Oli is doing better, fingers crossed for onwards and upwards from now on.
Also excitingly (well for me) I have been married one month today, and couldn’t be happier. Yay!
On Saturday night we went to a friend's transplantaversary celebrations (his brother gave him a kidney a year ago). It was a great evening, but strange for me for two reasons. Firstly, it was my first real time meeting new people, or at least people who don't know me in the transplant context or don't know any of my background, since I had my op. Before my transplant I was a) fairly easily identifiable due to all the tubing and b) it was clear there was something wrong health-wise. Now, I was meeting and shaking hands with various people, and the inevitable “so how do you know X” comes up.
I decided not to opt for the “I’m the one with the new lungs” and went with “through charity work” instead. I have never had a problem being open about my health and history, even before it became so evident, but it just felt so strange to be able to become an anonymous figure again, someone where no details are revealed unless I make them so. The last real time I was able to do this was probably the start of University – when you have that huge dilemma of how much to tell people, as these are the people you will be living with for the next year or so, but at the same time you want them to get to know you on your own merits, and not with the premise that you have a chronic illness. I don’t think I will ever shy away from talking about my transplant – I’m too into raising awareness and also too much of a drama queen and quite enjoy trying to watch people digest the fact that I am on my second pair of lungs – but it was a novelty to just be a blank canvass and be able to divulge whatever information I chose.
The festivities also reminded me that my transplantaversary is coming up very soon. All I know so far is that I want to do two things. I want to go somewhere quiet to reflect and have a little cry for the family that is marking a very different anniversary, and I want to get together all the people I love to celebrate and say thank you. I have written before many a time about how things in life cannot be divided into happy and sad occasions, and this day will be no different. On the whole it marks the beginning of my new life, a chapter which is an incredible gift and the opening of so many doors which would never have been, but it also marks the start of some of the hardest two months of my life, of a great loss for someone somewhere, and of a hell of a time for my family as they watched me battle complication after complication.
I can’t really predict how I will feel till the day. All in all it will be hugely positive, I’ve made it a whole year post transplant, and bring on hopefully many more. But I won’t be forgetting why I am able to be here and celebrate this special day, and will find a way to mark it. Somehow.