Tuesday, September 14, 2010

8 Weeks of Progress!


Tomorrow marks my 8-week transplanniversary (transplant anniversary), and much has progressed since July 21.

First, I have reclaimed my independence – and my apartment! My dad flew up for a visit and whisked my mom back to Atlanta a few days ago. While I am incredibly grateful for my mom having lived here for over four months and will miss her company, I feel like I’ve just graduated or achieved some other huge milestone. It’s so gratifying to know that I am once again independent and healthy enough to live by myself. The above picture is from our “last supper” in New Brunswick.

Second, tomorrow marks a lot of firsts since my transplant. I will be allowed to drive again, which is a massive relief since being a passenger is like Chinese water torture for me. I have not only been a passenger for the last 8 weeks, but a back-seat passenger at that. Because it would be terrible to get an air bag punch in the chest soon after a sternotomy, I was relegated to the back seat until my chest could heal. I will also be allowed to venture out into public starting tomorrow. I don’t intend to go to the movies on a rainy Saturday or jump on a train anytime soon, but I’ll be able to do my own grocery shopping and otherwise resume normal activities. Finally, I will be allowed to begin more rigorous exercise that includes my upper body. Since my arms are like wet noodles right now, I am looking forward to that. I begin cardiac rehab at the hospital on Monday!

Finally, the most tangible progress is physical. Most of my bruises are gone, though the biggie on my left wrist is being stubborn. My incisions are healing very nicely. I’m including a comparison picture of the two incisions (the little one is where they inserted and removed my internal defibrillator) – the before shot was taking on August 8, the after today, September 14. Even my “bullet holes” have completely filled in, but I’ll spare you the before and after shots. My chest still bothers me when I make a weird motion or sleep in an unusual position, but in general it feels great. The real test was when I sneezed earlier today, and it didn’t hurt a bit!

Thank you for the continued well-wishes! Progress is difficult for me to see on a daily basis, which can be frustrating, but your support and kind words help me appreciate the true progress I’ve made. I hope to report even more progress in another 8 weeks!

“Progress, of the best kind, is comparatively slow. Great results cannot be achieved at once; and we must be satisfied to advance in life as we walk, step by step.”
- Samuel Smiles, Author


  1. Happy Independence Day!!! I'm thrilled to hear of your progress, and your latest topless photo is a definite improvement over the first one. We were also happy to see your mom back at Assistance League yesterday. Much love to you. xoxo

  2. Awesome news!!!

    Hope the biopsies are also looking good (0R - 1R)!!

    Keep up the good work .... it is a slow process. Neither Rome, nor your body were built in a day.

    I just looked at my records ... on my 8th week anniversary, I went to cardiac rehab phase 2, walked 4.7 miles and had my first "bump in the road" .... a golfball size hematoma developed in my neck at the sight of my biopsy the day before. (Darn coumidin)

    Be well ... slow steady progress is GOOD!!



  3. Yay, Andrea!! So happy to hear this good news, and I look forward to reading about your future milestones.

  4. Good for you, and good for your parents. You can't imagine how you are helping so many others, and I'm one of them. Certainly not because of the usual "If you think you've got it tough..." stuff, but your example of dealing with the highs and lows, fears and hopes, and your willingness to share your thoughts and feelings with us. Thanks again.

  5. Happy independence! Don't drive like your Mom.

  6. Nice work chica!! Your incisions look fabulous! And they are going to turn into completely impressive scars. VERY cool. You need to get a leather jacket if you don't already have one. No one will mess with you. : )
    And yay for driving! : )

  7. This is awesome news!! So happy for you to have your independence back once again. Great picture of you with your parents. Love those smiles! Major improvement in your photo of the incisions. Hooray for you! Continued prayers as you continue to progress.

    Bob & Melanie

  8. incredible how good the incisions look in just 8 weeks. i really liked the post about how you are feeling as it's hard to gauge all aspects of your situation over the phone. my regular customers are still asking about you, and i have given out your blogspot URL to many of them. here's to continued smooth sailing. holler at me for anything at all. love you, Birdie.