be comfortable. That’s when I got angry. I ask if I could qualify for a transplant and says sure where do you want to go?? Here I was terrified. Within 2 months I had an appointment with my transplant center and the journey began. I went from angry and terrified to excited and positive about transplant. I still find it hard to believe all I went through in those 3 years but it’s all worth it.
I was diagnosed with CKD in 2017 at Stage 3. No cause was determined. I was first told that I had none of the risk factors and that I probably would not progress and could live a long life with less function. I did continue to progress, even with diet changes. My nephrologist had stated that I was otherwise healthy and would be a good candidate for transplant. My path was to proceed in that direction when the time came. When I reached GFR 20, I just said, "here we are...let's get started". I was referred and contacted by the transplant center in the same week. My Sister in Law had said, from the moment I was diagnosed, that she would give me a kidney. Though at the time I never thought I would need this gift, I am truly blessed to say she is my match.
I was most definately scared & nervous.
Suffering with Congesrive Heart Failure (CHF), since 2008 - things got progressively worse, until I absolutely needed a transplant. Around Aug 2014, after my quad bypass surgery + CRT-D (ICD Difribulator) implant - was informed that the only 2 options for me were:
1. hospice (< 4 months of life) or
2. a life-saving heart transplant.
I was finally blessed with the Gift of Life on April 20th, 2015 (I just completed 7 years!).
I'm extremely lucky, completely blessed & eternally grateful to be alive today. 🙏
** My life was saved due to the miracle of Organ Donation & Transplantation - so, I tell my story to encourage everyone to register for Organ, Eye & Tissue Donation. Blue 💙 ♻️ 💚
Knew it would happen but still shocked when I was actually referred to the transplant center. Printed out hundreds of pages of research on CF & Lung Transplants to try and quell any fears and lingering questions but ended up avoiding/holding out until very last moment.
Near the end as I neared my transplant decision what was most difficult were the "good" days, aka the days you don't feel absolutely terrible. Incredibly deceiving.
Wow! @Deb - that must've been so terrifying. The suddenness of it all. 😲
I had no warning signs until I had some routine labs done. Next thing I know I’m vomiting blood from a ruptured varicose in my throat and it went down hill quickly. Very scary.