You've Been Given the Gift of Life, Give it Back!

Welcome friends and family!

Thank you for visiting my blog. It documents my amazing journey from pre to post double lung transplant. I am a 37 year old mother and wife with Cystic Fibrosis who has been more greatly blessed than I could ever imagine possible!

It has been a bumpy ride, but God has given me strength, love, friendship, and, FINALLY, health. My prayers have been answered, my miracle was granted, and I want to share the joy of my new life with you.

If you are a first time visitor, please take a moment to watch The Miracle of Transplantation video below. To me, pictures speak a thousand words.

My entries begin in April of 2008 and my double lung transplant was December 10. Scroll down to my blog archive and you can read from the beginning or jump around. If you are looking for a specific topic, you can use the search engine.

Please feel free to contact me with questions or feedback, I would love to hear from you!

I hope I can help you to experience the love God has for each and every one of us!

May God Bless You with Miracles in Your Life! Nancy


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Loosening My Apron Strings

I have learned a lot this summer, but one of the most difficult lessons so far has been how to let my baby grow up. I am sure all parents struggle with this, how do you know when to loosen the strings and give them more freedom and responsibility?

With Hannah starting 5th Grade, I realized it was time for me to loosen my hold a little. I allowed her and a friend to cross the busy main street to visit the pet store all by themselves (this just about killed me!), I left Hannah home alone one morning when I went to get my blood work done (it is a good thing they didn't check my blood pressure that morning!), and I have started to let her try her hand at baking on her own.

She has completed two baking projects with little adult interference. The first was a banana bread that was quite good, the second was sugar cookies with frosting, all homemade. She made the cookies this weekend with her friend Haley. They had just finished making the dough and were ready to put it in the refrigerator to chill when Hannah asked me, "Mom, why do they call them sugar cookies if they don't have any sugar in them?" We had to regroup, check the recipe, and add the 3/4 cup sugar that was called for (wouldn't those have been interesting cookies?). In the end their cookies turned out great and their blue frosting was perfect.

The point to all this is that we need to give our kids opportunities to grow and try new things, as difficult as it often is for us to let them go. I love the sense of accomplishment I see on Hannah's face after she has completed a new task or activity all by herself and I am proud of myself for having enough faith in her to take a step back and watch from a distance.

I thought I'd share some pictures of my mom and me taken this morning after church. What a wonderful visit we are having, I will hate to see her go on Wednesday!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My Mom the Boxer

Want a good laugh? Check out this hidden video Hannah took of my mom boxing on the Wii. She had no idea she was being recorded. She should take up boxing as a retirement hobby!

I received a Blog Award

My friend Becky gave me this award for being one of her favorite blog friends. She has been so good to me through all of these months, sending me wonderful handmade cards, ( she makes awesome cards, you can check them out at her blog: getting her friends to pray for me, posting encouraging messages to my blog, and just being a great friend to me. Thank you so much for this award, Becky. It truly means a lot to me!
Love to you all! Nancy

Monday, August 24, 2009

Mom is Here!

My mom arrived on Thursday and it has been so wonderful to have her here. I drove to Buffalo to get her all by myself (the farthest I have driven in a long time!). It is so cool to be working together around the house instead of Mom waiting on me. My mom was so thrilled to see how good I look and was able to report to my dad that I really am doing as well as I say I am.

I will be finishing 3 weeks of IV antibiotics tomorrow and hopefully the infection has cleared up. I am still coughing in the night, so I am not sure what that means. My stomach will be glad to get a break from the antibiotics.

Hannah starts school next Tuesday, so we will try to enjoy her last few days of freedom.

Hope all is well with you! All my love! Nancy

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Great Time in Vermont!

We had such a wonderful weekend in Vermont! Our cousin Emily's wedding was awesome, probably the best wedding I've ever been to. She looked stunning and was glowing with happiness. The reception was filled with good food, music, and dancing. I danced for the first time in several years. I think Hannah got a real kick out of dancing with me.

It was a lovely weekend for an outdoor wedding. Several things were planned, a cocktail party Friday night, the wedding Saturday, and breakfast Sunday morning, so there was a lot of time to visit and enjoy everyone's company.

Scott's mom rode with us and we stayed in a condo at Mt. Snow ski resort with my sister-in-law Leslie and her husband Jeff. It was so enjoyable spending time as a family. We did some sightseeing and shopping on Saturday morning together.

Here are some pictures and a video of Hannah and Scott dancing. I have more pictures to post later.

Uncle Nick, Emily, & Aunt Jan with Hannah and me.The lovely bride, Emily, with Hannah

At the cocktail party

I don't look happy or anything, do I?

We were the dancing queens!

Look at them dance!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Quick Update

I am not sure how time can fly so quickly. When I was sick days dragged along, but now the week is over before I know it. That is a good thing, but it makes it harder for me to keep up with everything... like my blog.

My most recent adventures have been in school shopping. It is amazing how much money one can spend on school clothes and supplies. We spent two hours in Walmart yesterday and at least an hour of that time was spent in the school supply aisle. It seems that each year the list gets more complicated. Sometimes I wonder if it is written in a foreign language. After all that time in Walmart, there were still several items we could not find, so tomorrow we will have to take a trip to Staples, ugh!

On Saturday we took a trip to Jamestown, NY and did some clothing/shoe shopping for Hannah there. We spent at least another hour in the shoe store trying to pick out sneakers that we could all agree on (never a pleasant task). In the end Hannah chose the cheapest sneakers we had looked at (thank goodness, sneakers are ridiculously expensive, especially when the child outgrows them midway through the year!). It was a lot of fun shopping this year. Last year I was in the wheelchair and stores are not very wheelchair friendly. I couldn't reach many of the items that I wanted to see and often couldn't venture off the main pathway through the store. So, this year I got right into the thick of it, picking out clothes for her and joining her in the dressing room. It felt GREAT!!!

We head to Vermont on Friday for our cousin Emily's wedding. It is going to be so much fun and I can't wait. While we were in Pittsburgh I got a new dress from one of my favorite stores, White House/Black Market, and Hannah has convinced me to wear it for the wedding so we can be "twinners", her dress is black and white also. Hopefully I will have lots of pictures to share when we get home.

Love to you all! Nancy

Monday, August 3, 2009

Update from UPMC


We had a good trip to Pittsburgh last week. I got a wonderful surprise when we arrived at Family House; Julie and her mom Mary were there. I haven't seen them in several months and it was so nice to catch up. Julie is doing well and has passed her one year transplant anniversary, it is hard to believe it has been over a year since we were both living at Family House and waiting for donors.

We also had the opportunity to visit with my friend Cammi and her family. We sat out on her front porch so we wouldn't infect each other with anything. I just love her family so much. Her parents grew up in Idaho, just over the mountain from Jackson Hole, so we are all familiar with each other's home areas. Cammi has been waiting in Pittsburgh for lungs for nine months now. I truly pray they will find a donor soon.

Now, to my appointments. We met with the Diabetes doctor on Wednesday and things continue to go well with my diabetes. My level is actually a little low, so I need to decrease some of the insulin I am injecting.

Thursday morning we saw the ENT. My sinuses looked good, no sign of infection. I have been struggling with an annoying cough that we thought might be caused by a post nasal issue, but they didn't think that was it. I had an allergy test that showed I am allergic to Crab Grass and Timothy Hay. The doctor asked where I might be exposed to Timothy Hay, Scott answered, "In our kitchen." Our Guinea Pig eats Timothy Hay.

My final appointments were transplant appointments. I was so excited about my pulmonary function tests. The last time I was at UPMC my PFTs were at 78%, this trip I was up to 92% (93% is normal). I have made it to my goal weight of 130 lbs, without the feeding tube, hooray!!! The bronchoscope showed no rejection, but I do have a Cystic Fibrosis related lung infection. That is probably the cause of the cough. I will be starting IV and oral antibiotics and hopefully that will clear up. So, other than the infection, I am on track and doing well!

I hope you had a great weekend! All my love! Nancy

The Miracle of Transplantation

Pause the music player before watching.