It is an honor that you are here, Thank you!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

It's Beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!

I am also on Live Journal!!!

Not sure what to say about the snow storm we encountered this past week. Lots of snow, warm fuzzies inside, and hot chocolate.

I was sitting in my living room, looking out into the street, and the snow flakes falling were the big ones, that make it look as though the sky has been lite up all day. When they fall the fall hard, yet softly at the same time.

I was thinking of Eva and Ashley today. And my new friends. I love this site and my blog site, I can reach so many more people and share my story. Like a now flake I am ever changing.

Eva, I hope you are feeling a bit better today, and I hope you send me your address so I can make sure to send you some warm fuzzies of your very own, all the way from Ontario. The snow capital of Canada, after Quebec city. lol

This is my first winter with new lungs, after having had the hardest time breathing I think I can actually breath normally. It has only gone down to -10 degrees Celsius, and I was okay, mind you the wind is another story. But I wasn't short of breath or anything. It was really nice. I think my fingers and toes got cold before I needed to come back inside.

Ever wonder what a transplant patient looks like in a snow storm? Me too! haha

I will be going to the gym 3 days a week starting on Monday, i have recently become aware that I am nothing but lazy. I have been given this great gift, and i am wasting it away by sitting on my ass, doing nothing. So off to the gym I will be going.

Question to other tranplantees, what's your secret to staying thin? my meds are taking their toll on me, and I weight much more than I wanted, so I am trying to work off the extra pounds, and it's tough. Any secrets?

Anyhow, getting ready for the torch relay in Cornwall this coming Monday, it's going to be awesome, I will be there with bells on, and I cannot wait to see all the community out there cheering on our runners. So very excited to see the Olympic flame in Cornwall on Monday. I will be taking pictures, and posting them so don't worry about that.



Did you know that Miley Cyrus has a "Just Breathe" Tattoo under her left breast for a friend of hers that died from CF two years ago. It's in the Style magazine just out this week.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

9 Months on the 16th

Well folks, I am preparing for my 3 days visit to Toronto. Yep it's that time again, where ill be assessed with my new lungs of only 9 months old (In me anyhow) I still don't know anything about my donor, and I am waiting patiently to see if they will respond to my "Thank You" card. Not that saying Thank you isn't a a good thing, it's just not the right thing, or words I want to use. Thank you is just so plain, i want to shout from the roof tops and tell the world that I have new lungs, I have a second chance to be someone I have always wanted to be, I have to opportunity to help others who were in my situation, see the light (but not that light).

You will never understand the impact this has had on my life, you think you might understand, but you have no idea. It's a feeling of freedom, and relaxation. A feeling of rest, at night when coughing isn't your main focus, it's a feeling that you can experience things you have never been able to in a long time. Like walking down the street, dancing and taking a long, hot shower without focusing on breathing alone.

9 months, I have had these babies for 9 months, and have I really done anything to appreciate them, besides taking the many anti-rejection pills... um nope. I don't go to the gym as much as I should, so I am paranoid about the H1N1 being in the gym right now, but before that I was just afraid everyone was looking at me saying, look at the over weight girl... yeah I have negative thoughts also, I a not always as upbeat and happy as I seem. Sometime I just want to rip my hair out and scream. Mostly because I hate the way I look right now, all puffy and fat in places that they say is impossible to get rid of.

My meds, make me feel all loopy and weird, I have an appetite so big that the only time I know to stop eating is when I feel like I am going to puke, and sometimes end up doing. i hate that my engagement ring is too small, and I can't wear it, I hate that the people i love the most think this weight gain is good and makes me look healthy, but they just don't understand how depressed and upset it makes me. I eat healthy, and walk every night, and nothing.

Sure people say give it time, your weight will balance out... yeah when? It's been nine months and it's only starting to balance out now, with ugly stretch marks on thighs to prove it. Is there a cure for stretch marks, well according to Dr. OZ... NO, there isn't a cure or a fix for stretch marks. Lucky me, not only do I feel fat, and look ugly, I have stretch marks that make me unappealing to even myself, I can only imagine what my husband thinks. Don't say he loves me just the way I am, because that's a bunch of bull shit. If he loves me just the way i am, then things would be just the way they were, and they aren't.

Well, now that i have bantered for a little while, I'll press on with this one last note...

I leave for Vancouver in 11 weeks. Woohoo!!!

Cheers
Ali

Sunday, November 1, 2009

"Friendship" - for Ashley


Ashley "W" & her Daughter Leigha

FRIENDSHIP & love

As time goes by, you start to realize who your true friends are, and what they strive to get out of you as a person. I can safely say that besides my family, I have 3 really good friends, who i connect with on many levels, and have known for many years, and who actually care about me as a person.

Rebecca, Jo and Lisa, are pretty much the three true friends I have. Besides Ashley x2 (yes there are two of you) I think I have a rather impressive number of friends. They say you could how many true friends you have on one hand, and I have 5. Ashley "S" is funny, witty, intellectual, beautiful, even though she feels like shit right now she is still beautiful, courageous and strong. She, like myself, has undergone a Double Lung Transplant, and if we hadn't connected with one another, she might not be here today for me to talk to.

There is a special bond between us, one that only comes from uncertainty, fear and the unknown. As we went through our transplants, it's safe to say neither one of us knew if we ere going to come out of this one with a beating heart, and we did. Why, because we need to teach of what we have learned and what we will encounter as new people in society. True friends never doubt you, always include you and never, ever question your relationship with God. What we have is stronger than crazy glue, and more comforting then a hot glass of Cocoa on a cold frosty winter day. It's just something no one but us, will be able to understand.

Then there is Rebecca, Jo & Lisa, they have been around for it all, and will always be there no matter how much you want to take them by the scruff of the neck, and say "How are you still with me."

These are the true friends. I have known Lisa since we were 5 taking gymnastics together, and we didn't hang out as children, but now we do. Lisa has been there through it all, my worst and my best. Lisa holds a special place in my heart as one of those friends, you just meet, and just happen to get along with famously.

"We're like pees and carrots" - Jenny & Forrest


Rebecca & Jo, have been around since the dawn of time, for as long as I can remember they have always been there. even when they went to University, we still managed to keep in touch. Friends since the age of 5 or 6, and going strong. They have their own families to worry about, yet the still manage to keep me on their radar. Rebecca, came to see me when I had my transplant, before and after. Jo couldn't as she was on the other side of the country, but I knew she was there in spirit and prayer, and that's all that matters.

Ashley "W" is new in my circle. her and her daughter bring me laughter and surprise every day of my life, and I love them for it. Not only do they keep me on my toes, but it's a way for me to get out of my house, venture up some stairs, and be with someone who is non-judgmental and inquisitive about me. Asks how i feel all the time, and let's me vent when I need to, even when it's about my friends mentioned above. But not very often. Not to mention take Leigha, her daughter, away from her for while, we play all the time!

These are my friends, and I love them dearly. Family and spouses are a given, sometimes there are just things you need to keep with just the girls.

I love you all, and can't wait till we all talk again.

I love all my new CF friends too, don't get me wrong. I just have a special something with these people.

*** OLYMPICS ***


VANCOUVER 2010

I am so there. I am the Hostess with the mostess. People are going to want to come back to CANADA every year after meeting me. I am going to give the VANOC a run for their money that they are going to have to pay me to slow down, and take it easy.

Everyday, i get closer and closer to the big day. i am so excited. My health is going well, had a bought of Pneumonia earlier this month, then caught CMV (Don't ask, I have no clue really). My donor tested positive, so when i got sick, I now test positive also. Damn CMV. But this will all be taken care of before I leave fore VANCOUVER on less than 90 days.

I am so excited to be a part of these Olympic games it's nuts. I have gotten i contact with the Transplant team in Vancouver, should anything happen that way, and also the CF team in Vancouver, just to be safe. Getting my letter from Dr. Aaron/Cameron about the meds I am on, so when I fly they don't ask a thousand questions. Got my flu and H1N1 shot, so I am ready to go.

I hope to get some red mittens soon, so I can wear them with the utmost pride. Woohoo, VANCOUVER here I come.

I am not excited at all... really I'm not! :)

See you soon.
Ali

Friday, October 30, 2009

WHAT... not one comment opn anything

As I sit in front of my computer, contemplating life and it's weirdness, I have but one thing to say! How can i not have one comment on any of the last 3 to 4 posts I have made. Are they not comment worthy? What's the deal people.


GREECE to CANADA


The Olympics start in 105 days, and I am off to them in less than that 90 days to be exact. Well until they tell me otherwise. I am so eacited. I am llooking forward to representing my country in one of the most privileged ways, and that's as a Hostess for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic games. I cannot wait to wear the uniform, with pride, dignity and honor. I may not be military, but I will sure feel like I am. Wearing a uniform that representls my country and all she has to offer. How cool is that.

I think this is what I'll be wearing during the Olympics...
so freaking awesome!!!
BLUE my favorite colour.

Check out the medals...


These are going to be great games, I cant' wait to get down there and represent my country in the most exciting time of my life. This has happened twice in my lifetime, the Olympics coming to CANADA. It may or may not ever happen again, so I might as well embrace it while I can.

Well, what started as a complaint, turned into the most exciting memory I will ever have. Spending my 1 year anniversary, with new lungs, at the Olympics in Vancouver. Oh Yeah!!!! Nothing can beat that, nothing. Well, unless I win the lottery! lol

Love you all
Alison

VANCOUVER BOUND in 90 days

Confessions of a transplant patient...

Today was the funeral for our good friend Malcom, who passed away suddenly. I'll admit, i am not the first one to talk about death, dying or anything along those lines, but lately... well it's all I can think about.

Malcom was a young free spirited man, who loved to fish, take things apart and not put them back together. He was one of those souls that you just loved no mater what. We weren't close, although his older brother is like a son to Derek and i. We took him in, and loved him. As any good friend would do.

But today was different. It made me think that, what if the surgery didn't work, what if it wasn't such a huge success, then some of these people (The Watt's my Dad and Derek) would be grieving like they are for Malcom, but for me. Okay, I know this may sound selfish but come on, you can't tell me that when you go to a funeral, you don't start to think of your own mortality?

I started thinking, I think I want to have a wake now, it's a way of closure, I didn't see it that way until today. Malcom looked great, peaceful and at ease. But I remembered what Jim Bob Duggar told his son, when he asked why Grandpa Duggar wasn't breathing, he said "Grandpa Dugger's body was just god's way of putting a face to the work he wanted done. Now his sou is in heaven, and all that is left behind is the body of the person we love." This was a 6 year old asking the question, and the best answer I heard from an adult in a long time. God bless the Duggars for being up front and honest with their kids.

So now I think I want a wake/viewing. I guess it depends on what you look like when you go. If I look half as good as Malcom does, then I am for it. If I look like shit, forget it. lol

Needless to say, today was and is a tough day. You try to be strong, but you break down. My Dad was there, and was strong. He came to support Chris, and bless him for that, cause he ended supporting me in the long run. Father Kevin's service was beautiful, Malcom would have enjoyed it. It wasn't long, and it wasn't only the bible, it was explanation and hope for the rest of us. What a wonderful man, Father Kevin is.

We are all going to go at some point, and some before others. But until that time comes, you have to do what you were put on this earth to do. I think mine is to educate and explore. If going to the Olympics in February isn't exploration enough, I don't know what is.

Much love to the Watt family,(Steve, Sylvie, Chris, Nicole, and Stephanie) no matter what the time, we are here for you, no matter what the day we are here for you. Friend for life is what we are, in life and death, you will forever be remembered.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What I've been thinking

Well it's Wednesday, and I haven't written in a while. So many things have happened I don't know where to start.

Our family has had some sad news, a good friend of ours, who is pretty much like a brother to me, has had a sad week. Last Friday it was discovered that our friends younger brother had passed away accidentally. We have been grieving for the family, and doing what we can to make him happy, or at least realize there was nothing that we could do to make him come back. It's a situation I have been trained to handle, but couldn't begin to help, not knowing what to say other thatn "I am so sorry" just didn't cur it for me. I guess when it happens close to home, the situation chagnes. There is no amount of preparation for something like this. I felt hopless to help him deal with is loss. But in one instance, he did laugh, and it was the most liberating sound I have ever heard. Malcom will be missed by everyone, and we will always be here if the family needs us. Because that is simply the kind of people we are.

On another note,

I received an email from a local in Cornwall, where i am from, pissed that I wasn't selected for the torchbearer in Cornwall, and that the person chosen, isn't even known in the community. amazing how one person makes a difference. I have been asked to do an interview with the Seaway News, who find itself perched on your door every week in SDG&C, so next Thursday you will read the article written by John Divinsky, and know it's about me. I guess my experience has touched many locals int he community, who feel I should represent our communtiy, not a marathon runner, who no one has heard of. Thank you to that individual, who took the time to realize that Cornwall is my town, and i want to make a difference. I guess my going to the Olympics is bigger than running with the torch... although the torchbearer get's to keep the torch, and the awesome track suit, I want one.

BUY YOUR MITTENS...

Don't forget to buy your mittens and support our athletes at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games. I'm buying mine, they are only $10.00 here's the picture...

How can you turn these puppies down. They are awesome! If your Canadian, buy them, if your American buy them. they are the coolest thing to hit the streets these days. So cool, that they are sold out. that's good. All the proceeds of the sale of these mittens is being given back tot he athletes, and it should be this way Time after time, years after year, and available every winter. What better way to show your pride in CANADA, then to wear these awesome mittens. Can't wait to get mine!!!! WOOHOO!!!

Cara, I am sending you a pair, and Patrick so be on the lookout.


VANCOUVER 2010 here I Come!
107 days to go!!!
WOOHOO! Get my schedule next week, so excited.

Monday, October 5, 2009

In Ottawa... it's nuts **OLD POST**

Hello my friends,


it's October 5th, and there is something I need to share with you all. I have been admitted to the Ottawa hospital for an on going fever that has lasted for two weeks. Don't think it's infection but we can't be sure. the docs don't know what it is, i just hope that they don't decide to send me to Toronto it's not a cool thing.


I leave for the Olympics in less than four months and I cannot wait.


I never really thought about complications, with the surgery, but hey it's probably just a flu, cause it is that time of year you know.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

6 MONTHS... part DEUX!

Hey Everyone,

Boy it's been a long time since i was here posting. I should be shot... no wait then I would have to give up these amazing lungs of mine. It has now been 6 months, and I just got my results from my Bronchoscopy. In case you were wondering what that is, it's a camera that goes down the throat, into the esophagus and then into the lungs, takes a biopsy of the lung tissue and checks for rejection, infection and bacteria.

Well, I am happy to say that I have NO REJECTION, some pseudamonas growing, but nothing to be concerned about, so basically nothing growing, cause it was there when my lungs were put it, I grew it already in my esophagus. Very exciting.

Also, i have been accepted as a volunteer for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games. What better way, besides being with my family, than to celebrate my 1year anniversary at the Olympics in CANADA!!! Woohoo!!! Vancouver here I come.

So that's about it, hope everyone is well, and laughing a lot. It is, after all, the best medicine.

Love and Prayer to you all
Ali






Saturday, August 15, 2009

6 Wonderful Months... and counting

Well, it's been the best 6 months of my life. tomorrow marks the 6 month anniversary of my new life. There isn't one minute I regret in the decision I made, to accept a gift from a complete stranger, who knows how to make the life of a complete unknown easier. I still thank my donor everyday for this wonderful life i am living thanks to them I couldn't imagine not being here to enjoy the lovely life I am living.

Some of the things you take for granted don't make any sense to most, but to me it's like a light switch. Each step I take, and each breath I take are all symbols of things I couldn't do a year ago, or 6 months ago for that matter. No matter where in the world you are, you make friends,w ho don't understand why you do things the way you do, and now the whole world knows why I choose to do the things that I do.

My life is now complete. All i have to do now, is stay health, keep smiling, breath deeply and thank the heavens above for ever little thing that has been given to me.

My family is the best, all of them. From blood family to in laws. I can't imagine my life without any of them. Imagine a life without the people you love the most and how they support everything you do, even if they don't agree with it, imagine living life without the people who know you best, and laugh at you when you do something typically you... just imagine that! i did, and did not like it. I felt lonely, and out of sorts. That was when I was flying to Toronto and it wasn't something I want to do again.

So Sunday is my official anniversary, feel free to send me gifts, I like t-shirts and photo albums and music.... just kidding, I don't meed gifts... just money! lol I am so funny.

I will be going to Toronto with my mom, last time I went with my Dad, this time I will take Momma along with me. I might actually meet some of my new friends, Amie and Ashley, who both had successful transplants after me this year. I am so excited for them!!!! Yay!

Seeing as clinics are always on Monday's, I am most likely to meet with them on Monday while int he waiting room. Ashley, if you are reading this, you might want to prepare, so and air hug. You see Ashley is my germ-a-phob friend, but she will have to learn that germs are our friends when they are good ones, to help us fight infections. Life is better with some uncertainty. Trust me!

Amie, and I met through CF Clinic Social Worker in Toronto, she was on the list waiting and I was her contact person for questions. As I was with Ashley. And mow Triple A are unbreakable. Ashley and Amie, have known each other through hospital stays in TO. Which I was never a part of until this past January.

Anyhow, things are going great, my life is getting better and better. I cannot wait to keep sharing my experiences with you all. I'll have an update next week about my appointment. Cheers an love to you all.

Ali
XOXO

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I can't believe it!!!!

Well how do you explain this one... some things that I can't believe right now, and it's pretty crazy.

#1) My best friends' little brother, Matt has had two very crazy things happen to him on his life's journey. Let me tell you what I have learned, little Matthew (23) has had a pneumo thorax, yep nice little collapsed lung and 10 days before his wedding. That brings me to the second thing this poor little man had to him... Matt has now gotten married, and he has married himself a beautiful little lady by the name of Rebekah. What a beautiful little angel she is. She was simply beautiful, and lovely.

Matthew is like a little brother to me, seeing as I don't have any little brothers at all, it is nice to see that a family I cherish dearly has kept me close to their hearts and invited my husband and myself to celebrate the uniting of these two beautiful souls. I cherish every moment I have with this bunch.

#2) My husband and I spent a week in Moncton, New Brunswick for Matthew's wedding. It was a cold week, and rainy too. We stayed at the Crowne Plaza, and it was so nice. Something we will always remember. It was a nice drive there, we took a few days to get there, and spent time with just the two of us. We stopped in Riviere du Loup, just outside of New Brunswick.

The second leg of the trip took no time at all, I'll post pictures when I have a chance I am not at my computer right now, so you will have to wait. The clouds were spectacular, and the rain, oh my goodness the rain, it came down like there was no tomorrow, it came down so hard we had to pull over at one point.

Well, there isn't much more to say right now, so I'll just take off for a little while. Don't know what to do right now, pretty tired, so i might just hit the hay, and relax a little. Read my book, I'd tell you what it is but I am afraid you might all judge me for it. So I'll wait until I have finished it, and let you all know about it.

Cheers and Good night,
Alison

Friday, June 19, 2009

Barbie is what 50...60... something like that.

Well, I never thought this day would come. The day when I finally decide to get rid of my Barbie collection. I had already found a good home for the ones I used to play with, and now I have come to terms with myself, that it's time to grow up and make room for the things that really matter in life, like closet space for more clothes, which i am also getting rid of.

It's a new me, a new summer and a new lease on life. the new tenants in my chest are very well behaved. Alyshia and Abbigail don't fight, rarely cough and are always full of hot air. lol But on a serious note, I am selling my Collectors Barbies. I have the 1989-2000 Holiday Barbies, the original series, in their respective boxes and in mint condition. I am thinking of selling them for $500.00, that's the whole lot of them, I think there are 11 or 12 dolls in the box that holds them. Is that a good price, well according to Ebay it is. Some of these dolls are selling for $100 a piece, so someone is getting a great deal.

I have them posted on Kijiji in Cornwall, ON. I also have a post on my FACEBOOK page. I guess I should put it up here too huh, maybe I will... yes I think I will. I don't have any pictures of them yet, but I will, and they'll be here for everyone to see. I was a Barbie girl growing up, but now it's time for me to actually grow up.

www.cornwall.kijiji.ca --> it's in the toys section on the left hand side.

Sad but true, we all have to do it at sometime in our lives, now it's my turn...sigh...tear...sniffle...

Good bye Barbie
Alison

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Hey Diddly Ho Neighbours!

What a week!

Wow, my friend Ashley got her lungs, and I have joined the local Gym. I am so excited to get back into training, you have no idea. I miss my gym, it has been so long since I was there, that I can only imagine the state of health I am in now. As part of post transplant treatment, we are required to get physical, and do activities to keep our cardiovascular system up, and obviously keep our lungs in shape.

The gym I joined is amazing. Jason, the owner, is so awesome. he's got some great information on health and stuff that he's got his own blog, you should all check it out and join his blog. I read it for the first time today, and i was amazed. It's surprising what little you know until you learn. No I am not being paid to talk about this blog, or am I benefiting, well I guess I am benefiting because i am learning how to keep better care of my health through his blog, so yeah I am benefiting. And I want all of you to benefit too. What's the harm in that, right?

Here is his link, if you don't like it, then you don't like it, I just thought I would share with you, the lessons I am learning.

http://www.whathappenedtohealth.blogspot.com

Moving on....

My health is amazing, still breathing easy after 4 months, well almost. I still can't believe that I got this amazing gift. I was featured in the local paper these past few weeks, one for me transplant experience, and the other for the GREAT STRIDES walk to help fund CF research. I was amazing. The turnout was fantastic, and I couldn't have asked for a better day. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping. Not to mention the Loons, and Mallards. I'll post pictures of the walk when i get a chance. What a great day for CF research. Our little Community here in Cornwall, raised about $16,000 for CF research, not that bad for the fourth annual. Maybe now people will come out when they hear about it. Gotta love Facebook. I know I put it out there a few times. It was a great turnout, maybe about 100 people showed up.

Way to go Cornwall. Thanks for your continued support in CF research. bless the families who have just been diagnosed with CF, and those who continue to struggle with this illness. I will educate and advocate for CF until the day I die. My whole family was there, some of my old nurses, all my great Friends and what's really awesome is that Jesse Winchester, an Ottawa Senators player, and local from Long Sault, (about 5 minutes from Cornwall) came out to support the cause. Thanks Jesse, you made a lot of kids happy on Sunday.

Well, that's about it for now, I'll keep you posted as time goes by. My life is getting pretty routine. As I keep going to the gym, I will post how things are going. I have to lose some weight. I never thought I would say those words, but by golly I have, and I must. Wish me luck!

Cheers
Ali

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

This one's for Ashley!

Mark this on my calendar.

Tonight at 10:00pm I received a exciting call from my friend Ashley's mother. It was a call I was not expecting for at least another two weeks or more, and low and behold it came nice and early.

My friend Ashley, that I kind of met at St. Mike's when I was there, got the call for her new lungs tonight. Now I sort of know how my family felt when I got the call, only they probably experienced a little more fear and trepidation than I did with Ashley.

This was something we both talked about for quite some time, and now that her day has finally arrived, i had to tell her to relax and be strong. i am so proud of her right now, I can't stop smiling.

I know how she feels, she's scared, and nervous and confused. i say confused because she told me she was feeling better. Ashley honey, you don't know better until you get those new lungs into you. She won't let me come to see her, but I will try my damnedest to get out there to see her, whether she likes it or not.

Anyhow, I needed to mark this moment with a blog. As I cannot express the excitement, and nervousness I feel all at one time. I hope I'll be able to sleep tonight because I have to go to Ottawa for my check-up tomorrow morning.

I can't wait to get the call when her surgery is done, I cannot wait. For everyone who is reading this,please pray for Ashley tonight, that her surgery goes well in the morning, and that her donor rests peacefully knowing they have helped save another persons life. Pray that Ashley will come out of this safely, and stronger than ever before. Pray that her next deep breath is taken with a lot of strength.

Please God, watch over Ashley in this time of fear and uncertainty, I pray for her family and support system. She's a strong girl, who made a hard decision with very little waiting time. 2 weeks is long enough when you're sick. Be there for her, and pray with her, that's all I ask.

With love & Gratitude to you all
Ali

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Today & everyday is for life!

What a day,. today I spent the day in Kingston. I have attended my first Ontario East Transplant Support Group meeting with some very amazing people. Pastor Ian Robb is the president and a Double Lung Transplant recipient, and coincidentally he also had the same Doctor I had perform the surgery. Dr. De Perrot is quit the man. Kudos to him and the team again.

I am hoping to start a O.E.T.S.G in Cornwall and area. You never know who is going to need a little help from their friends. I wish I had known about them before my surgery, they could have helped us out a lot with some things. Now I know where to go when I need some help. Not that there is anything wrong with the help I already have, it's fabulous, there's just a certain "je ne sais quios" with this group. There are Kidney's, liver's and hearts all around me that have been graciously donated to the people I now call my friends.

On my way home tonight, I saw a transport truck with a rather interesting bit of information on it. I don'[t know if anyone remember the little girl named Cecilia who went missing a fewmonths back, but her face was pklastered on the back of the transports load. It was a great way of showcasing missing people. I mean, who doesn't look at the back end of a Semi truck and not notice the face of a little girl gone missing? You would have to be blind to not see it.


This letter is for my Dear freind Ashley, who is waiting for her Double lung translant as I sit here and type this out.

Ashley,

You are a courageous young lady, with a beautiful smile, and eyes to boot. You know what to ask, and when to ask it, and for that you will become wiser in your years. We have been brought together for a reason, and that reason was for me to take you under my wing, to guide you and protect you. When you get your new gift, you will notice the most amazing things will happen.

Roses will smell sweeter, food will taste better, and the air you breathe will be that much nicer. It doesn't hurt anymore, it won't hurt anymore. The air will flow through like the the wind flows through your hair on a cool summer night. Not to mention actually being able to go outside in the summer, when before that was impossible. The heat will not bother us as much, noer will the humidity.

Think about the wonderful things we will be able to do. Breathing, walking and enjoying our new life as a free spirited living, brething and walking human being. We can actually say we are somewhat normal now, well you can say that, I don't know about me yet. lol

Ashley, keep strong like I know you are. And never forget who you are, and how important you are to me and your family. don't give up when they tell you to. Be strong, confident and positive. The results you want, will come in time. I promise you that. When that time comes, I will be there with bells on to take you for dinner. I am so very proud of you, and your choice. Had it gone any other way, I would still be proud of you. It's a tough decision to make, and it's even harder when people want you to make the choice they want, not what you want. But you managed to overcome that, and be a better person for it.

you have changed, and will continue to change as you grow.
You are woman, I hear you roar. lol


Love you Sweetie
ali

Friday, May 15, 2009

3 Month Assessment results are in...

Well if it isn't the time to tell everyone about my 3 month assessment. and on a Friday or a long weekend none the less. So do you want to hear the results, or should i talk about something that has nothing to do with anything? Shall I give you the Seinfeld rendition of nothing, and make it seem like everything... No! Well okay then. Let me start by telling you about how Monday's appointments went. for those of you who don't know, the three month assessment takes three days to accomplish, and what a hectic three days it was. It starts at 6:30 in the morning, when I have to get up, to get to TGH (Toronto General Hospital) bright and early for my PFT (Pulmonary Function Test). It's so early, that the technicians, haven't even started the computers yet. They are there, but nothing has started. It starts with the weigh in...


Weight: 55 Kilos I think that's something like 128 pounds,
yep, I'm a heifer and proud of it. lol

LAST PFT RESULTS:
CURRENT PFT RESULTS:
FEV1 (L): 2.5 or 81% FEV1(L): 2.7 or 85%
FVC (L): 3.1 or 86% FVC(L): 3.3 or 91%


Thank you folks, I will sign autographs when I can. haha!
I am so proud of myself.

After my PFT was done, I headed off to the Medical Imaging floor, where they did two things, the first was a lung CT, totally cool. I even have it on CD, I will try to post the images of my lungs if I can get it to work. Then they did my X-rays, which are so beautiful, my lungs have settled in to their new home quit nicely. Even the docs are impressed with how well they have done. Then off to the blood lab to get the weekly pic of the needle to make my life a living pincushion. Yay for me!

All this was done by 10:30am. Now i have 2hours to spare, what the hell was I going to do. Well write of course. Come to the realization that this is my niche, and I should probably consider a future in it. Hmm, we'll talk more about that later.

Over the past few days, I had been experiencing some swelling in my feet and ankles, and this time in my knees. But don't panic, it's still normal. The medication can cause water retention, so i am told not to worry about it... so I won't! That simple. They won't give me water pills, as these dry out the kidney's before it gets ride of the excess fluid in the body. Good to know.

So now it's time for my appointment, and I am eagerly awaiting the results of my blood work. And of course they come back normal. I get to stop the Ferrous Gluconate (IRON pill) as my iron seems to have stabilized, I also get to stop taking the Magnesium Oxide completely, as that has also stabilized. Thank god for yummy, yummy milk. I do however have high cholesterol, which is something i am going to have to adjust to severely.


I am going to have to watch everything I eat. did you know that Quaker Rice cakes the minis have less cholesterol and sodium and calories that the NO NAME brand. Yup learned that yesterday. Sure they are more expensive, but hey, they are fabulous. My blood sugar is 5.6, my cholesterol is 7.9 (I am guessing that's high).

Docs checked out my x-ray and CT of my lungs and are very happy with how everything turned out. Thus concluding my Monday events.

Tuesday, again I had to fast for this day, as I did on Monday. But today I get to eat radioactive eggs and toast. Yep you read that right, radioactive eggs. This is for the Solid Gastric Emptying Test. You don't eat anything from midnight the night before, they give you radioactive eggs on toast, you eat the whole thing, with half a cup of water to wash it down. Then every half hour for the next hour and a half, they take a one minute image of the stomach digesting food. When they perform the surgery, your stomach does not like to be touched in any way so they need this test to make sure it is still doing what it's supposed to do, taking in food, and digesting it. Talk about the longest hour and a half of life. Still waiting on those reports to come in.

Wednesday: BRONCHOSCOPY!!!

I love getting a Bronch done, what I don't like is the prep before it. I guess I like the Bronchoscopy because they take images of the lungs from the inside. This is how they detect whether or not there is any signs of rejection, infection or bacteria growth. Sometimes, it's this test, that finds rejection before anything else. Hence why i like it... no not why at all. the drugs they give you make you feel all loopy and out of sorts, but relaxed and calm all at the same time. Totally worth it, plus, if you get enough, you sleep through the whole thing, which I surely did this time around.

all I remember is closing my eyes, holding the plastic grip in my mouth and then waking up in the recovery room. So cool. And the results of this test came in today on my Easy Call system. And the winner of the 2009 clean bill of health and NO REJECTION champion is... Alison. congratulations, you get a clean bill of health, new lungs and the freedom of not having to come back to Toronto for another 3 months. Woohoo. but I did not hear back about the infection & bacteria, but i am not to worried about that, it's fixable. Plus when those results come back, I will be able to lower my Prednisone levels a little. Excellent, all this extra hair growth is driving me to drink.

So that is this week folks, and I couldn't' have done any of this without your full support and prayers. You are all special and wonderful. Thank you for being on support team, and in my hearts giving my family the support they needs, the laughs and the encouragement that I had needed to be transferred over to them. You are all wonderful people.

Cornwall ROCKS!!

If you are local to the SD&G area, please check next weeks SEAWAY NEWS for an article written by Roxanne Delage. We met today to talk about me experience, and the upcoming GREAT STRIDES walk for Cystic Fibrosis Research.
Hope to see you all there.

Sunday May 31st, 2009 @ Lamoureux Park in Cornwall @ 10am.
Go to www.ccff.ca to find the local walk in your neighbourhood.
Click on the Great Strides shoes to donate also.
My team is called "WILSON-PROULX 02.16.09"

Much love to everyone for their support. Hope it's a good read this week for you!

Feel free to message me about anything, I am only happy to share my story with everyone, who will listen to me.


Have a GREAT long weekend.
Breath Easy

Ali

Friday, May 8, 2009

12 weeks on Monday!

Well, what a ride i have been on. As some of you may or may not know, I was able to come back to Cornwall to spend the last three weeks of my sentence. .. just kidding. It wasn't a sentence, but i was allowed to come home early. I admit I was a little nervous, but i got through it with the love, and support of my wonderful husband. who, by the way is one of the best dancers I have ever seen, one day I'll have to video tape his Stag dance, because it makes me laugh so hard, that if i wasn't strong enough, I would probably piss my pants. lol

I have become aware of this new video that is coming out on "The Lens" a Canadian series that features up and coming movies or documentaries. It's amazing. there is this young lady of 23, her name is Eva and she shares her Cystic Fibrosis story with the whole world. Now that's brave, I would have done it oo, if I was given the opportunity, I want the whole world to know my story. I want to help other CF patients who don't know if being on the transplant list, is where they want to be.

You hear so many bad stories about other transplantees, but all the sotries i have heard are good ones. I had done the tresearch, and evaluated my options, and I made the best choice of my life. Without making this choice, I wouldn't be here today to tell you about my experience. had I not gotten the surgery, I wouldn't be making people laugh, like I can now.

Life is too short to no take chances. I hink the best choice anyone can do, when they are faced with a challenging dillema, is to make a pro & Con list of their choice. i had done that a few times. One for the trnsplant itself, another because I was thinking of changing locations to Montreal instead of Toronto, I put the kabash on that one rather wuickly, and the lastone, was wether or not I mail the letters I wrote to everyone, before I had my transplant. Still debating on that one. They are very happy letters, with a few sad notations of friendship and love. Not something you want to mail to people when you are very healthy and loving the life you are leading. But maybe there's a reason for it in the first place.

It's like wondering who the donor is, do I want to know? Absolutely! Do they want to know about me? Who knows. The circumstances may npt be relevant to them, but to me, I want to know everything. what he/she did before they passed, what types of activities did they do, or how old the were. And sometimes people think that's morbid, but listen folks, this is someone who died so I can live, I want to make their legacy last, and keep their lungs in tip top shape like they had already done.

This is the facebook group for this new documentary called 65 red roses;

http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?topic=6839&post=27997&uid=60310687919#/group.php?gid=60310687919

This is the official site fo the movie:

http://www.65redroses.com

Anyhow, these are my thoughts for today, I hope all is well in your world, cause mine is fabulous. Much love to you all!

XOXOX
Ali

Thursday, April 30, 2009

It's Happened.... it finally happened!

LADIES & GENTLEMAN,

The City of Cornwall proudly presents, the 30th birthday of Alison Proulx, on this the 30th Day of April 2009.

Yes you read correctly folks, I am now in my 30th year of life, and I owe it all to the medical marvel of organ transplant, and modern medicine. Not to mention my positive attitude towards Lung transplantation, and the dire need to tell everyone my story. It doesn't and will never get old. But I sure will. I was thinking today, if I had to do it all over again, would I?... HELL YEAH I would, in a heart beat.

Think about it, with my positive attitude towards life, and the meaning of it, why wouldn't I? I was raised to believe in the greater good of all human beings. Doctors are there to make you well, although at times, we wish they would all think what we were thinking, but sometimes that just doesn't happen. MY parents are like little bundles of knowledge and wisdom. Too bad it took me forever to realize that Mom & Dad are always right. D-uh!

As I sit at my computer desk, recanting the last 38 minutes of my birthday, I can't help but tell everyone that I love them, for all their support, their knowledge, their time and their patience with me. I know I have been unpleasant to be around at times, and I know I had been, and can still be a little demanding. There is so much I want to teach, and learn, and share with the world, that my face will be the best thing you will see in a long time.

CF will not only be cured in my lifetime, but I cannot wait to see other children live to be 30 like I am today, on April 30th, 2009. This, mu Campaign birthday. I had a dream last night about a dear friend who passed away a few years back, she was beautiful in that dream of mine. She laughed and smile, and was talking with us. I know she isn't here, but her spirit was so in my dream, that it was like I was talking with her, like we did in high school.

Candace, you have always been on my mind, and I think of you very often,
and visit you when I visit my grandfather.
You are a wonderful soul, and heart.
You will never be forgotten in my mind, or my thoughts.
There you will live forever.


To all my friends and family, thank you. To all my friends and family who have passed, I will remember you. To new and old Friends, may we keep in contact, and to my sibling and parents, I owe you my life, and to my Handsome husband, with whom I am as strong today as the day we met, you are my rock, my inspiration and my life. I owe you everything, because you have given me more than I could possible ask for in a human being... Undefined, and undivided love, attention and affection. Without you, I wouldn't be who I am today.

Kisses & love to all my People, my community and my family & friends. you all make me a special someone.

Kisses & Hugs to you all forever.

Ali
XOXOXO


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Tales from the Transplant Clinic

So it was a rainy Monday morning, and the not only does the weather suck, but I have been sitting in the waiting room waiting to be seen for the last 2 hours. I guess if you get to the clinic early, they still won't see you early. Cause some people may be sick and need the extra time. Well wouldn't you think that they would see the people who aren't as sick first in order not to spread the illness any farther? Well maybe that would be my mentality, but I think that is how it should work. Mind you when I was sick, I though the opposite. lol

Anyhow, on to the meaning of this posting. I was sitting in the waiting room, waiting patiently with my crosswords, and I was listening to these two older men talking. I am not talking about some men who are in their 50 or 60's, these men were significantly older. The one gentleman was 68 and 14 years post transplant, 14 years, how much more promising can that possibly get for me. The other gentlemen, who was so cute, and frail, but adorable none the less, was 11 years post transplant, and he was so cute.

I couldn't help but over hear their stories, of how the one man, who owns a farm out in Barrie, has corn roast every summer with other transplant patients in the area. His wife, is so adorable also, she little, chunky and has the cutest smile. She has curly white w=hair, and she looks like an angel. she's precious. The gentleman, is 3 of four in his family who have all had Double lung transplants. He was saying to me that there is one man who goes to his roast every summer who is 19 years post transplant.

The gentleman who is 14 years post, said the best thing he could have ever done was to get the transplant. He was able to live to see his grandson grow up to be a "Fine young man". He never thought he was going to see him grow up. Listening to their stories is such an inspiration, that I am even more grateful everyday to the Grandfather up above, who gave me life, and made me the person I am today. Mind you a lot of that has to do with how I was raised. And every day I thank the lord above for my family, my friends and my Donor, most importantly my donor.

An that note, I want to say how happy I am for Ashley, a new friend who I met from across the hall when I was admitted in Toronto at St. Mike's. We have never met face to face, cause we aren't allowed, but she has decided to be put on the list. So together we have to congratulate her on a difficult and brave choice. I am so very proud of her, for taking this step. It's a tough one for some, and others not so much, but an important one none the less.

Ashley, if you are reading this I want you to know that no matter what choice you make, and if you ever need anything, you know you can always be in touch with me, whether you call me or write, I am always here. You have a friend in me, and will always be a sister in health. There isn't anything you can do that would ever upset me. When your sick, I'll make you laugh, when you cry, I'll make you smile, and when you want to give up, I will encourage you to be strong. That is what true friends do.

Love everyone to pieces, and thank you so much for everything you all do, and continue to do for me, and my family. You are all my inspiration.

Kisses & hugs
Ali

Monday, April 20, 2009

For Patrick & Cara; PART #2

WELCOME HOME PATRICK
SO HAPPY FOR YOU CARA BEAR!

I have to put this in here.

My great friend Cara had the best week last week. As you can see, her husband Patrick came home from being deployed overseas for the past 7.5 months. I couldn't imagine being without Derek for more than a week, let a lone 7.5 months.

Cara is one of the strongest women I know. Not only is she strong in mind, but strong in character, & spirit. Only she, and the many other military wives/husbands have this spirit. I don't have that particular spirit, but I do have a strong spirit in another way.

When I see this picture, I think of the greatness of these men & women who fight for their country on a regular basis.

This man, Patrick, is a perfect example of one of these spirits. It takes one heck of a man, to put up with us Cystic Fibrosis chicks. Patrick, if you are reading this, you and my husband get Medals beyond medals for living, taking care of, and sticking by us.

These pictures are nothing compared to the emotions I felt just looking at them. Can you imagine actually being there? Truly something you have to experience. I can't wait to see the video this summer, when I visit these two wonderful people.

Cara you are an inspiration to us all. Your smile is enough to make me smile, and I can only imagine how wonderful your laugh is. "P" there is not much more I can say to express how thrilled I am to see you home safely, when I saw Cara's pictures I cried, and I smiled uncontrollably. The fly by gave me goosebumps, i can hear the sonic sounds of the engines as you fly by. But to see the formation, the blue sky and just the thought of Cara waiting for you on the ground, picturing her, jumping up and down like a Mexican Jumping Bean.

This is a wonderful time for Cara & Patrick. Have a great honeymoon, and we'll see you this summer.

Love you both very much!

Kisses & Hugs
Ali

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

For Patrick & Cara

What's Happening These days...

Oh my Goodness, there is so much excitement that I can barely contain myself at this very moment. So much has been happening that I don't know where to start. Let's start with my 6 week Broncoscopy results, NO REJECTION, INFECTION or BACTERIA. Woohoo.

More importantly, it's all about the return of Patrick to my dear friend Cara...



But there is something more important than that. It may not be for most, but it surely is for my great friend Cara. You remember Cara, my 150% Texan friend who lives in Virginia, who's husband Patrick is in the military. You see, this beautiful, big heart, lovely lady is going to be having the time of her life soon. Her husband comes home from his deployment in less than 2 days. I am so excited for them both. He'll be safe and sound here on North American soil, and in Cara's arms, where she so excitedly awaits his arrival. Cara, this is the best thing that can happen this year, next to my transplant. It's in the same category. Not to mention your kick ass check-up, way to go girl.

These are the two pictures that make me love this wonderfully, healthy, happy and spiritual couple. They live life, like Derek and I do, to the fullest.

These are my favorite pictures of Cara and Patrick. Let's welcome him home with open arms, and make sure that he knows how grateful we all are. I may not be American, but Cara is my sister in every imaginable way. I support her and Patrick, and I am so excited for him to come home to her.




Cara & Patrick, I love you both,
and I am so happy for you.

WELCOME HOME Patrick!!!
With love from CANADA.







In other news...

My PFT's are up, I had my first CF clinic since my transplant, and it went very well. All is good in Ali Land. I have gained weight, and it's feeling great.

Can't wait to travel, and enjoy life, and hang out with friends. But most importantly, I get to enjoy breathing, and visiting Cara when they get back from their long overdue Honeymoon.

And it all comes back to CARA!!! See how much I love this girl. She's a spitfire.

Kisses & Hugs
Ali


Friday, April 3, 2009

New & Exciting

Well if I haven't been keeping you informed it's for good reason.

I could let you all know the basics as hey happen, or I can make this a simple little update at once. So Monday March 30th, 2009 was my 6 week anniversary with NEW LUNGS, had my clinic appointment, blood work and all the glitz and glamor, Tuesday, Thursday and Today (Friday) I had Physio, Wednesday was my 6 week Broncoscopy, where they check for rejection and other infections or bacteria. Naturally there are the PFT's and weight. All that is going up.

PFT results by date;

03/09/2009: FVC: 2.6 / 71% FEV1: 1.9 / 60% FEV1/FVC ratio %: 86%
03/16/2009: FVC: 2.4 / 66% FEV1: 2.0 / 62% FEV1/FVC ratio %: 96%
03/23/2009: FVC: 2.7 / 74% FEV1: 2.2 / 71% FEV1/FVC ratio %: 98%
03/30/2009: FVC: 2.8 / 78% FEV1: 2.3 / 73% FEV1/FVC ratio %: 96%

Wednesday's Broncoscopy results, just got the call today @ 4:15pm (Friday April 3, 2009) and the results are, NO REJECTION, as for infections and bacteria, they are still checking the cultures. those are easy to take of, it's the "R" word I was waiting for. Isn't that fantastic. I am so excited about it to. I was so thrilled, that I had to leave a message with my Transplant Coordinator, that I was so thrilled. Bronx's aren't that bad, in fact they are kind of cool. They give you this medicine through IV, (they used my port) and it makes you tipsy. I love it. It must be similar to being drunk, or '"feeling good" as they say. It's been so long, I don't remember.

So that is the latest on that front. Very exciting. Well, not much else to report, I am feeling like a million dollars, now if only i had that much, I would really enjoy myself.

Cheers, Love & Good health to you all

Ali

Friday, March 20, 2009

So much to say...

Well, where to begin.

On the 11th of March I started Physio. And it was fabulous. There is nothing like the feeling of the burn in your muscles. Especially since they haven't been able to burn like this in a long time. I have been going religiously for the last two weeks, and slowly increasing my weight limit. I was working on 6 lbs for biceps, and have just graduated to 7 lbs. As for the legs, well they started at 3 lbs, and now i have graduated to 4 lbs. My arms feel it today, and my legs too. I LOVE THE BURN, it's a sign of hard work, and that I can still have muscles. I cannot wait to get my legs back, I have missed them so much.

My appointments have been going great, mu PFT's (Pulmonary Function Tests) have gone up. Here are the stats on that one.

Last Appointment results:
FVC (L) : 2.6 or 71%
FEV1 (L) : 1.9 or 60%

This Appointment results:
FVC (L) : 2.4 or 66%
FEV1 (L) : 2.0 or 62%

The only downfall about the results, is that with every technician does the test differently, and when you get someone you aren't used to, or who does it slightly different than what you are used to, the results aren't the same. Not to mention, as you gain weight, the numbers change, my last appointment my weight was 47 kilos, and this Monday's appointment I was 52 kilos. Which is a significant change, water retention sucks. That also changes my B.M.I. which is Body Mass Index, changes from 19.2 to 21.2. So when I weigh more, the numbers fluctuate with that. Too complicated, and twisted. From now on, I am going to ask to get the same girl I had the first time. she took better care, explained what test she was doing first, and at least she was fun to be with.

Anyhow, enough about that crap...

So Toronto life isn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I don't really go anywhere besides the hospital, but I love the unique shops that are downtown. The little clothing stores, the big ones, the craft stores, and did I mention Henry's. Oh Henry's. I wish i could live in that store. Probably on of the only places I could spend the entire day in, well, that and the art galleries, and photography places here. Did I mention Henry's yet. haha

I still don't like big cities, but the stores are awesome. If we could get rid of the cars, and the speed that people travel at around here, I think I could live here. I don't like to move fast, I like to stop, smell the roses, or take a picture of the cute older couple sitting on the park bench together engaged in a deep and meaningful conversation. I like to stop and take a picture of the dog that is chasing the squirrel up the tree, speaking of squirrels, I don't think Toronto has any. I haven't seen any. Raccoons, those I have seen, and they are FAT!

Today is an exceptional day. It's sunny, and it's the FIRST DAY OF SPRING! Yay!

My birthday is in 41 days, yes folks, this is going to be a great day. I turn 30 on April 30th. My Champagne birthday as they call it. Although I don't look a day over 18. Well that's what they tell me when I go to the hospital for visits. Accountants love me!

What do i want for my birthday, well let's see. A new set of Golf Clubs, got the bug and it's running through my veins like a freight train through a snow bank. I will watch Golf on TV, and I just can't get enough. I can't wait to swing that club, what the crap out of an innocent little ball, who obviously chose the wrong profession. Mmm Golf. Woohoo!!!!!

I am planning a little something for the summer, that I can't really talk about until I get all the info down. Once that is in place, you will read all about here. And it's going to be amazing. Sun, Volley, Fun and Food. That's all I am going to say for now.

Well, not much more to report here, so I hope everyone is doing well. I feel great, I look great and what's most inspiring to me wight now, is that I can help make a difference. Did anyone catch my article in the paper? Here's the link if you want to check it out. Front page, I made front page. How cool is that!!!! Thanks Dad for sending me the link, my photo was in the paper, but not online. --> you may have to cut and paste it into your browser bar.

http://standard-freeholder.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1483102

This is a little clue as to my plan this summer... keep your eyes open for more details in the upcoming months.

Much love to you all, I miss you all, and can't wait to come home to see everyone.

Love, kisses & Long Deep Breaths.
Ali

Monday, March 9, 2009

1st Post Transplant Clinic Appointment...

Monday March 9th, 2009... what is so significant about this day, well let me tell you.

Not only is it my first follow up appointment post transplant, but it is also week 3 with new lungs. Yep, you read that right 3 weeks with these wonderful lungs, and all I can say is "THANK YOU", Bless the the family that did as their daughter wished.

That's all I know of really, that the person I believe donated my lungs was a girl. That is all I know right now, but when I find out more I will keep you all posted as to how wonderful this person is, and will continue to be as long as I am alive and kicking.

So about my appointment. As some of you may or may not know, I also have Cystic Fibrosis Related Diabetes (CFRD), that is also caused from the Cyclosporine and Prednisone that I am on. The tend to increase the levels of sugars in the body. The insulin I take 7units of every morning is called Humilin N, and this type of Insulin peaks at the same time my medications do, thus allowing my sugars to stay at the normal levels for me throughout the day. Only one injection a day, and voila, CFRD taken care of. I have been pretty steady in the 6.4 - 7.9 range which is where we want to be.

At my appointment today I have the final stitches taken out where my chest tubes were, and my incisions look clean, and I am able to put Polysporin on the Chest incision now that it has cleared up from gross scabs. Yuck.

My weight is the same, and I think I might have actually grown a little. According to research studies, most people who get Double lung transplants, tend to lean inwards, and slouch. Well, my Dr., Dr. Chaparrow didn't recognize me because I was standing so straight and tall. Why would I slouch, when I can actually enjoy the breath of air i am taking in? I don't know.

To my surprise, as I was waiting to do my PFT today, I ran into Emilie Joinette's mother. I recognized her instantly. I think I might have seen Emilie while I was leaving my clinic appointment this afternoon. Her mother said she is doing better, and she's getting frustrated with her treake, I don't blame her, it looked really uncomfortable. I hope we can all take a minute and just give her a little shout out to the Grandfather for some loving. We're praying for you Em, we are, I am praying extra hard.

So now that I mentioned PFT, I know my mother is cringing in her seat, dying to find out how things went. I know she's sitting there telling me to shut up, and call her. Well I'll do that, but i am going o put it up here too. So please Momma, be a dear and love me, cause you are always on my mind when I go to my check ups.

What they look for in Pulmonary Function Tests (PFTs), it's about the numbers here, not the %.
But we go with % in our house, so I'll give you a brief of both.


AVERAGE FEV (L) : 3.6 MY FVC (L) : 2.6 or 71%

AVERAGE FEV1 (L): 3.1 MY FEV1 (L) : 1.9 or 60%

FEV1 (Forced Expiratory Volume) in the first second:
The volume of air that can be forced out in one second after taking a deep breath.


FVC (Forced Vital Capacity):
The volume change of the lung between a full inspiration to total lung capacity.


Some background information in case you don't know what they mean. I didn't really know all the answers until I asked, so I saved you all the step of asking me. haha

I don't have any old numbers with me to go by, and I am pretty sure they weren't very good. I'll send an e-mail to St. mike's to get my last PFT results from them, and then in the next post, we'll compare the two. Pre and Post Transplant. That will be fun!!!

Some of my medications have already been lowered. I start my physio/rehab regiment on Wednesday & Friday at 10:30am - 12:00pm, here I will work on the treadmill, stairs and weights to keep my strength. Maybe I'll even consider going to the World Transplant Games at some point. Who knows!

Well, that's my day today. My Dr.'s Chaparrow & Singer are amazed at me, for all I have accomplished in the three weeks that I have been transplanted. Needless to say they are shocked, just a little.

VIP MESSAGE: I saw my surgeon when I was leaving my x-ray today. He looked at me, and said in his uniquely French accent, "You look fantastic. I can't believe how your moving so well. Your not out of breath, or anything. Stay out of the cold. You look great" I gave him a little hug, and thanked him immensely for his excellent surgical skills.

Dr. DePerrot you are amazing, my family are in debt to you for life. You have given me another chance to be me, and I can't thank you enough for your hard work. Kudos to the whole team, who worked on me, from the Nurses, Anesthesiologists, admitting ladies to the cleaning lady (she always made sure I had towels), Thank you for your hospitality TGH, you're awesome.

Much love to all
Ali

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Pictures as Promised

From Ottawa - Toronto

As you all know, I was really looking forward to this
flight, thinking is was going to be in a Helicopter, but was not, I was blessed in taking a Prop plane, used in the 1950's. Kidding, although, if you read the blog pertaining to this very trip, you will understand why.

This is the Propeller of the plane that took me to the Toronto Island Airport, notice the vast white surroundings in the back, this was facing the same way as the sun, not into the sun, the way I was facing when I exited the Ambulance.

When I see Propellers like this, I think of the movie "Memphis Bell".



MY NURSE: Joanne


Welcome to TORONTO!


This is the prize winning picture I mentioned in my blog of the same week. I haven't changed anything in these images, because I don't want people to steal them. This was the one, where I was all contorted, couldn't actually see what i was taking a picture of, and completely lucky in getting this shot. It's safe to say, it's one of my favorites for sure.


The image above was taken as I was being switched from the plane to the Ambulance in the tarmac at Toronto Island Airport. Then we took the Ferry across to the city. Fun, fun!

Welcom to St. Micheals


I probably should have Zoomed in and cropped this one, but it's me, in the Admissions office with my Drivers, strapped into the most uncomfortable gurney imaginable, with my oxygen tank in between my legs. I'll have to crop it, it's hilarious.


TORONTO'S FIRST MAJOR SNOWFALL

These next few are for my Dad, he loves old Churches, this is of St. Micheal's Cathedral,
this is the view I had from my room,
it's a lot better than looking at a brick wall like the other side of the hallway had.

This was taken at like 4:30am when I could not sleep!
Saw the snow falling and fell in love with the look of it all. It was beautiful, couldn't hear the cars, or see the buildings, it made me feel like I was at home.

...isn't it beautiful...

This is the last image I got from St. Mike's, but my cousin got Monkey works for me! lol

Let me show you!

Thank you Trish, Jeff & Josh for this beautiful basket of yumminess! I LOVE IT!

The Original Sock Monkey
From my cousin Dave for Good luck

... I love this little guy, even though he smells like a mechanics garage.
Thanks Dave, he came in handy.


That's all for now!!!

Home in Toronto!

Woohoo!

March 4th, 2009, 2 weeks and 2 days post transplant, I was given my DISCHARGE papers to go to my new temporary home in Toronto.
I walked outside, took a big breath, and never felt so
exhilarated in my life.
The intake felt like it was going on forever.
Something I hadn't been able to do for so long.


The Freedom of Breathing

It feels like a long Hawaiian waterfall, that falls with beauty, tranquility and the sounds of softness and breeze. It's a feeling that no matter how you try to explain it, visualization is the only think I can think of. Tall, mountainous waterfalls with the beauty of mist and the sensation of coolness in your chest that makes everything else seem oblivious.

(These flowers are from the Lumley/Ackerson & Hardy's)
PHOTO: Proulx Photography 2009

To correspond with my male friends and family, it's like drinking the coldest beer on the hottest day, sitting in your pool chair. With an endless supply of Bikini Babes bringing you what you want when you want. Sounds good huh, well, Mountain waterfalls is my way of saying, HEAVEN!

Food tastes that much better, drinking juice, water, milk is so much easier, no gulping really. A smooth and sensual dance down my throat, with the flavors tickling my taste buds, like they have never been able to taste anything like that before. Bobby wasn't kidding, when he said, he found a new love in eating food again.

Bobby and Noreen Richer (Mother and Son) came to visit me in Toronto, and brought me a beautiful flower plant, and card. Bobby was celebrating his 9th anniversary of his Double Lung and Liver, and he is one of my inspirations by far. The only CF'er I knew of at the time, before I met Amanda and Tim, who had gone through transplant.
(PHOTO: Proulx Photography 2009)



When I was asked to make a speech 2 years ago for the CF AGM in Cornwall, all I could think about was being like Bobby. He's strong, and a very important part of my CF Community. I treasure knowing him, and being able to visit with him more frequently now than ever.

I also had a beautiful visit from Rebecca, Nanny and Stephanie. Stephanie brought me a Sudoku book, and the Lumley's Ackerson's and Hardy's & Nanny, gave me a beautiful flower arrangement. Thank you so very much, it was and still is beautiful.

Derek took these pictures at the apartment, because the hospital did it no justice, and we couldn't take the cellophane off, cause we did not know we could not have any flowers. Oops!

This is a picture he took of the Vase, it's cool cause it light up red, obviously. D'uh! So you can see how pretty they are.

Thanks for the pick me up guys, I love them very much.

(PHOTOS: Proulx Photography 2009)


Well, I will post pictures up of my stay in a little bit.
Hope everyone enjoys these so far.
Can't wait to
hear from you all.

Much love.
Alison