Game Days as defined by this survivor are days filled with routine follow up surveillance appointments [and] diagnostics (mammograms, MRIs, ECHO)tests. Game days can evoke a great deal of anxiety as you well know and I dare say that we all have 'game day rituals' we go through to minimize our anxiety and the impact … Continue reading Game Day Rituals
There are lots of things to consider when you're not in 'your Kansas' anymore; med schedules & time zones being 2 of them for me. As a heart transplant recipient, I will take anti-rejection medications every 12 hours sharp for the rest of my life. It's not a big deal; it's become part of my … Continue reading Med Schedules & Time Zones
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." ~Lao Tzu I glanced at the date today and remembered that on this date 11 years ago, I began a journey by taking a single step literally 61 days after my heart transplant. It was a milestone, a red letter, write home about it kind … Continue reading One Step
It's not uncommon that I am asked: "what's it like to have someone else's heart beating inside your chest". As you can imagine this isn't a "hi, how are you?" type of question where you reflexively answer "I'm great; you?". No, the answer to this question is multi-faceted and quite complex involving the heart, body, … Continue reading What’s It Like?
Yesterday, I had a routine transplant check up which included an office visit with my nurse practitioner and my local transplant cardiologist as well as labs and an echocardiogram (ECHO) which is an ultrasound of the heart to evaluate structural integrity and heart function. Now that I am 11 years out from my transplant, these … Continue reading heartSTRONG
I'm a little quirky when it comes to dates. I can't forget them: the good, the bad, or the ugly. Believe me, I've tried. Last December, I wrote Anniversaries: Do They Serve You OR Hurt You? as I was struggling to stay present in the moments of my life because I was remembering (vividly); events … Continue reading What’s Your Date?
It was noon before I realized that today is National Cancer Survivors Day and I thought I might want to take my fingers to the keyboard to hammer out some thoughts, reflections, hopes for the future. I have officially lived 40 years beyond what my parents were told to expect; they were told 6 months … Continue reading National Cancer Survivors Day
Warning: this post will make you smile and it may make you cry. I'd like to share an encounter I had as my heart was beginning to fail. I was headed to a cardiology appointment one January day. I parked the car, hopped out, locked the doors and headed towards the medical complex. I made … Continue reading Angels Among Us
In February 2008 within the confines of the 4 walls of an exam room and a 20-minute not even 8 weeks after my valve surgery, my husband and I were told that my heart was failing. An encounter etched in my memory forever; an encounter characterized by shared disappointment and genuine compassion. After delivering this … Continue reading When the Heart Fails
In reviewing my posts, I realized that there isn't a post explaining why at 38-years of age my heart failed, and ultimately, died. So, here's the bullet point backstory: 1978: diagnose with Ewing's sarcoma, a soft tissue cancer; I was 8- years-old in the third grade My parents were not given much hope that I … Continue reading Heart Failure: the Backstory