Friday, June 25, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
I just thought I'd take a moment (or a few moments--I'm currently on a bus to spend my last 'two kidney weekend' in NYC) to fill you all in on the happenings in Boston over the last few days.
It was great to see Rene and Nancy again upon my arrival to Boston Monday night. They really have come to feel like those kind of friends that you can go a long time without seeing and then when you do, you fall right back into place with one another. After they picked me up from the airport, we headed straight to Jean and Barbara's beautiful home, where Jean had a delicious dinner prepared and I also got to meet Harold of Team RenJen.
I spent Tuesday and Wednesday discovering more of Boston. Jean has done a wonderful job of showing me around town--she even took me on a bike ride to Harvard's campus...with a stop at Longfellow's house along the way!
Wednesday was Rene's turn to take me on a tour, but this was after I sat with her for a bit at her dialysis appointment. I was glad I got the chance to do this, as I think it was important for me, as Rene's donor, to more fully understand what living with kidney disease is like for her. Now I also understand why her profile stood out to me the first time I saw it. It was somewhat overwhelming to sit with Rene in a room full of so many other visibly sick people. It was also humbling to get a better sense for what happens for Rene three times a week for three hours. I mean, imagine doing your least favorite activity every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 6:30 in the morning until 9:30. Got a good picture of what that would be like for you? Now imagine doing that same thing while in the hospital hooked up to a machine that's taking all the blood out of your body, cleaning it, and putting it back in. And you can't call in sick to this job--your life very literally depends on it.
Back to Rene's profile standing out: I can't believe she has been able to do this for five years and remain as positive and full of life as she has. There are more days in the week than not when I'm pretty bitchy for a good portion of the day just because I didn't want to wake up as early as I did. Imagine what kind of raging bitch I'd be if I also had to go to dialysis on three of those days out of the week. Maybe that's why G-d didn't give me kidney disease and why I owe Rene a kidney. :)
Wednesday and Thursday were also very cool because I got to spend them (sleepovers included) with Rene and Nancy. While I feel like I've known them forever, I've really only met them once before, so it's been awesome to do 'normal' things with them--shopping, watching trashy TV (along with Team RenJen member Douglas), and going to puppy classes.
Thursday was spent (by both of us) at Mass General. I think I had more physicals in one day than I've had in all my life. We also both had blood drawn, an EKG done, and met with different members of the transplant team. Being at the hospital made Tuesday seem much more real for both of us, and while we're both feeling a little nervous about surgery, we're also excited to have it finally happening.
I think we're caught up! Family members arrive Sunday and Monday, I meet with my surgeon Monday, GET to (I'm trying to look at it positively) stop eating and (stop reading now if you don't want to enter TMI zone) take a laxative at 5 pm that same day, and then we're both off to the hospital as the sun comes up Tuesday!
I'll definitely be updating the blog as soon as I'm feeling good in the hospital...or maybe I should try to blog from the recovery room...I'm sure that would prove to be the best post yet! :) Until then, thank you all for your continued support. Please be thinking about us as you wake up Tuesday!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Just like everyone on this blog, I have enjoyed reading Jen’s journey as my donor, but I would like to take a moment to tell you how our journeys merged almost a year ago.
As many know, I have been living with Renal Disease for over 10 years with the last 5 years on dialysis 3 times a week. In January 2009 my wonderful friend Shereen gifted a lifetime membership to Matchingdonors.com to me, a membership I thought of doing for a couple of years, but just was not ready to do. The timing was right and I submitted my profile to the website. The writing of my profile flowed so easy for me that evening! I wrote about how my kidney disease was a part of my life not my entire life!
Greetings! My name is V. Rene Miranda I am the mother of an amazing 16 year old son who is the joy of my life! I have been living with the challenges of End Stage Renal Disease for the past 8 years, with almost 4 of those years on dialysis. I have dialysis 3 times a week for 3 1/2 hours each session. Although my renal disease is a big part of my life...it is not my entire life! I worked in the Development field for the last 4 years in the higher Ed arena until I had to resign my position due to my health. I stay active by volunteering, spending time with my son, and just trying to stay healthy until I receive my transplant. I have been cleared for a transplant, but I need a donor and I hope that will be you! My donor needs to have O blood type negative or positive and be healthy. I am a very upbeat and positive person and I will continue to be hopeful not only for myself but for my wonderful son Phillip. I promised Phillip after I receive my kidney transplant we will go to Paris and see the memorial site of Jim Morrison (Phillip is a huge 60's Rock and Roll fan). If you are interested in being my donor, please contact me at the information listed. I hope you will consider giving me the gift of a healthier life. Peace and abundant gratitude!
After my profile was posted, two months later I heard from a kind gentleman here in MA who tested to be my donor, but due to family difficulties it did not work out. I have to admit I was disappointed, but decided to go back to the site and try again. On August 21st I received an email from Jen Denis. The moment I read her email it just felt right! We bonded even more after that great exchange. So following several more emails and getting the joyous news that we were a match, it was time to finally meet in person!
In late fall, 2009 my partner Nancy and I picked up Jen from the airport; it was a moment I will never forget! The moment I saw Jen it felt as though I had known her forever! We hugged and she had this beautiful smile and warm eyes that just put me at ease. I told her the moment I saw her I wanted to turn her around and point to the kidney I wanted and she actually thought that was funny! That’s when I knew it was a match made in heaven! Jen and I spent the next day at Mass General Hospital where she began a 2-day round of testing. I kept looking at her thinking how blessed I was to have her in my life and how in less than 6 months she would help restore my life to normal again! Jen Denis is my earth angel! Over the past 6 months we have communicated via phone, email and facebook and finally she will be here Monday!
In eleven days the surgery will take place. I am filled with excitement, happiness, and just a touch of fear. In 11 days the most generous, loving, funny, smart, beautiful Jen will become a part of me! I often wonder how I can thank Jen for such a generous gift, and I realize the best thank you is to live a healthy life! Jen you are a part of my family now and we love you tremendously! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!!
This blog entry is called I Believe, a song by Fantasia Barrino, my theme song for my life with kidney disease. You see I believed that I would one day receive a kidney and that day has arrived…June 22nd! Thank you Jen for helping me believe. Thank you to my partner Nancy who has been such a source of strength for me! Nancy is one of the main reasons I have survived so well with this disease; she has really been there for me and I love her with all my heart. My dear sweet Russell has been my source of true laughter! And he is an amazing father to our son Phillip. Last but not least, our son Phillip, it is Phillip who has provided me with the courage to deal with my kidney disease. Phillip is my heart and soul and I am so proud to be his Mom. Thank you to all my family and friends who have been there for me! And finally a very special Thank you to Douglas Brooks, we are one, I love you!
Peace and Love