1 year, 4 months...

Friday, June 28, 2013

A little self photo action from last night, see I am still alive:-)

I think I grabbed this from Jamie's blog, or her facebook. She is fighting PANCAN at 33 and is my source for inspiration on most days!

I last posted on March 28, 2013, which seemed like yesterday! My pancreas followers check in via Facebook and I often get the same reaction: “You haven’t posted in a while, does that mean you are sick.” I remember thinking this when I was pre-transplant, scared out of my mind, and worried that the bloggers I followed died when they stopped posting. Yes, these things go through your mind when you are facing a 14 hour surgery and rough waters. So I decided, months later, it is about that time for an update!

I used to measure life in days, weeks, or months, post transplant. I did that for a very long time, then all the sudden, I forgot about it, I moved on if you will. Not a day goes by that I forget what happened, usually because I am checking my blood sugar (hello, daily reminder) but sometimes because parts of me are still affected by the events that happened and always will be. Certain songs on the radio make me think of all of it when I am driving alone in my car, and sometimes I actually cry. Not sure why, just remembering everything, maybe a little form of post traumatic stress. No illness will ever be the same, not a headache, a stomach ache, a shooting pain, none of it. Every single time, I will have a sickening feeling and go through a variety of different serious and horrible complications that any illness could possibly be. I usually pick up the phone, call the transplant team, discuss it with them, and feel better once they tell me I probably have the flu, or a headache, or a cold. But overall, I am just thankful. I am thankful for every day I get to walk around in no pain at all, every trip I can jet off to with no worry, every night out with my friends, every time I can drink a glass of wine, every time I EAT! I will never take those things for granted, ever. It has now been a year and four months POST TP-AIT! 

A year and four months out and I am still happy I did the transplant. I have no regrets, in fact my only regret is that I didn’t know about it sooner. I could not have gone on living the way I was, and I would have most likely ended up with pancreatic cancer, not to mention I would have been in pain for my entire life. I got off all pain medicines, which was harder than anything I have done, and I continue to live life like all this never happened. I won’t say I don’t have struggles. The blood sugar battle will most likely be continuous and lifelong, but it is a battle worth fighting. The “trade-off” if you will, was worth it, and I have to remind myself of this on the rough days. I have adhesions (scar tissue stuff, I guess) which cause some irritation, and I have the start of a hernia at my incision (I worked out a lot early on, probably wouldn’t recommend that, even if they clear you for it). But, those things are just small details on my journey, and they don’t typically disrupt my life. I remember, pre-surgery, when those things worried me so much I almost didn’t go through with everything. Looking back, I am so thankful that my fears didn’t hold me back. 

I read stories of people who have had issues even years out of their TP-AIT. I read about bile duct issues, spleen problems, pregnancy issues, hernias, and other random things, and I freak myself out about the future. But I always have to go back to the way life was before surgery, and I have to remind myself that anything that happens from here on out is worth it because of the life I live now. I have NO pain (unless hernia/adhesion, but rare), I have a life, I can eat, I can travel, I do NOT go to the hospital every week anymore (in fact, my last admission date was Feb. 16, 2012, TP day). These are the things I like to remind people thinking about the TP-AIT. Life is short, so make it sweet, do the surgery, and then get better and go on vacation:-) It takes time, I am finally feeling 100 percent, and even I have my days. But no day makes any of the things I went through a mistake! I promise you that!
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