It’s a new year and with that brings new opportunities and new beginnings! The last few months have been filled with so many emotions… It’s been challenging, tough, scary, uneasy, gloomy and frustrating. But is has also been filled with so much love, laughter, optimism and hope! The last few months I have truly grown as a person. I feel I have become more humbled and grateful for everything I have in my life and I truly believe it’s a great life! I am happy!
I have been on dialysis for 8 months now and the time has flown! My body has adjusted to the treatment and I have accepted this is the path I am currently on and am no longer resisting it. I know that dialysis is helping me and I see it as something good that is keeping me alive and makes me feel good and strong. I am feeling the best I have felt in the last few years! And only now I realize how sick and weak I was when I compare how I feel today! My haemoglobin and iron levels are back to normal, my blood pressure has stabilised and I no longer experience migraines. I have accepted that dialysis is no longer the enemy. I am able to do yoga three times a week now and have put on some weight, partly because my diet is no longer just fruit and vegetables,but also I am eating so much more due to the dialysis. My colour is back and my cheeks are fuller!
My dialysis sessions are from 11:00 – 4:00 three times a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) and I see it as my day in the “office”. So I never feel like I am missing out! I have my laptop and phone so if I need to work I can…It just is a different environment. I was also given a kindle for my birthday last year from my girlfriends which has been the most invaluable gift ever. I have never read so much in my life and am loving it. I get lost in my book and the time flies by as my attention is focused on what is happening in my story and not the sick people that surround me.
The staff at the Umhlanga NRC (National Renal Care) are really good and make my time there so much more bearable. They are really supportive and are a lovely bunch of people. They have become a part of my life and are like my colleagues who I “work” with everyday.
During the last few months I have also been preparing for a kidney transplant. I have done something called a transplant work up which involves lots of tests, specialist appointments and procedures. I have had to see a dentist, gynecologist, cardiologist, nephrologist, urologist, psychologist….You name it, I have seen them! This is all done in preparation for the transplant to ensure there is no infection in the body and that I am in good health to avoid rejection of the new kidney.
Next is finding a suitable donor and I have been taken aback by how people out there want to help and how many amazing people there are in this world! Strangers, acquaintances, family, friends, and friends of friends! The support I have received has been unbelievable. I want to say thank you to you all (every single one of you who offered to be tested and those who went for the tests) for your amazing courage, willingness and care! You are all such special people and I will forever be grateful for what you did for me.
As we are wanting to do the transplant in Johannesburg, we have been working with the Donald Gordon Wits Transplant team who are excellent and we feel are the best in their field. My excellent Nephrologist in Durban, Dr I Randeree is working closely with them all too and I have absolutely no doubt I am in good hands. As of the beginning of March I should be on the organ donor list as I have now completed my work up.
On that note I would like to thank everyone who is walking this journey with me. My two amazing families…your support has been incredible and its thanks to you I have been able to remain so positive, optimistic, in high spirits and calm during this time. Thank you for all the support, encouragement, strength, advice and abundance of love!
My husband, Jason. You really are such an amazing being. I am so lucky to have you as my partner. You brighten up my days and make life so worth living. Your sense of humor and strength have made this journey so much easier and just knowing you are there gets me through it all. Thank you for being my strength during this journey, not just over the last few months but over the last 4 years. Thank you for being so determined to fight this disease and to do whatever it took for me to try heal naturally and for standing by whatever decision I thought was best for me. Thank you for encouraging me to never give up.