¡Hola Amigos!

I chose to greet you in spanish because it makes me feel smart, and euro cup starts today, OLÉ! 

I must admit, I am rusty when it comes to writing. Wow, I haven’t posted a blog since March 18th.

You know the stage in life where you “look back at where you were a day/week/year ago”? Well, I am definitely going through it now. 

Thursday, April 5th I didn’t think I would make it through the following weekend. April 6th, Good Friday, I got new lungs and here I am writing about it today. What a miracle to think of where I was 10 weeks ago... In our home in Toronto with my mom, and marvelous as she is, so were the delicious Reese’s I was devouring. I had a supa hawt pair of plastic Nasal Prongs attached to a compressor I referred to as ‘Darth Vader’. Vader was providing me with Oxygen, keeping my saturations stable. (I always knew there was good in him). Things like breathing, walking, even talking were feeling harder daily. I don’t know about you guys, but I get goosebumps just thinking about the difference between then and now and how sick I was. I will always be greatful to that amazing family (there are many others like this one) who, in such time of grief, decided to act selflessly and donate their loved ones organs. Because of them I am alive, dancing with my family and enjoying life with all of you today.

These days, Mumma Campbell and I have been keeping busy.

I am taking my pills daily. I have been Pumping Iron alung side at least 90 individuals who have either received lungs or are still waiting for their pagers to go off. These spectacular, strong, individuals make their way to the Treadmill room 3 times a week. As a lung patient, in order to be on the wait list, we have to do physio and it is cruicial after transplant. One of the Physio therapist likes to 'up' my workout for fun, so watch out, Ottawa (especially Barrhaven Dairy Queen, Riverside Dialysis and Cedarview Alliance). When I get home, I’ll have guns of steel. I have also been doing weekly bloodwork, chest x-rays, pulmonary function tests (to measure my lung function which has gone from 32 to 43 in 4 weeks!) and clinic appointments. They have all been going very well and the Transplant Team at the Toronto General is da best when it comes to informing us about the progress. 

Lately I have been watching Star Wars. As you know, my home oxygen was referred to as Darth Vader. Well, my oxygen provider took ALL my oxygen away just this week, (NO MORE OXY = BIG STEP) so I had to replace Darth with The Real Vader. I am going to use a quote from Star Wars that is the perfect example of progress after transplant. 

“Impressive... *deep breath in, deep breath out* Most impressive… *deep breath in, deep breath out* But you are not a Jedi yet!” - Darth Vader 

In the words of Vader (then tweaked into my own words), my recovery has been amazing. I have been feeling remarkable and can do so much more then I could, but I am not a 'transplant Jedi' yet. The process is not an Instant Snap back to life as soon as they ‘put’ the new lungs in. Nobody becomes a Jedi simply by visiting Yoda. You have to train, and get stronger and stronger and eventually, you have the ‘force’ and strength to do things and live life ‘like a Jedi’, or in my case a normal life. If you haven’t seen Star Wars, I apologize. My analogy wont make too much sense then. . What I am trying to say is, I need to keep up the physio and activity, because transplant recovery is slow and progress comes with time.

As eager as I am to go back home, I understand having to stay here for an extra few months. I miss my extended family and all my friends but boy do I ever have the best support there ever was. And Thank goodness for Skype!

 I want to let you know I have been so blessed by the endless love you all have shown our family, it has kept us going. I have been so fortunate and am so thankful to the Donor Family, as well as the medical team over at the Toronto General.

I am going to need a glass of milk now, Just ate a 'crunchy reese' yep. they exist! (Thanks Hersheys!)

LYLT, have a wonderful weekend (enjoy a reeses if you can...and watch starwars)

Hélène

 

ps Remember to register as an organ donor today at beadonor.ca and give blood, its whats inside that counts.