Cruisin with the Real"s

Cruisin with the Real"s
Joe and Nancy Grand Cayman 10-07

Loma Linda Medical Center

Loma Linda Medical Center
Where the magic happens........

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 was quite a year!

I am certainly looking forward to a New Year of my new liver and I getting to know each other settling in so we can have years of fun and a long, healthy life together.....

Thank you all for listening to my ramblings, fears, stressing, obsessing and triumphs as I struggled through one amazing year of my life.

Thank you for all the support, cheering me on and most of all listening to me.

I have learned so much, so very much. From my family, friends, (online and off), my cruise buddies, my support group, my Dr's and health care providers and other cirrhosis patients and caregivers.

I KNOW there is a reason that I was chosen, if you will, to have this disease, to live with it, to deal with it, to learn about it and to come out the other side with a successful transplant, to learn how to live with all the things that come with that.

I have learned a lot about myself, about compassion of others, whatever they are dealing with, about patience with people and life in general. I have learned to take responsibility and take charge of the things you can, learn as much as you can, ask lots of questions, sort out the answers, do what you can and then enjoy everything you can while you wait..... because in reality you don't know what could be just around the corner.

Enjoy the warmth of the sun, the way your dogs run through snow when they live in the desert, Enjoy watching people open up about things they aren't really proud of and leave them feeling that you care about them even more for sharing because we don't judge them for past mistakes. We all have them. Watching your son struggle to become a man and your husband take care of you in a way he never thought he would have to, and smiling the whole way..........

No matter what my health brings in the future......good or not so good, I will handle it as best I know how and continue to try and reach others about the facts about what liver disease can mean to their lives and how to avoid it if it involves making a choice. Particularly to women who drink.........How I wish I had listened earlier when I had a choice before cirrhosis set in. Although I accept the journey I have been on, it certainly isn't one I wish for anyone....... A few vodka tonics less or skipped that bottle of wine...............well, I might not be telling the story I have been telling you all year or will be sharing with you shortly...

I will always support and share with fellow liver patients who are living with cirrhosis and have all the questions that I had about what is next??????

and finally I will fight for a better way for this country to deal with organ donation and allocation so there are enough organs available for people that need them. Be it a Liver, a Kidney, Lungs, Heart, Tissues for Burn Victims and Corneas so people can have sight. There are several options that are good ideas and it will take a lot to change the current M.O. But there has to be a better way.....Until then PLEASE Don't take your organs with you, HEAVEN KNOWS WE NEED THEM HERE.... and make sure that after you sign up, you tell your loved ones of your wishes.

In Fact........This is part of a document that you should read.....I had read these facts before but it hit me harder how lucky I was to get ONE of these organs....The odds were totally against me and everyone else waiting.....

A national crisis exists because of the critical demand for organ donations that is currently needed for over 100,000 gravely ill individuals on the national waiting list. While that number grows daily, a person on that list, or one who was removed because he/she was too sick dies every hour. In addition, over 2.5 million Americans die annually, but only a total of 14,400 living and deceased persons donated organs last year. ( From UNOS Facts 2008 )

Then when it crossed my mind more than once that I could be waiting for a kidney soon as well. Let's just say I wasn't very excited at the prospect. Here is a link to the entire Assembly Bill, The Organ Donation Enhancement Act.

I expect, hope and pray that the years to come will be wonderful for all of us! There is a lot to do, a lot of fun to have, love to share and people to share it with....

Stay Healthy and Don't forget to LOVE YOUR LIVER !!!!!


Aimée said...

Happy New Year, Nancy. I know it will be a great one for you, as the one for me after receiving a liver was. Know that you have been an amazing friend and source of support for me, and I hope to be the same to you too. All my love....


Thank you for the support group info. I have bookmarked them and will be looking them over.

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