Today is the 6th anniversary of my double lung and liver transplant @ Methodist Hospital in Houston. I’ve been so blessed to be able to spend six extra years with my family and friends. I give God all the glory for my transplant miracle because it really is a miracle that I am still alive today. The doctor said I had less than 2 years to live when I was diagnosed with end-stage Cystic Fibrosis in January 2010. I give thanks and remember my donor for the Gift of Life that I received. My thoughts and prayers are with the donor family. I know this is a difficult time for them.
I had a difficult past year as I tried to adjust to life without my girlfriend Jeannine who passed December 31, 2015. I loved her very very much. She is deeply missed and will never be forgotten. One of Jeannine’s closest friends in Missouri told me to seek out a GriefShare support group when I got back to Texas. I found a great Baptist church in Richardson, Texas that had a GriefShare group. GriefShare was so helpful in helping me cope with Jeannine’s loss that I ended up attending 2 full course sessions (24 weeks total). I would highly recommend GriefShare to anyone who is grieving the loss of a loved one.
I joined a wonderful singles Sunday school class @ St. Andrews Methodist Church in March. The class has been a blessing in my life as I have made many new wonderful friends.
The loss of Jeannine was a devastating loss and it deeply crushed my spirits, but Jeannine would want me to continue living life to the fullest so that’s what I am trying to do. I went on a cruise to the Mexican Riviera (Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta) in April with my parents, Jeannine’s parents and their family friends from Missouri. Jeannine was originally supposed to go with me. We had a good time on the Princess cruise ship. It was our first time to visit Cabo and Puerto Vallarta and to sail Princess.
My mother and I took a road trip to Independence, Missouri in July to visit Jeannine’s parents and friends . We had a good visit and were able to see the beautiful garden Jeannine’s parents planted in her memory. My mom and I are big baseball fans so we attended a Texas VS Kansas City baseball game and even saw the 2015 World Series trophy. That was really neat and the Royals have a gorgeous ballpark.
In August, I hosted a Jukebox/Pool party for my Sunday school class. Everyone had a great time sitting outside by the pool listening to Golden Oldies Classic 45’s on my father’s jukebox. One of the leaders of the class was so excited I hosted a party. She said I was the first male to host a party in years. LOL
In early October I flew out to Anaheim, California to visit my good friends Tim and Tina. I had such a good time and so much fun which included going to the San Diego Zoo, Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, Medieval Times (first time) and touring the USS Midway aircraft carrier. I also got the opportunity to go to Disneyland for the first time ever with my friends Lisa and Sara. Thank you Tim, Tina, Lisa, and Sara for the wonderful memories.
My parents and I flew to New Orleans in late October for a short visit to the French Quarter and Bourbon Street. We had a lot of fun in New Orleans and I’d love to go back again someday. We loved the Cafe Du Monde French Market Coffee Stand and their beignets! They were delicious. My parents and I spent a full day at the World War II Museum. It was simply amazing. We also tried Uber for the first time. It was a pleasant and enjoyable experience.
I was very fortunate and blessed to get through 2016 without getting sick (in spite of all the traveling) but 2017 has been a difficult beginning. I came down with a cold in January and was sick most of the month. I got over the cold and felt better in February but I went to church for Ash Wednesday service and came down very sick the next morning. I had all the symptoms of another classic cold (stuffy nose, scratchy throat, cough ). I waited 4 or 5 days and didn’t get better so I contacted my nurse who had me come to the hospital for a nasal wash. Much to my surprise – the results came back positive for a respiratory virus called RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) . It was a nasty virus that caused my lung function to drop as well as causing bronchitis like symptoms. I even had to have CPT (Chest Physical Therapy) on my lungs because of the phlegm in my bases that I could not cough up without help. It was the first time I’ve had to have “clapping” since my old Cystic Fibrosis lungs in 2011 pre-transplant. I thought I might have to be admitted but the doctor chose to give me an oral medication called Ribavirin. I took it for 2 weeks. It was a rough month of March but I am better now and my lung function is back up to its baseline. I give thanks to God for healing me and I give thanks to everyone who prayed for me that follow my blog or follow me on Facebook. God is good.
I’ve had an amazing six years with my new donor lungs and liver and I pray I have many more years with them. I am so thankful and blessed to have received the “Gift of Life” and have been able to spend another 6 years with my family and friends.
Thank you for reading and following my blog. I am blessed. God Bless you.