As I prepare for Christmas this year, I think back to my last Christmas – dialysis Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, and spending Christmas Day in bed, simply because I was just too sick to enjoy the day. Sadly this has been the pattern for the past 6 or so Christmases, with varying degrees of illness, or in the case of 2007, not being able to see the tree at my parents place because my vision was so terrible at that point.
To be honest, there were times earlier in the year when my health had deteriorated so much that I wasn’t even certain that I would see this Christmas – I was having more frequent and more severe hypos, and dialysis barely kept me hanging on. I like to think that my condition wasn’t life-threatening, but as I reflect on how sick I was, the reality is that my transplant did indeed save my life.
As lucky as I consider myself to be now – in good health and away from the hospital, my heart goes out to those still on the waiting list, knowing that they can’t visit loved ones who live far away as they wait for that elusive call. I also feel tremendously for my friends at dialysis and a few extra special people whose transplant journey hasn’t been as successful as my own.
My thoughts are with my donor’s family at all times, but especially at this time of year. The gift that they gave could never be matched or outdone, and by far and away is the best gift I will ever receive. Words really cannot express the sheer gratitude I have for the person who still lives on inside me.
All in all, 2010 has been an interesting year for me, and I look forward to seeing what next year brings. I can see how far I’ve come, yet know that my “journey” is nowhere near over.