Monday, April 9, 2012

A Whole New Life!

Exactly one week ago today, my doctor told me that it was time to consider transplant.  Without missing a beat, I said yes.  The next step is a family meeting on May 2 with the transplant team.  Then, hopefully, they will agree to test me further to see if I'm ready and able to be a candidate.  I am in their hands.  My job is to keep myself as healthy and strong as I can.

This weekend, my husband, family and I celebrated Passover and Easter.  Their message - new life and hope - couldn't have been more fitting.  That's exactly what I feel.  Even though I have been living with this disease for 19+ years, I never really thought I'd have the possibility of a transplant.  I always joked that I'd just be too old.  Instead, I planned for what I would do as my lung function decreased and my world got smaller.

Yes, that's the best image I can think of to describe how COPD affects your life.  At first, I hardly noticed it at all.  Even when I had to go on oxygen to exercise, to sleep and to fly, I still could do pretty much anything I wanted to.  Then, four years ago, I had to go on oxygen full-time and my world suddenly got smaller.  I never could leave my house without first figuring out how much oxygen I would need until I returned.  Overnight trips required a whole lot more planning as I had to make sure there would be oxygen there when I arrived.

Then, suddenly, one week ago today, I was given the first glimmer of hope.  They still can't cure my COPD, but just maybe I'll be able to get the next best thing, a lung transplant and a whole new life!  For the first time, I have hope that I'll be able to see my beautiful grandchildren grow up!  I can't think of any better present.

Those of you who have paid attention to this blog, know that I recently published a book, An Alpha-1 COPD Love Story.  It's the story of my life with Dr. Gordon L. Snider whom I met after being diagnosed with Alpha-1 COPD.  You also know that I haven't paid much attention to this blog since I first started it a few months ago.

Well, I've  made a new resolution.  From now on, every Monday I will write another post.  Some will be about COPD and the need to find a cure.  In addition, however, I feel compelled to chronicle my Alpha-1 COPD journey from this point forward.  As with my book, I hope that this blog may help someone else, some time, some where.

My diagnosis of Alpha-1 COPD is already one of the best things that ever happened to me.  Without it, I never would have met my Alpha-1 COPD community and, above all, my wonderful husband.  Now I have been given the gift of hope and new life.  In the spirit of Passover and Easter, I want to share it with the world!