Monday, March 8, 2010

Packing my bags...

It's been a few weeks since I've posted here... just very caught up in the day-to-day activities that I'm trying to maintain as the inevitable transplant nears. A few weeks ago the fundraising group that I serve on the Leadership Council for, Catalyst 8, threw their first big event of the year: the Mad Hatter Tea Party. Catalyst 8 raises funds for emerging Austin arts groups to subsidize rental fees for performances in the Long Center's Rollins Theatre through membership, events, and donations.

Well, the event was a huge success... we had projected to raise money for one week's worth of subsidized performances, and actually raised over three weeks' worth!

I stay as busy as I am physically able to lately in the hopes that I'll help in creating a future that I can come home to post-transplant. And, not to sound dramatic here, but if I don't, I'd like to know that I've done something worthwhile in my community.

Volunteerism becomes addictive after you really start to get into it. To actually see the impact from the work that you put in is reward enough in itself! I certainly wish I had the time and energy to give back even more than I do. I've found a niche for myself in helping the underprivileged arts community in Austin. It's something I'm very passionate about, and that I have a certain degree of talent for. But there are so many opportunities for volunteering out there that are deserving of peoples' time! I only wish more people gave of themselves in this day and age when we need it more than than ever. I can't even imagine the potential impact that one person with more health and energy than myself could have on the world.

The latest news is that I'm now officially listed for a transplant with Baylor Medical in Dallas, as of last week. I talked in more detail with my transplant coordinator this morning, and she explained that it may be anywhere from a month to a year away... my MELD score is now at a 20, and they're transplanting at 22, with about fourteen people currently in line in front of me.
She suggested that I start packing a bag in preparation... there goes that trip to Paris this summer! Maybe I should set my sights a bit lower, like a week in scenic Harker Heights. Ugh.

I'll be in recovery in the Dallas area for a full three months after the surgery, after which I'll be able to return to work and resume a normal, healthy life. And I have to be honest... although I'm a little scared, I am so, so ready to get this over with. I feel like I've subconsciously put so many things on hold in my life for years waiting for this to happen. Starting a family, etc... all conditional on this great weight looming over my head. Enough! I've finally gotten to a place in my life where all my past hangups and problems seem very inconsequential to me as I look forward to a brighter future. Healthy eating, abstaining from alcohol, and spiritual centeredness have all delivered me to the gates of this wonderful rebirthing at exactly the right moment in space and time. With a clean body and soul I go into the great unknown, and when I come out on the other side, I am assured that I'll finally have the health and promise of a future that I've never felt before.

So, enough with the heavy stuff. The key to my survival is my sense of humor... laughing in the face of sheer terror! I hate crybabies and pity parties, so instead, I'll close today's post with a fun exercise that hopefully you can all help me out with: What goes into my duffel bag as I pack for the transplant trip? What things will I want to wake up with near me one I come out on the other side? What music will I want to hear? What books will I want to read? Will dogs fit in there? Should I take my silk boxers, or the ones with the little fortune cookies? Too much information? You decide. Let the adventure begin!


  1. Fear not my friend. Consider me a liason to the outside world during your recovery. Movies? Books? Chick-fil-a?

    Your blog is inspiring. Great to hear your on the list! And finding a better you during all of this. Funny how it takes something like this to realize the purpose and beauty in life. Hope we can all learn from it.

    We're praying for you and Amanda. And hope to see you soon!

  2. hmmmmmmm......
    do NOT bring any salmon, that would be bad...
    bring some cards, and book on card tricks. You'll pull through this ordeal like some kind of magician, so you might as well show us a couple more tricks.

    DVD player with LOTS of funny movies. Laughter is the best medicine.

  3. Hmmm, I had a 6' plastic skeleton hanging in my hospital room, however that was because it was at Halloween. So, bring a cool poster, seasonal garland (if it is 4th of July, Memorial Day, etc.) something fun to entertain your guests, docs, nurses, and you. I will keep you in my prayers and know you will be a strong easy patient with a long life ahead.

  4. Dogs had dadgum better fit in if yours are as important to you as mine are to me. I recover faster from a bad day when "the girls" are there so I'm certain it would be great to have them around for your recovery.

  5. Fantastic news!! Yahoo! I have some entertainment suggestions for ya:

    "Born To Run" - well-written and inspiring book about endurance & the human body that I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy. I couldn't put this book down.

    "Touch the Sound" - wonderful documentary about Evelyn Glennie (percussionist, teacher, performer and profoundly deaf). The music in this doc is absolutely beautiful, as is the cinematography.

    "Zombieland", "The Invention of Lying", "Enter the Dragon", "Street Fighter", "Pooty Tang" - fun mindless movies for when you don't feel like being challenged.

    "Battlestar Galactica" - Series 1-4 (actually 4.5). I'm not sure if you've ever watched this or not, but this was a really awesome series that very cleverly mixes science fiction with spirituality. Plus the dialogue and plot twists are quite good.

    Did I mention "Pooty Tang"? Sa da tay, brotha. ;)

    Keep on shining with that positive attitude of yours!