So, the longest weekend of my life goes by and then my Tuesday appointment day arrived. I took an entourage with me. If any of you know me, you know I have a wonderful, huge, super compassionate family. My Pawpaw, mom, dad, sister, and I went to the early appt. I was so nervous after reading the doom and gloom on the internet. I didn't pay attention to the nurse when she put us in the microscopic room, but when the doctor came in, I suddenly only had tunnel vision for what was about to come out of her mouth. Basically, in a nutshell, she said, "you will probably never have children, you will have to have a liver transplant to live, and my best guess is that you have about five years left to live." WHAT?
The rest of the time she was in the room, she told me how she was sending me to a hepatologist that she trained under and that he could tell me more. She started me right away on steroids and a drug called Imuran. Both of these drugs suppress your immune system and both are post-transplant drugs. My own immune system had decided to reject the perfectly healthy liver I was born with. I had never been sick, I had never missed a day of school until my parents paid me $20 to miss a day. I asked how it could get to stage 4 without me noticing and she said that me not drinking alcohol probably saved my life! Thank you Jesus for that one! Immediately after she left the room, her nurse came in and asked me to hurry up and stop crying and could we get out of the room because she needed it for the next patient. I looked at her dumbfounded and that is when I decided I would become a nurse. This is the same girl that would huff and puff when I would ask to have my lab results faxed to me. She obviously had lost all her compassion and she needed someone to remind her why she became a nurse.
I don't really remember leaving the office or where we went afterwards, but I remember exactly what was going through my head.
1. No babies? What, all I had ever longed to be was a mother. I wanted half a dozen at least. I couldn't wait to love someone the way my mom had loved me. I wanted someone to look at me the same way I look at my mom.
2. Paul? I loved him so much and we had been dating for almost 3 years at this time. I instantly thought that I had to break it off with him because I knew of his strong desire for children and I knew what a wonderful father he would be someday. This is where I started trying to distance myself from him because I wanted all of his dreams to come true, but how do you make yourself stop loving the person you thought was your soul-mate?
3. I had always prayed to God and said that I never wanted to be "sick" and dependent upon medication, and now look. I learned to be careful what you pray for.
4. I had to get back to being positive, so at this point, I became thankful. I can't stand to be a "Debbie Downer", so it hit me all of a sudden. I am SAVED by the BLOOD of CHRIST, I will spend eternity at the feet of my Savior. I am thankful, thankful that I had this illness and not another person who did not have a personal relationship with Christ. And, in a weird way, I always had a "feeling" that I wouldn't live to be old. I even planned my entire funeral out in a journal that my friend from my college softball team Lori Tande had given me. I still desire to have those same plans executed. Some of the songs from the funeral of my twin sons were also written in this journal. Something a little funny about my funeral plans is that I want everyone to take their shoes off. If you know me you know that I love feet. I made sure Paul had handsome feet before I would even kiss him! And, people don't take enough time to thank their feet for carrying them through this life. I am so thankful for my feet and for all the places they have carried me. So, if you come to my funeral, you have been warned, make sure your toenails are trimmed. I might even have to have a funeral just for my liver after I get the new one.
5. The last thing I kept thinking about was the fact that someone would have to die, so that I could live. Sound familiar? Am I deserving of such a gift, a true selfless blessing? I want to be. I want to take the best care of the liver I get. I can't imagine how hard a decision the family has to make to allow a family member to become an organ donor.
More to come, it starts getting better by the way:)