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!