Friday, November 23, 2012

Thankful - doesn't even describe it

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Gotta love google right? :)

Chris and I just got home from celebrating with friends and family all day. I hafta say, this has been the best turkey day in YEARS. For the last few years, I have spent more thanksgivings sick and in the hospital that I have OUT of the hospital. And those I was out - I was still feelin like crap. This year -- total 180. We did the whole eat thing (and I'm fairly certain I ate at least HALF my weight in food - which is more impressive than it might sound considering the fact that I had to JUMP into my jeans today). I had fun, energy and even walked with my cousins, soon-to-be cousin-in-law, and a friend down to the intercostal waterway (annnnd a flooded field my cousin tried to present as the intercostal - we're smarter than you think Amy lol).

After our foot tour we left for a visit to a friend's house. God bless Italians. I'm not generally much for Yanks, but every so often you meet some northern Yanks or Pollocks and you just fall in love...(and I mean that sincerely, I'm not makin fun!)

To say that I'm thankful for the major change in my life would be absolutely INSULTING. The way this whole transplant thing is goin, I'm not sure I'll ever be more thankful to God for anything more. If there is something bigger ahead - well, I just can't see it. But then again I honestly didn't see makin it TO transplant, much less THROUGH it. So I guess anything is possible.

More than my life, I'm thankful for the people in my life. This entire journey would not have been the same without the incredible people who have stuck by me. My husband-who stuck by me at my absolute worst and who has driven me to the hospital more times than I can count in the wee hours of the morning. Who never left my side before or after surgery, and who has been better to me and for me than anyone I've ever known.

My parents - who traveled back and forth over and over, took a ton of time off from their jobs to make sure I was taken care of. My sisters who left their families at home to be with me during and after surgery, and who kept the pictures, phone calls and videos of them and my nieces comin when I was able to see them. Nothin can put a smile on my face quicker than those girls. Their husbands, my brothers, who have supported me and my sisters while I was in recovery and took care of the girls while their moms were with me.

The rest of my family - grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins and in-laws who made sure we had what we needed and kept my husband fed while I was in the hospital.

My sweet sweet friends. All the beautiful women who I love so much. Whose love and support I couldn't have done this without. To so many amazing people back in Stanly County - they leave me at a loss for words. All the calls and cards and fundraisers for us has kept me in constant tears. Seriously I don't think I have cried as much in my entire life!! I def do not feel worthy of all the support, donations and most importantly prayers. You all have literally saved me. Without y'all I probably wouldn't not be where I am now.

My amazing doctors. Dr Layish here in Orlando has worked his butt off to keep me alive the last few years. And let me tell you - I made him work for his money!! :) He is one of the greatest doctors I've even known, and I am eternally grateful for all he has done for me and for his Mayo recommendation. He will always be a very special person in my life. My Mayo team - Drs. Keller, Mallea, Alvarez, and Erasmus. Truly some of the smartest men in the world and have saved my life. They took such incredible care of me. I'll never been able to repay them for giving me my life back.

My donor and his family. The 30 year old man from Miami who made the decision to donate his organs when he died. Who saved my life and gave me a life worth living. I wonder if he could even comprehend what he would be able to do for someone when he passed. I spent so much time at the beginning completely terrified of whether these lungs would "take." I don't worry about that anymore. Whether I get one year with these lungs or ten, I will always be thankful and grateful for the chance to live this way, even if its for a moment. I'm thankful for his family, that they decided to honor his decision instead of contesting it. I'm grateful for the life of their son, and their influence in it. His lungs were perfect. Whatever he did in life - he did good. I just hope that he's in heaven now, sitting next to Jesus thinkin, "That's awesome. That's why I did this." I also hope he knows how grateful I am, how I carry him, whoever he is, with me everyday, and that I will never take his life for granted.

Most importantly, I'm thankful for my God. For whatever reason, he put me here for something. I've been told so many time how inspiring my story is, what a miracle this all is, and how so many have seen Jesus' hand in all this. I don't know how or why - but I'm startin to agree. Like I said, don't know why it needed to be me, but Im ok with it. He's given me this opportunity. To some how make a difference somewhere, so I hope this wasn't my entire purpose, to go through this. But if it is...I'm ok with that. He's delivered me from the hell I was living in. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

I hope you all have had an incredible thanksgiving. You all have meant so much to me through this. I will be forever indebted to you all.

Much love...xoxo

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