It’s hard to believe that it’s December 31, the final day of 2020. And what a year it has been – good, bad and nearly everything in-between. This evening, Mom and I celebrated by making a Czech meal, complete with pork chops, dumplings and stewed cabbage; the dumpling wire cutter that Dad mailed saved the day, as slicing dumplings with string (or floss) is not fun. My GI system may not know how to handle this combination of food, having lived mostly off pasta and cheese as of late, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. Later, we Zoomed with Dad, Andy and Aunt Lucy. All in all, I felt very fortunate to spend time with people I love.
Oh, and I discovered that Aunt Lucy was the one who sent the ginger snaps – mystery solved!
This morning’s labs and OP12 appointment went well. My kidneys decided to show up, and my creatine was a whopping 1.0. My jaw dropped, as did Daniele’s – but hey, there you go. If it means that I push 2+ liters of fluid per day, well OK. The rest of my numbers looked fine, mainly unremarkable which is also cool. My Tacrolimus was a tad low, so we’re switching the dose again; I compare it to Goldilocks and the porridge she stole from the bears….it needs to be “just right”. We retest on Monday.
I was also given permission to start running! And no, that’s not anything long or whatever crazy talk my Team had – I can run, like, a mile or two. Daniele very quickly jumped in with, “it’s OK to run and walk and stuff! You don’t have to run the entire time!” She was very supportive and cute and it made me smile. But honestly, I’m doing well and even doing strength training is OK – at this point in my post-transplant life, the Team wants me to move and to challenge myself. They also don’t want me to be afraid of pushing myself; finding that balance of honoring my body while slowly building endurance is the new task. I can accept that.
In a nutshell, that was my day.
2020 was tough for so many of us, and I don’t want to diminish that in any way. But I also wanted to bring to light some wonderful things/people that happened and made a difference for me.
- I met my nephew, Eli for the first time. I love him.
- Christine and I backpacked the Foothills Trail in February, a 77-mile thru-hike along the NC/SC border. It was cold at times, but the waterfalls were epic and Andy met us atop Sassafras Mountain (SC highpoint) with beverages and treats.
- Graduate School acceptance! I start Fall 2021.
- We renovated the kitchen. While sanding-priming-sanding-painting-sanding-painting, I swore I would never do anything foolish like that again. 2 days later, it didn’t seem so bad and I started looking at other projects to do around the house.
- New tires from Debbie, on my car as a surprise.
- Andy installed doorbells at my parent’s house. This is a big deal because they have been without doorbells for….um…..20-ish years? Lightning struck the house, fried the wiring, and they just never replaced the damaged ones. As the person standing outside in the cold and trying to get in, let me tell you – working doorbells are lovely.
- Friends – making new friends, connecting with old ones – they are wonderful and have made my life happier. Thank you!
- An anonymous donor gave me his stem cells, saving my life.
- Watching Andy’s nieces tackle challenges – a new job, swim lessons, riding the upper rapids at Deep Creek, car camping, sheltering/adopting a dog in need, going to a new school, supporting a younger sibling while showing incredible compassion, etc. They are remarkable!
- Flip flops.
- The virtual meeting I had in August with my Transplant Team – that’s when I was asked how I felt about an October 27 Stem Cell Transplant. I said yes and all 8 of us knocked on wood.
- My Parents. Mom is here with me, Dad home in Minnesota. I’m grateful to them both and really look forward to when they can be reunited.
- Kitties. All 4 of them – yes, even Monster. I miss them and look forward to cuddles with them all.
- Last but not least Andy. Babe – I love you. And I’m so excited about the life we are building…together!
And a hearty THANK YOU to all who have followed me on this journey! I appreciate your continued support as we move into 2021. Happy New Year! Mazel Tov!