Thursday, 27 December 2012

Bye Bye Crusties; don't let the operating room door hit you on the way out!

Life was getting harder and harder. Simple things were becoming so draining; things like getting up in the morning, getting out of bed to do aerosols, working up the energy to get breakfast, let alone sitting down and trying to eat between breathing. Showering was increasingly difficult - thank God for oxygen and the shower stool. 

Even the thought of getting together with friends was exhausting. I told Brad that I didn't want to do anything anymore, as it all required too much effort...

TWO weeks ago I was laying in bed (after attending yet another Raptor's game),

Carman just making sure the girls knew their routine

and was even too exhausted from coughing, walking and generally just living, that I decided to forgo another episode of The Walking Dead (the lovely zombies), instead cuddling with the G-man in my bed made of pillows.

12:01 AM

Phone rings. My eyes flick to the screen. Ontario number - Unknown name.

I knew...I knew exactly what this was. 

I picked up and listened as a woman introduced herself and followed with "we have lungs for you". I said, "No waaaay", as although I understood this was the call, I couldn't believe that the call had come again.

She came back with - "Yes way".

OK Mommy, but what are lungs again?
This time around I had the complete opposite reaction of my first call. I called Brad 4 times. Stupid voice mail. We had just finished texting, but I knew he had fallen asleep.


I got through. Brad was optimistic and happy, yet calm, as we both had the false alarm in the back of our minds.

From there I took my time; I had a shower, dried my hair, packed my meds and explained to the G-man that mommy might be getting lungs and if that was the case that I wouldn't be around for a few weeks.

He understood completely; I could tell as his big brown eyes didn't blink.

Only then, when I heard mom stirring in her room did I ask if she was awake. She said yes. I came back with, "ok, you can sleep for 45 more minutes".

She runs into the room (where I'm calmly sitting on the couch throwing skittles down my throat) eyes wide saying "what do you mean???"

"They have lungs."

2:00 AM

We land in the ER (which after hours is where you go to check in for transplant). Once again, there are no fireworks or dancing or people celebrating??? Did these guys not get the memo that red kicks has come in for possible air sacs???

Finally, after about 20 minutes of being ignored, cause apparently someone had better things to do then get me in the system for a surgery that would rip my body open and bring me life, we were registered and sent upstairs. From there we were sent back downstairs so they could provide my body with some more pre-transplant radiation. After x-rays we went back upstairs so my body could become acquainted with some needles.

Next we waited. There were no beds, just big chairs to try and fall asleep in. We managed to become unconscious for a few hours. The rest is so hazy. I remember starting the anti-rejection meds - huge horse pills that made me feel saunafied. I remember friends coming - Kristy, Chai, Pamela, Susan. I know we talked about a lot of stuff, but yet don't really remember what. I remember asking them if they thought this was really it, while always sounding the alarm that it could not be.

We were told the OR was booked for 7PM.

I was given a final aerosol to suck back before Go Time

Trying to share with Chai

They seem confident that it was a go

6:30 PM-ish, December 13th (12-12-13)

Hawt, thigh-high compression tights were brought to me to put on for surgery. Could I finally accept that this might be the real deal?

Mom and Susan went at my toes with the nail polish remover, as that can't be worn during surgery. Mom was so excited that she could barely scrub the stuff off. I gave final hugs and goodbyes, all the while reminding people that this could still be called off at the very last minute.

It's called Game Face.

I was taken down to the OR - Mom at my side.

I texted Brad on the way, again cautioning that it could be called off at the last minute.

I was whisked through the doors, leaving mom behind.

We entered the OR.

I counted 8 people, but was told there would be many more once surgery started. I was transferred from stretcher to operating room table. 

I quickly checked that they had read my manual.

My body became a playground for needles; IV's everywhere. An explosion of activity ensued, everyone doing some kind of prep work to get their hands on this intensive operation. I wanted there to be music, I asked but didn't see a jukebox. 

My head was spinning. Was this really happening? Was this what this would feel like? Was I really going to wake up with brand new windbags? Was this truly my second chance?

To be continued... 


  1. I am so excited to read your first post since your surgery. I am so happy for you and your loved ones. Looking forward to future posts. You are an inspiration to all those who have a difficult time to go through, may God continue to bless you.

  2. Good to have you back updating your BLOG. You are amazing sweetheart, I can't wait to read the next issue of your blog .. to be continued.. Tell mom and dad I said hi, and to give you a big hug from me. All the best for 2013 as you close out 2012. Love from home Lee and Gladys Fraser XXXX OOOO ♥

  3. Read this through the tears in my eyes, Jess!! Sometimes things just work out and the people who most deserve good things are rewarded in the end :) You have been so incredibly upbeat and optimistic throughout your whole journey and I just know you will put those pink air suckers to great use!! Wishing you the happiest of New Years- I have a strong feeling that 2013 will be your year- and every year after that! xo

  4. Glad to see you typing again, not that I minded your mom or Brad but just great to hear from you. So happy for you, what a great gift. Keep strong

  5. So excited to see you blogging again (although, I did love reading all of those updates).
    Hope that you're feeling better, you know, after you choked on the pea.

  6. You have no idea how happy I am to read your words tonight. I kept waiting, wondering, wanting just a few words from you to assure me that all was ok. Of course a few words would never do, you wrote a couple of chapters, lol. I am looking forward to the whole story. Take care of yourself, be patient, give your body the time it needs to recover and then hit the ground running. Happy New Year to You and that wonderful, special Man of yours, your Boys, Carla and Roger and the rest of the Carver clan and your special friends there in TO.
    Linda D

  7. I have followed your journey via your blog for months. You have truly inspired me and I am rooting for you & a full recovery from your surgery. Its probably been 20 years since I've seen you, but believe you to be the same fighter you've always been. My blessings to you and your family and to your big bright future.

  8. ARGH I am catching up on the last few days on your blog while I can't sleep, and the excitement of your description will NOT help! haha I am so happy for you. I can't wait to see everything you are going to do when you get home.