10 months ago today I received the Gift of Life from my amazing and loving mother!
How I feel today compared to this time last year…
About this time last year I was coming out of the most difficult three months of my life – I’ll explain more shortly – and I was definitely feeling and living with the symptoms of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) – bone pain, insomnia, very fatigue, frequent muscle cramps, pale skin, tissue swelling, poor appetite, back pain – to name a few.
I’m not one that likes to have others worry about me, so each day I would put on this persona that I was doing well – feeling pretty good under the circumstances. But under this façade, I was feeling the other end of good. I was constantly fighting all of these symptoms that were getting worse and worse with every week and every day that passed and battling with coming to terms and inner peace of accepting my mother’s soon-to-be-gift and if I deserved it.
Dealing with symptoms of ESRD was a very difficult challenge – but seeking this inner peace of accepting my mother’s soon-to-be-gift was by far the most difficult challenge of my life.
I would have donated a kidney to my mother without a second of hesitation if the tables were turned; the fact still remained the tables weren’t turned – I was on the receiving end. Even though I was pre-warned of the emotional feelings I may experience prior to the months of my transplant during the transplant orientation meeting. I thought…nah, not me. And I left my orientation meeting blinded to the fact I was about to embark on the most difficult months of my life.
For the next few months I internally battled with constant feelings of guilt and anger.
Do I deserve this second chance? How could I possibly let my mother make such a sacrifice for me knowing I made some very unwise decisions through the previous years? Knowing the pain and discomfort my mother will have to endure through the screening procedures and test before she could officially be declared a candidate to donate. The pain and discomfort post transplant. How could I let her? How do I come to peace with this? Or will I? Many nights I spent kneeling on my bedside praying – with tears flowing – asking for forgiveness and guidance. This peace seemed so distant? Why is this hard? There are no guarantees. What if my body doesn’t accept my mother’s kidney? How will she deal with this? It wouldn’t be her fault. But will she understand this? Before I can have this transplant, I have to find this inner peace. Weeks went by. Same questions – the battle continued. Then like the instant calm after a strong summer storm – one Sunday about this time last year – feeling exhausted physically and emotionally - the inner peace came. I was praying at the alter of my church with my mother kneeling next to me - I can’t find the exact words to describe it – simply the inner peace I had been seeking for the past 12+ weeks swarmed through by body. I knew it was god’s will.
Today – 10 months post transplant – I feel amazing! I am enjoying life to the fullest! I am back to working out and enjoying the outside activities that I love. I can play and run around with my 6 year-old niece and 9 year-old nephew. I am in the best physical shape of my life. I have dropped 30 pounds since the day of my transplant. I am enjoying kickboxing, running, biking, hiking, and kayaking. I can enjoy times with my family and friends – not feeling tired or exhausted all the time. The most important, I am getting the opportunity to continue to live my life and build ever lasting memories with those important in my life.
All of this because of the selfless, loving, and compassionate gift my mother gave me 10 months ago today – the Gift of Life!
Thank you mother! I love you and thank about you and your gift all the time! You are not only my mother; you are my best friend, my hero, my angel!