Check-In: Two Years In…My Transplantiversary!

2 year transplantiversary cake

Two years ago on December 26, 2017, I received the greatest gift from my wonderful donor.

transplant hero donor

It’s been 2 years — my transplantiversary– it’s hard to believe because time flies so quickly now.

Things are settling out a bit.

  • My kidney seems to be trucking along fine. I work hard to stay hydrated — I have become a big fan of HINT water.
  • My calcium levels had been borderline high. One of the side effects of kidney disease is that it throws your parathyroid out of wack. There are medications you can take for that. When you have a transplant, the parathyroid may come back or not. My levels have remained borderline so I started taking a small dose of that medication. So far so good.
  • My hemoglobin A1C has been borderline as well. I lost 15 pounds during the summer to try to manage that. We will see how that goes. The antirejection meds while amazing are often unkind to the pancreas. I will be working on that.

Family Update

  • Thomas and I went to Grand Cayman this summer. It is such a beautiful island. It is so wonderful to be able to travel without lugging my dialysis machine around with me.
Cyaman Islands trip
  • This summer after the picture above, I lost a lot of my extra weight on the Optavia program which I am going to put Kendall on a modified version of during the holidays (after Christmas dinner!). I am going to do it with her — it’s a gentle keto-like program where you eat multiple small meals/snacks a day and one or two healthy portion-controlled meals. She has gained weight so far this school year, and with her leg problems, we have to nip that in the bud early.
  • She’s also going to high school next year. I can’t believe it!
  • Joshua has finished his applications for college — just waiting for responses. We are working on scholarships now. I can’t believe he’s leaving already!
  • Thomas and I are planning for a family graduation trip next summer. More details later.
  • My father has had a rough go of it over the last few months. But over the past week, his doctors have managed to make him feel better but now we have more tests to see why he is not feeling well.
family photo 2019
Brooks Family Christmas 2019

Transplantiversary Celebration

Unlike last year, I am going to actually celebrate my 2-year transplantiversary. I had a cake made! I have one question: Why is the kidney so small? Ha Ha!

My cake in the shop. Why is the kidney so small? LOL

We are going to a friend’s house for brunch on the 26th (without J — he’s playing basketball in another city). He reminded me of the fact that he won’t be around for several days after Christmas so some of my leftover Christmas meal may go to waste!

On to year 3! It’s going to be an exciting year! I have plans! LOL

Other Happenings

2020 planners
  • I have been working on my novel — I was getting it edited but hit some snags. I will get that finished within the first six months of 2020.

Thank you for continuing to share my posts and my Facebook page to help spread the word about other people who are looking for their angels. Let’s keep spreading stories for others who are in the same spot I was.

I am going to have a happy transplantiversary! Thank you for reading and have a beautiful day!

thank you!
Thank you for your support!

Be Inspired–Give Life!

Dominique

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Check-in: It’s Been One Year!

Happy Holidays!

Just got the tree up and decorated

It’s December 26!  

The anniversary of one of the most important days in my life.

This time last year, I was undergoing a lifesaving kidney transplant from my living donor.

I wanted to give you an update of my year.

2018 — Year One after Transplant

A beach in Bermuda

Life has changed a lot since the surgery.

  • I haven’t needed dialysis because the kidney started working immediately and is holding its own.
  • I was allowed to start exercising after my incisions were sufficiently healed.
  • I was able to go on vacation to Bermuda without a dialysis machine
  • On a sad note, my mother passed away in July and I had to help my father handle her affairs (there went the exercising!)
  • My father has moved in with us in Texas and we sold the family home in Alabama.
  • I have gained weight – ugh! I know it’s not all my fault: some causes include the meds, an improvement in my appetite, and a lack of exercise because of all the other things going on. I plan to fix this in 2019!

A Difficult Summer

Right after the transplant, I saw the transplant doctors every week and then every 2 weeks with a blood draw every week or two. Every time we tried to space the appointments out more, my white blood cell count would take a dive – usually because of a medicine that I had been prescribed. This didn’t surprise me as my blood count has always been on the low side even when I was younger –it’s typical for me.

But those white cells were really low at the time I found out that my mother had died. I developed a fever and the doctors wanted to admit me to the hospital. But then I would have missed her funeral. Because I protested so much, my doctors sent me to an infectious disease doctor who determined that there was no active infection. I had developed this fever because my white blood cell count was way too low. They put me on antiviral medications and antibiotics and allowed me to travel to Alabama, which is how I got to attend.

I still had to go to the clinic every two weeks because of that setback.

Since August

Since then everything physically has been stable. We have just been trying to adjust to our new normal. I also have a lot of stuff from my childhood home in my office that I need to go through.

Attending a wedding

Earlier in December, the doctors said I could come back for my next visit in 2 months with a blood draw in January.  My veins really appreciate the break — it’s getting harder to get blood from me LOL. Hopefully, by the end of the next year, I have appointments every 6 months or maybe even every year!

What Else Have I Been Doing this Year

Other things that have changed over the past year:

  • I started a blog, Life: The Reboot
  • I just published some journals and planners for 2019 on Amazon KDP
  • I have been working on my novel (more on that later)

Check my blog and my Amazon pages out. I would appreciate it!

Moving Forward

I am excited and hopeful about what the next year has in store. I will continue to post about my progress and plans. But the biggest plan for this page now is to provide awareness of other people who are looking for donors. 

WIthout people taking the time to read my posts and share the information with their networks, I would have never met my donor. I am just so grateful to my donor who –by the way—is doing well herself. She’s just busy with life, work, and family. We touch base when we can and want to plan some kind of girls’ trip. I will let you know when we get that scheduled!

I really do appreciate all of the help you provided for me by sharing my posts and my page and your comments and prayers. Let’s spread that to others who are in the same spot I was.

Loving Life–The Reboot!

Dominique