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


Monday, January 30, 2012

20 Million in 2012 Campaign

20 Million in 2012 Campaign

20 Million in 2012
Donate Life America has recently launched a campaign to register 20 Million new organ donors in 2012. The national organization promoting organ, eye and tissue donation in the United States is launching a bold new initiative, “20 Million in 2012,” which will focus on radically increasing the number of people registered on state donor registries. The official launch of the campaign comes on the heels of its announcement during the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, CA, where every year since 2004 it has sponsored the Donate Life float. This year’s float again featured inspirational stories of organ donors and their families, a tradition that the “20 million in 2012” campaign will continue throughout 2012 as it features powerful stories of those affected by organ, eye and tissue donation. The “20 Million in 2012” campaign will feature four national Donate Life events throughout the year- the Donate Life Flash Mob on March 24th, Donate Life Blue and Green Virtual Fashion Show on April 20th, Donate Life Champions in Fall 2012 and Donate Life Linking Hands for Life all year long.

If you have not registered to be an organ, tissue, or eye donor and would like to, visit:

Some Great Info. from

Know Your Medication Rights

After a transplant, your doctor selects an immunosuppressant regimen that she thinks is best for you, taking into account your individual medical history. It is not only important that you make a commitment to taking these medications, but that you understand why this commitment is so critical to your long-term transplant health.

Maintaining the right balance of immunosuppression

Many factors can influence how an immunosuppressant is absorbed into your body, including whether you take it with or without food, the type of organ transplant you received, and other conditions you may have.1,2
If the amount of drug in your body is reduced due to a change in how it is absorbed by your body, you may have too little immunosuppression, which can increase the risk of rejection. If absorption is increased, you could have too much drug in your system, increasing the chance for additional side effects.1,3
For these reasons, not following your medication regimen consistently may increase your risk for rejection or cause serious side effects. It is important to understand the different forms of medication and, specifically, what your doctor intends for you to take.

Understanding brand and generic medications

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires brand name drugs and generic drugs to be safe—both are expected to meet the same standards of strength, purity, effectiveness, manufacturing, and quality controls. Generic drugs are considered bioequivalent (which means that the same amount of medicine is absorbed in the body within the same amount of time) based on studies conducted in 24-36 healthy volunteers. The FDA relies on the safety and efficacy studies conducted by the manufacturer of the brand name drug to establish the safety and efficacy of the generic medication.1,4

For some medications, your doctor may want you to take a brand name drug

Brand name drugs have costs associated with the discovery, development, and multi-phase clinical testing required to bring a new drug to the market. Generics cost less because generic manufacturers don’t have to repeat extensive clinical trial programs or take on the investment costs of researching and developing a new drug.

For other medications, your doctor may want you to take a generic drug

A generic drug is a copy of a brand name drug that is the same in dosage, safety, strength, way it is taken, quality, performance, and intended use. Generics have the same active ingredients as their brand counterparts, but may have differences in the inactive ingredients. A generic drug can be approved for marketing once the patent on a brand name drug has expired.

Receiving the medications intended for you

If your doctor intends for you to take brand name Prograf® (tacrolimus) capsules, contact your transplant team immediately if your capsules look different from those pictured above
In most cases, pharmacists or pharmacy personnel are not required to tell you or your doctor if they decide to substitute a generic drug for the brand name drug. Retail and mail-order pharmacies in many states are permitted—and are sometimes required—to fill all prescriptions with generic drugs. Automatic substitution of generics for brand names may occur unless your doctor indicates brand name Prograf capsules only on your prescription. You can also tell your pharmacist you want brand name Prograf.5

What is Prograf (tacrolimus) capsules?
PROGRAF is a prescription medicine used with other medicines to help prevent organ rejection in people who have had a kidney, liver, or heart transplant. PROGRAF is not for use with medicines called cyclosporines (Gengraf®, Neoral®, and Sandimmune®) and is not for use with a medicine called sirolimus (Rapamune®) in people who have had a liver or heart transplant. It is not known if PROGRAF is safe and effective when used with sirolimu s in people who have had kidney transplants. It is not known if PROGRAF is safe and effective in children who have had kidney or heart transplants.
Important Safety Information

What is the most important information I should know about Prograf?
Prograf can cause serious side effects, including:

1. Increased risk of cancer. People who take Prograf have an increased risk of getting some kinds of cancer, including skin and lymph gland cancer (lymphoma).
2. Increased risk of infection. Prograf is a medicine that affects your immune system. Prograf can lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections. Serious infections can happen in people receiving Prograf that can cause death.Call your doctor right away if you have symptoms of an infection such as fever, sweats or chills, cough or flu-like symptoms, muscle aches, and/or warm, red, or painful areas on your skin.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

How do you know if it is God or You?

Have you ever wondered whether something you felt moved to do was actually God directed or you directed? I had the perfect example today.

I had the strong feeling today that I had to give away my VIP ticket to Revolve (the retreat I am taking my girls' group to in March).  I have been looking forward to spending time up front with the girls, observing their reactions, and being close to the action.  It has recently come to my attention that one of our girls stopped coming to our group because she couldn't afford to go to Revolve.  I felt horrible!

Today is her Birthday, and I was moved to give her my ticket.  There are no VIP tickets left, so I knew I would have to buy a General Admission ticket and not be with the girls if I followed this instinct.  I can tell you, my selfish human heart did not want to give that ticket up; but my dear Father encouraged me, and I did.

That was God.  I don't need Revolve, these girls do.  It was so much more important that this young lady have this opportunity, than me.

Perhaps that is how we know.  When God asks, it usually isn't easy.  He asks for sacrifice; but when we follow-through, we can feel peace.

I don't know yet how that young lady liked her present, but I do know that I did the right thing!

May you listen, and be willing to be bent, when He asks!  God bless you all!  Nancy

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy New Year!

I can't believe Christmas is over; time sure flies when you are having fun with friends and family!  My parents joined us again this year for Christmas, and it was such a relaxing and enjoyable visit.  I always hate to see them go!

We brought in the New Year with a Feis in Pittsburgh, the wedding of my dear friend Ruth's son, and a Christmas celebration with Scott's family (we had to post-pone Christmas a week because of my brother-in-law's work schedule.)  It was all lovely.

I have to admit to something, however; I felt a lot of guilt this year.  Although I loved my presents I received, I felt guilty about each one.  I already have so much, how can I possibly deserve more?  It pains me to know there are families and children in our own country who had nothing this Christmas.  I realize this is not a problem I can solve; but it still makes me feel guilty.  Please pray for each person in our world who is suffering; who doesn't have the necessities of life; who is cold, alone, and afraid.  Our prayers can make a difference, so let's send some powerful prayers out for them!

I also have to let you all know that I have had a difficult time since Thanksgiving.  I think I shared that I was sick, well, I am still struggling to overcome what appears to be a virus.  It has been well over a month, and I am still tired and at times feeling ill.  I can hear again, which is a HUGE improvement, but I have had to really slow down.  Over the holidays, I needed a long nap each afternoon just to function in the evening.  This slowed down time has just served as one more reminder of the incredible gift I have been given.  Please continue to keep me in your prayers!

May God bless each and every one of you in this new year!  My love goes out to you all!  Nancy

The Miracle of Transplantation

Pause the music player before watching.