The Post Transplant Patient

I’ve  been home as long as I was gone. Exactly one month. That milestone occurred yesterday, so I celebrated it by, what else? Making a trip to Stanford!

The trip west yesterday was all about complications, not the actual transplant. I  had two appointments. One was to see the skin cancer doc because last week I found a little bump on my side, and one for a repeat ultrasound to check on my blood clot.

They biopsied this little bump, that sort of popped up last week, because I’m a post transplant patient.  Yesterday I got a call from the doctor letting me know it was a ruptured cyst with a little bit of infection. It’s not a big deal. They were going to put me on antibiotics, though, mostly because I am a post transplant patient. I wouldn’t need to see the cancer doctor after all. That appointment had been made by mistake. That was a little sigh of relief.  Do I need skin cancer too? I may have already lost my hair, but seriously, I don’t have TIME for that too!

I was down to one appointment then. All I had was the ultrasound. I hope it’s getting smaller. I’m injecting myself daily with a blood thinner and although I have gotten really good at it, I wouldn’t mind stopping. The imaging technician mentioned that they rarely treat ones in the calf, but of course, but I finished her sentence. I know, it’s because I’m a post transplant patient.

When I’m not making trips across the bay, I’m keeping pretty busy at home. I have plenty to do without pet sitting visits. Working out, drinking coffee…it all takes time. I always used to joke that when I was younger, I wanted to be at a stay-at-home-mom without any kids. (No longer true of course…now that I have given birth to my precious munchkins, I wouldn’t change a thing) But you get the idea. Anyway, I’m liking my life. It doesn’t matter how I got here. I still like it.

Running is getting slightly easier. I’m alternating walking and running and I find myself feeling just a little bit more normal each time. I can run a tenth of a mile at my normal pace. Now I  just need to string together a whole ton of those and I can run with my friends again. I am very determined to get there!

I do have a cycling event coming up, so I’ve been mindful that I might actually want to train for it. I mean, most people do. And after all, I am a post transplant patient. 🙂 I rode up to the “junction” of  Mt Diablo last week with my friends, Margaret and Renate. It’s a reasonable stopping point before pushing the final 4 miles to the top, but it’s not exactly easy to get to, either. It’s about 2500 feet of climbing over about six miles. You have to like ‘up’ or it’s not a lot of fun. And a tip, have good brakes for the ‘down’!

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We planned another trip up the mountain Tuesday but when we got to the state park gate, I couldn’t seem to clip in after a brief stop. That would be because I didn’t have a pedal! We found part of it nearby, but the bottom section must have fallen off somewhere else on our four mile trip out there. I was going to buy a new set but without the luxury of time to order online, it was going to be pricey.

Margaret thought she had a heard a noise somewhere and texted me, suggesting we go looking for it, just as I was thinking the same thing. We walked along Citrus Avenue, about a half mile from her house. There it was in the street, and Margaret spotted it….3 more pieces anyway. When I got home, I could see I was missing one more piece and one screw. Another trip out to the gate was fruitless. Until I thought about it. Maybe the last piece was still stuck in the cleat. Bingo! I was good to go with a 47 cent screw, as opposed to $115 for pedals.

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I feel like I lead a charmed life. Well, most of the time, anyway.

I’ll be posting about the event on Saturday which will celebrate Day 60 post transplant. It’s a bit of a milestone. I can quit wearing my hepa mask, even in a medical facility or around a construction site. I thought about tossing it away after my appointment, yesterday. But that was Day 57. And I had to get through today and tomorrow before I reach Day 60. And what with me and complications, well, I am not tempting fate. I am a post transplant patient, after all. 🙂

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Active Recovery!

Now that I’ve been home for almost three weeks, I have an idea of what recovery is going to be like.

I have a nice little routine. I get up in the morning, drive Joel to school, and go into my office to take care of any pressing needs of the business. Then…it’s time for fun. I mean, exercise. Because being able to work out is totally fun.

I was told that recovery can be long and slow. So I tried to prepare for that. But it’s not working out. The first morning, I walked two miles. By the weekend, I walked a 5K trail race, complete with a couple of good hills.  I feel really good while walking.

On Tuesday I had an appointment in the ITA. Lenny said I could do anything but bungee jump, so I went for a little run when we got back into town.  If you can call it that.  I mean, there were periods of time when both feet were off the ground at the same time. That’s the definition of running in the dictionary. It’s not my definition. According to me, I wasn’t really running yet. I had to walk a little. My legs felt like cement. I felt like I could barely breathe. Howard was with me. He ran backwards part of the time.  I still had trouble keeping up. It was about a 15 minute mile. (My happy pace is about 6 minutes faster.)   It was horrible.  And wonderful.  I loved every miserable second of it.

 

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I decided to scale back and try short quarter miles jogs every two or three days. The magic has started to happen. I don’t feel quite as bad while running now. I can run a whole tenth(!) of a mile at a 9:30 pace and today I tried another mile. It was better. About a 12 minute mile. I have surprised myself with how patient I am being with myself. Positive affirmations R Me! I know I am so lucky to be doing anything. I’m not going to beat myself up. I’ve got a long way to go. I don’t think I’m going to get there by being mean.

Last week I decided it was time to take my bike in for a tune up. For the first time in a year, I’m riding my “Bluey” on the road instead of a trainer. I was concerned for about a minute about riding. But you know what they say about riding a bike…it’s just like riding a bike! Today, I did 23 miles.

Yeh, I have something up my sleeve. I have a reputation to keep up.

So the recovery thing… I’m not good at it.  I guess I don’t know how to do it right.  But I’m OK with that.