Today I celebrate seven wonderful and amazing years with my lungs and liver transplant performed at Houston Methodist Hospital on April 19, 2011. It’s hard to believe it’s been seven years. I’ve been so blessed. I have enjoyed a good past year and have had a few minor issues but overall everything is going well. I was having chest pains last spring and summer but I went to a cardiologist for extensive testing and received a good report. I’m still going to Baylor Dallas for my medical care and checkups. It’s a wonderful hospital and I love my transplant coordinator and doctors.
The most amazing and great thing happened this past year. I met a wonderful lady named Sharon S. at the beginning of 2017 and fell deeply in love. She is beautiful in every sense of the word and is so supportive and understanding of my health issues. Sharon has a beautiful smile, a wonderful personality, is highly intelligent and on top of all of that is very funny. She makes me laugh daily with her funny remarks and wit. I give God thanks for bringing her into my life . He knew that we had both been grieving and were a perfect match for each other in so many ways.
She has flown in to see me four times in the past year and we have had so much fun hanging out and taking fun road trips to Houston and Waco. We went to Waco last April to visit Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Market and saw the famous Silos from the show “Fixer Upper”. We even got to try some delicious cupcakes from Joanna’s bakery.
We took a trip to Houston last August and visited Kindred Hospital to see some of the healthcare professionals who took care of me for four months (before and after my transplant) in 2011. We also met a fellow lung transplant recipient who had her transplant last Spring and has followed my blog for many years. We had a great time comparing notes regarding our transplants. Sharon loves Joel Osteen so we attended a church service on Sunday morning. Everyone was very nice and friendly at Lakewood Church and we got to sit on the fourth row. We wanted to go to Galveston but just ran out of time.
Baylor Hospital in Dallas had a Celebration of Life party last April during the official Donate Life month. It was the first time that my parents and I had been invited. We had a good time and saw many familiar faces, including the lung transplant director – Dr. Rosenblatt.
Unfortunately, I do have some very sad news to report. One of my CF doctors passed away last month. His name was Dr. Robert Kramer or Dr. Bob as he was known in the CF community. Dr. Kramer was an amazing doctor and so caring with all of his patients. He was a leading authority in the United States in the care and treatment of Cystic Fibrosis patients. Dr. Kramer diagnosed me in 1968 when I was 2 days old and told my parents that I would need immediate surgery. Dr. Kramer cared for me the next thirty years and helped me through some serious illnesses, including double pneumonia at the age of four. Dr. Bob was a father figure to his patients and was a very loving, warm doctor. I still remember him telling me as a teenager that his goal and wish was to see his CF patients get grey hair and grow old. I’ve been extremely blessed and fortunate to live long enough to have a few grey hairs. I know that would make Dr. Kramer extremely happy! He kept in touch with me when I moved to Houston to get listed for my multi-organ transplant. His support and words of encouragement and advice helped me greatly during a very difficult and scary time when I could not breathe. He even flew down to Houston to visit me at Kindred Hospital only a few weeks after my life-saving transplant. I was so surprised and shocked that a doctor would take time and fly to a different city to see a former patient but that was vintage Dr. Bob. We had a wonderful visit that day at the hospital. He immediately asked to see my new transplant med list upon arrival – once my doctor, always my doctor (even in his retirement). He was a dear, kind-hearted man who will be deeply missed but never forgotten. Rest In peace Dr. Kramer and thank you for caring for me and all my Cystic Fibrosis friends. We loved you. ❤️
I think of my donor and his family regularly throughput the year but especially this time of year. I pray for their strength and comfort this week because I know the pain never goes away. 🙏🏻 Eternal thanks to them for the gift that saved my life. This month is National Donate Life and I urge you to sign up to be an organ donor (I signed up at 21) or at least tell your loved ones your wishes. Life is precious and we are all blessed to be here each and every day. Tomorrow is promised to no one.
This summer is a big summer for me and my family. Believe it or not, I will be turning 50 years old on July 8th. That may not seem like a big deal to the casual reader but you have to consider that my parents were told in 1968 that my life expectancy was 5 to 6 years old. Is it a miracle that I’m turning 50 with Cystic Fibrosis? I would say a resounding “YES”, especially when you consider what I’ve been through in my lifetime. I endured countless bouts of pneumonia on and off during my 42 years with CF lungs, GI bleeds, life threatening hemoptysis (coughing up blood) and a multi-organ transplant with pages and pages of possible complications. So this summer I will celebrate and give God all the glory and thanks for my continued miracle that I’m still here and able to update my readers another year. Thank you for reading my blog and for your continued support and prayers for eight years since I started chronicling my life through this blog.
Thank you and God Bless. I will provide another update next spring. ❤️