My last post was in February... it is now June. It is amazing at how quickly time has flown by. I apologize for having disappeared for so long but I'll take the time now to catch you all up on some things.
The BIG reason why I've been gone for so long is because shortly after my last post, my liver started failing. Scary stuff right? I was absolutely TERRIFIED! For those of you who may not know, I am a breast cancer survivor, but compared to cancer, liver failure scared me about 1,000,000X more. I knew my chances of beating the cancer was pretty great, but when I was diagnosed with liver failure I knew that the waiting list for a liver transplant was HUGE and by the time they found me a match, it could easily be to late.
There are currently around 17,000 people in the United States right now waiting for a liver transplant and only about 5,000 liver transplants happen each year. You do the math. There are basically 2 types of liver transplants: Orthotopic Liver Transplant and a Living Donor Transplant. The Orthotopic transplant is the most common of the 2 transplants because it is when the entire liver is removed from the body and a healthy liver is transplanted in. The Living Donor Transplant is when a healthy (alive) person donates part of their liver to the recipient- This type of transplant is just now becoming more and more used.
I was extremely fortunate enough that I was given the "OK" for the Living Donor Transplant. So all I needed was someone who was willing to give me part of their liver... not really an easy thing to do. It could still take even years to find a donor, which really scared me. All of this was happening way to quickly! Then a miracle happened. My Angel stepped in. He had the same blood type as me, he had an extremely healthy liver, he had no medical problems, he said he would be able to tolerate the surgery and the recovery process... he met every single criteria that was needed for the transplant. So he did it, he donated part of his liver to me and the transplant was under way. The surgery for him lasted roughly 3 hours and my surgery was around 7-8. Both surgeries had zero complications, although the recovery was extremely painful and tiring.
Today marks the 9 week period since my transplant and they doctors told me just this morning that the section of the liver that was transplanted into me has grown to it's normal size, which is great news. I'm still recovering, but for the most part I'm doing great.
I owe my donor my life and without him, who knows when and if I could've ever had the transplant. I will never be able to thank my husband enough for what he has done. He is truly my angel and saved my life. He has given me the greatest gift of all and that is to live.
Each day the waiting list of people who need the transplant continues to grow and it saddens me so much to know that thousands of those people will never get the surgery. I am extremely blessed to have found a donor in just a matter of a couple of weeks. The pain I went through is nothing compared to what others are having to go through. I will NEVER take my life for granted anymore. I will thank my husband every single day for what he has done for me. I will help in trying to find donors for those who badly need the transplant. I will live each day with faith, happiness, love, strength, courage, power, and hope.