As we approach the end of 2016, I reflect on the last year and the incredible journey I have been on. It has been a bitter sweet year. One I want to forget but one I will remember and hold true to my heart and that I will forever be grateful for, for the rest of my life.
The last few months have been filled with so many highs and lows but it certainly has ended with the biggest high ever! My Christmas wish came true and I received the best gift of all being the gift of life! I am so grateful that I was able to see another Christmas with my loved ones thanks to the most selfless act of one very special individual, Laurie.
Lets go back a few steps…
When I last wrote, Laurie and I were getting our transplant work up wrapped up and ready for submission to the Department of Health for approval. Our files were finally submitted on my birthday in October and a few weeks later on the 24th November I received the best news of my life… At 07:45am my phone rang and a calm voice from Kim, my transplant co-ordinator, said on the other end…”check your email…you have approval”. I just burst into tears. I couldn’t believe the moment had arrived. It was actually happening. It was real. We did it. The transplant was booked for the next week. I wanted to be with Laurie when we got the news but unfortunately I had to be on dialysis, so straight after my treatment I jumped in my car and drove 2 hours to be with my kidney sis and celebrate the amazing news together.
The next few days were so overwhelming and such a blur. We had 4 days to get ourselves ready for the big day and the rest of my life! The moment had arrived and this was actually happening…my life was about to change.
On the 28th November 2016 I had my last dialysis session at Umhlanga NRC. It was such an incredible happy moment realising I wouldn’t need to do dialysis again, but it was sad to say goodbye to a bunch of amazing individuals who had become like family to me. To all the staff at Umhlanga NRC, thank you so much for walking this journey with me over the last year and a half. You gave me the strength to keep pushing on and believing the day would come, when the time was right. You were there for me through the tough times and always showed such care, compassion and understanding.
29th November 2016…a date I will celebrate for the rest of my life. The day I received the gift of life. The day my life changed forever and I was given a second chance. The day I received a kidney from my kidney sis, Laurie.
Its been a month since the transplant and everything is going well. I am weeing like a champion, am able to drink unlimited fluids (two simple things in life one really appreciates when you don’t have them ) and my levels are all in range for the first time in years. My new kidney is an absolute super star! Laurie and I are home recovering and each day we are a little stronger.
Laurie, it’s been such an honour to have walked this journey with you and I feel privileged to have a part of you now part of me. It has been a tough month post transplant but I know we are going to shine and conquer this world when we have fully recovered. We got this Sista! You and your family have become such a huge part of our lives and will always be. Thank you for saving my life and giving me the opportunity to live a full life. Am so excited to start living again and I promise I will never take for granted each new day I get to open my eyes and go out and live.
2017 is going to be ridiculously amazing! A new year is a fresh start and new beginnings with great expectations and the realization of achieving ones dreams. I couldn’t have wished for a better way of starting the new year with a new life…to look at life through new eyes!
Wishing you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. Thank you for being such a pillar of strength for me this last year, for your words of encouragement, your constant support and the abundance of love. May 2017 be absolutely awesome for you all!
I will be going into more detail of the transplant, our recovery and life post transplant in my following post so stay tuned for the next part of this story.