I’m in Phoenix. That sentence is void of detail. You might have given it meaning that isn’t there. We do that. We hear, see or experience something and add all kinds of layers that don’t actually exist. You may have thought I’m in Phoenix to enjoy the sun and get away from the snow in Colorado. Or maybe I came for a conference. Both are inaccurate. It is raining today so if I came for the sun I wouldn’t be getting any today. It was sunny earlier so I did get to enjoy the tiny bit of sun I got walking from where I’m staying to the hospital. And yesterday when Anna was taken for X-rays. But that’s it. I am learning more about the medical world and the life of a transplant recipient, but it’s not a conference.
Anna developed pneumonia after first being exposed to parainfluenza 3 (a strain of influenza commonly affecting children and often the cause of respiratory illnesses). Another reminder to keep our sick selves and our sick children isolated until healthy again. 😉
Several of Anna’s transplant friends were hospitalized for pneumonia and they never got better. Just a reminder of the fragility of life but not the truth for Anna today. What she knows is her body is responding to treatment. She is getting better. As of today, Anna is healing and doing well. Her focus (and mine) is on what we know to be true and real today.
I am in Phoenix. Now you understand what that really means. Remember to keep your focus on what you know is true and real, beyond a shadow of doubt. You will experience a great deal of peace and save the anxiety, sadness or anger until absolutely necessary. 😊
Categories: Acceptance, Depression, Emotional Healing, Growth, Healing, Recovery, Relationships
Tags: Anna, catastrophic thinking, catastrophizing, creating stories, lung transplant
Anna is my 24 year old daughter. She has a genetic disease called Cystic Fibrosis. It makes all her mucous extra thick and sticky. The effects cause life threatening issues with digestion, the pancreas and lungs. On October 12, 2013 Anna received a double lung transplant after her lungs failed to sustain her life. Nine months after her transplant she was diagnosed with PTLD, a form of lymphoma specific to those who have received transplants due to the anti-rejection medication transplant recipients must take for the rest of their lives. After six months of chemotherapy, Anna was and continues to be cancer-free. She went back to college at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix last August after missing two years. Here’s her latest blog post:
Anna was at Duke University Clinic last week for a check up. She had a bronchoscopy (bronch) and learned she does not have rejection!!! No rejection means longer spans between bronchs and are a sign that her body is, at least for now, accepting her gently used lungs. She has an infection and started a round of antibiotics that should take care of it. It’s not debilitating and she continues to go to classes and work on making friends. She says Pepper has more friends than she does. This is not hard to believe because cute fur balls who love people generally attract a lot of attention! 🙂
Today is a big day for Anna. It is her Golden Birthday!!! In case you don’t know the magic of the Golden Birthday, it’s the day you turn the age of your birthdate. Today is September 24th and Anna is 24!!! I seriously can’t believe I am the mother of a 24 year old. I’m turning 50 at the end of this year so I guess it makes sense, but I still have a hard time believing how quickly my first-born has reached this Golden Birthday! We are all certainly thankful she has! I don’t really care that I have to get older in order for my children to age. There’s something about the years marching on that brings me a sense of “this is how life should be” and I like it. I could do without the slowing metabolism, disintegrating muscle tone and loose skin but if that’s part of the price I must pay to watch my children flying out of the nest and on into their lives, then so be it. I’ll try to keep my vain complaints to a minimum 🙂
If you want to wish Anna a Happy Birthday you may do so at her blog or on her Facebook page.
After a two year break from going to college my daughter, Anna, along with her service dog, Pepper, is back on campus! She is so excited to just be a normal 23 year old. She spent the last two years getting a double lung transplant and then cancer. These were not at all part of her life plan! That is the nature of life though, lots of unpredictability. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes not. Anna has learned to take life in stride. She doesn’t assume everything will go well but she doesn’t live under a cloud of doom either. She lives in that sweet spot of “it is what it is” one moment at a time, one step at a time, one breath at a time!