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


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Taking Flight

Hello Friends!

I wanted to invite you to order a wonderful new book that is filled with transplant stories (including mine!).  This would be a wonderful gift for anyone who is facing a transplant, it will definitely provide hope.

All proceeds from the book will be donated to the charities of choice of all the contributors, so it will benefit many worthy organizations.

As far as I know, the only place to purchase the book right now is at amazon:

Can you find me on the back cover?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

May is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month

It's not always easy keeping track of everything you need to consider post-transplant. Did you know, for instance, that skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in transplant recipients?1 Learning your risk factors for skin cancer early and understanding ways to effectively reduce your risk are important for protecting your long-term health.
What are my risks of developing skin cancer?
The anti-rejection medications vital to the success of your transplant also suppress the natural immune defenses in your skin, putting you at higher risk for skin cancer.2 Be sure to discuss your risk factors for skin cancer with your transplant team. If you haven't done so already, ask them for assistance in developing a plan for skin cancer prevention, detection, and treatment.3
Although your anti-rejection medications can increase your risk for skin
cancer, remember that taking them as intended is critical to your health and
that of your transplant. If you have concerns about the risks of long-term immunosuppression, talk to your transplant team. Do not change or stop
any of your medications, unless directed to do so by your doctor.
What can I do to help prevent skin cancer?
The good news is that simple lifestyle changes can significantly reduce your risk of developing skin cancer4:
Wear a waterproof, broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every day, even when it's cloudy or rainy out. Consider making this part of your daily routine, maybe by applying it immediately after brushing your teeth each morning
Make sure sunscreen is applied liberally to all parts of your body, especially areas of high sun exposure, such as the back of your neck, tops of your ears, and back of your hands
Wear tightly-woven, protective clothing, such as long sleeves, pants, and hats
Limit your exposure by avoiding outside activity between 10 AM and 4 PM, when sunlight is most intense
Because skin cancer develops slowly over time, these steps are only as effective as your daily commitment to them. And like all other aspects of your transplant health, it's critical that you schedule regular skin evaluations with your doctor—every 12 months, or, if you are at higher risk, every 3-6 months.3
What are the signs of skin cancer?
In addition to regular skin evaluations, monthly self-monitoring is highly recommended. Look for the following changes to your skin4:
New, changing, or scaly growth
Pink patches or spots
Bleeding spots
Changing moles
Fortunately, about 95% of transplant-associated cases of skin cancer are forms of non-melanoma, which are usually curable if caught early enough.3,4 The other 5% are cases of melanoma,3 characterized by Asymmetry, Border irregularity, Color variability, Diameter, and Evolving growth—known as the ABCDEs of melanoma.5 For helpful pictures and additional descriptions of the types of skin cancer, visit the Healthy Body section
Skin cancer can be serious, but by learning the signs of skin cancer now, you can seek the early evaluation and treatment key to avoiding long-term complications. Learn more at

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Terrific Second Honeymoon!

This year Scott and I are celebrating 15 years of marriage.  As a special treat, we decided to use some of our tax return and go on a 2nd Honeymoon.  What an incredible few days in the Riviera Maya, Mexico!

Our hotel was between Playa del Carmen and Xcaret.

Inside the Hotel

There were beautiful jungle paths throughout the resort.

and Iguanas all over (can you see him in there?)

What a gorgeous beach!!!

This guy hung out on the deck of the grill hoping for handouts.

Scott enjoyed the pool bar.

The snorkeling was amazing.  There was a beautiful reef that we could swim to from the beach.  I will try to post movies at some point.

We enjoyed napping in the hammocks in the afternoon.

Scott enjoyed hanging out on our balcony.

This was the path to the lobby and buffet.

Unfortunately, when you are in Mexico, they expect you to try a shot of Tequila.

Having never tried Tequila before, I was ready for the challenge...

Can you see the facial expression changing?

I wish there was a sound effect to go along with this picture!


We played Mini Golf on a beautiful little course in the rain forest.

Shopping at the "mall" at the resort.

We took a tour of Tulum.  "Tulum, meaning wall in Mayan, was named such when it was discovered and first explored in the early 1800s by Juan de Grijalva's expedition to the area. This fortified Mayan city had been utilized during the Post classic period around 1200-1450 CE. And the site remained occupied until the late 16th century when it was finally abandoned after the arrival of the Spanish. 

This ancient walled city was, in its time, a thriving civilization. Originally thought to be called Zama, Mayan for dawn, Tulum was a major crossroads of trade from both land and sea managing trade from Honduras and into the Yucatan. This is evident by the large amount of artifacts from all over Mexico that have been uncovered at this site. Tulum is one of the only fortified Mayan sites and is one of the best preserved coastal sites in all of Mexico." 

There were HUGE Iguanas all over Tulum.

Our Tour Guide was half Mayan and half Mexican.  His mother is a full Mayan.  Tulum was actually called Zama by the Mayans and was and continues to be a Holy City.

In the picture below you can see two of their temples.  The main god is the sun and the temple to the son is the one on the left (it was disguised so that if there was an invasion, hopefully it would not be destroyed.)

The large temple in the center was a temple to the earth, and the temple to the moon was to the right, just out of the picture.  The full Mayans come to Zama at the beginning of their year and worship and celebrate for 5 days.  This park is closed during that time.

Zama overlooks the sea with some gorgeous views.  It was never conquered because it had a large stone wall surrounding it (Tulum’s wall for which it is named is 5 meters (about 16 feet) thick and as many as 8 meter (about 26 feet) in some areas and provided the perfect protection for the Mayan people that lived here. )  

  The sea surrounded the rest and the reef prevented any ships from getting close to the shore.

This was the temple to the moon.  They worshiped the moon because they connected it with fertility.

Back at the resort, there was all sorts of things to keep us entertained.  One night they had an authentic Mexican band.

And there were shows each night in the theater.  This one was a Circus show.

Heaven on Earth!!

What an incredible trip.  I continue to be in awe of the health I have been blessed with.  While we were snorkeling I kept thinking that I could never have done this before.  I had a lot of energy and was able to keep up with Scott the whole time (I did crash when we got home).

Each of us has to LIVE, make sure you do the things you dream of before your health gets in the way!!!

The Miracle of Transplantation

Pause the music player before watching.