What scares me about the transplant? Wow, what a loaded question. Growing up not much scared me. I was extremely shy, though I was not very timid. That sounds like an oxymoron, but its true…I guess you could say that I was more of a quiet kid. My uncle had his own carpentry business, and I would think nothing of it and climb up on the roof of a house and help him. I think Uncle Jimmy was more scared of me being up there than I was of being there. Tower of Terror at Walt Disney World – Loved It! (Though, I will admit that I am not much of a roller coaster fan).
As a kid, I think what probably scared me the most would be running after the ice cream truck in the neighborhood, finally catching up to it and not having enough money to for your favorite snow cone (you know the one, the one with the “surprise” gumball at the bottom) and having to settle for a plain ice cream sandwich. Now, ice cream sandwiches are ok, but when you have your heart set on something else, plus its 95 degrees out and in the 3.2 seconds it takes you to get the ice cream sandwich from the ice cream man and unwrap it, it has already melted and is now running down your arm.
It would be nice to be standing in front of that ice cream truck right now, but I’m not. I’m standing in front of a kidney transplant…..and it scares the hell out of me!!!
So, what is it that scares me about this whole transplant thing…probably a lot more than I have let on to my family and friends.
First and foremost, I am scared because, in order to continue living, I need to depend on someone else to physically give up a part of themselves. This is not like borrowing their lawn mower to mow your lawn and then forgetting to give it back…the significance of this carries a teeny-tiny more weight.
I am scared about a major “what if”? What if it doesn’t work? What if Tommy’s kidney suddenly stops working for me, and I reject the kidney…now I am probably headed to dialysis and Tommy is only left with one functioning kidney.
I’m scared that, after all the testing that Tommy has gone through, that the transplant committee will take him out of consideration and then we are back to needing to find a donor again.
I am scared to die. I know this surgery is much more common nowadays, but there is that little spec of doubt there.
I am scared of all the meds that I will have to take after the transplant. I wish it was as easy as taking a Tylenol and being done with it. It seems like it will be fistfuls of immunosuppressants several times a day.
I am scared about the side effects of the immunosuppressants. Some lead to Diabetes in some people (I already have that covered, though); some to skin cancers and other skin legions ; and some can even lead to lymphoma and leukemia or other cancers (thyroid) or tumors. Then there are the general side-effect s – tremors in your hands, hair loss or thinning, general shakiness and the good ‘ole nausea and vomiting.
I’m scared for my family and friends waiting and watching me recover from the surgery. I’m even scared for my beagle, Bella. Bella gets very nervous if I am out of the house for more than a few hours. So you can imagine how she will be when I am in the hospital, there won’t be enough cookies in the world to satisfy her.
For those that are reading this and have gone through it, or are going through it, I would love to know what scares you about this whole process…what scares you and how do you handle it?