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Countdown to Kidneys Being Included.......

Monday, March 28, 2011

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."

Never more true than a day like today......I truly believe this. I know my God has an awesome plan He is working on. I just have to be patient and let Him reveal it in his own time.

Refocus

Okay, since I have put alot of time and energy into campaigning for the walk and now the transplant is delayed...I guess I will kick fundraising for the National Kidney Foundation into high gear. I must do something constructive to occupy my time while I wait for the BIG day to arrive. Fundraising is not an easy thing to do, especially right now when times are tough for many people. So if any of the readers of this blog have any ideas to help with fundraising, I welcome your ideas. I have a few things going. Beauti Control consultant Gari Flowers will be holding spas and the proceeds go to the National Kidney Foundation. SO that is one way to help, contact her on facebook to book a spa. Also you can post the information on your personal facebook wall and ask your friends for a $10.00 donation. A $25.00 donation guarantees a NKF t shirt. I really do hate having to bug people about donating but the kidney foundation definitely needs the money. 26 million Americans suffer from a chronic kidney disease. That breaks down to 1 in 9 people! That's a lot of non functioning kidneys out there! And trust me, you don't want to join the kidney failure club! So the National Kidney Foundation aids in prevention and holds screenings and patient education. They also do a great deal of research. SO every dollar you donate, will be put to good use.

Also, a nice man name Keith mentioned in church Sunday how easy it is to be an organ donor. You can check either yes or no the next time you renew your license. Be sure though, to tell your loved ones your wishes if you do choose to be an organ donor. One person can save so many lives. They can donate 2 kidneys, 2 lungs, liver, heart, corneas, tissue, skin, bone marrow and I am sure there are more that I can't think of right now. A living person can donate blood, plasma, platelets, bone marrow and 1 of their kidneys and part of their liver. The world of organ donation is very interesting to me.....but I have an invested interest in the subject.

Christmas not quite here yet kids....

So today did not turn out as I had hoped it would. Of course, I know and have known from the beginning nothing happens fast in the world of transplant. But I felt like we were really close. And we are really close....just not quite there. Lindsey will be my donor that much we know, but when I will get the transplant is still up in the air. I was so excited to find out when this surgery will be and I guess waiting a little bit longer won't make that much difference in the grand scheme of things. We have to make sure everything is perfect with Lindsey before we can proceed....and I want the best for her. She is doing the ultimate for me! I would be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed to hear that I won't have my new kidney at the walk but I will be getting it shortly after the walk. Who knows? God has His own purpose for why things work out the way they do. This is definitely a case where my timeline and God's timeline didn't quite jive.....but He's the boss. So, I am trusting that He knows when it is best for transplant. I can think of a hundred good reasons for waiting till June....it's just really hard when you wanted something done yesterday. But the main thing is Lindsey is a perfect specimen of a human and I couldn't be blessed with a better donor. Just gotta be patient a little bit longer....about 70 more days.....and Yes, I will be counting down!

Typical Eve

Okay, so I feel like a kid on Christmas eve! I cannot wait to hear the good news. I am so excited that I am nauseated...more than normal and have constant butterflies in my stomach. I really felt like I would be more calm and collected waiting for the news, but no....I am a wreck. I am going to try to stay busy until I get the phone call. This is the single most important phone call in my life to date. I am sure this afternoon a huge weight will be lifted off my shoulders but until then I am praying hard. For God already knows the answer and has plans in place for me. I just have to be patient....which seems to be a reoccurring theme in my blog posts. So, last night I slept like any excited child would on Christmas eve....not much! But it is all going to be okay. This I know because God is in control!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Eve of Life Changing News

Tomorrow is the big day.....we find out if and when the transplant will occur. Lindsey's medical team and my transplant team will get together and discuss our case and decide if transplanting a kidney from Lindsey to me would be a good decision. I feel confident that the answer is yes. I will be blind sided if they come back with any other answer. I have complete faith in Iowa and Lindsey. So, on the eve of this very important decision, please pray that a.) I get some sleep b.) Lindsey gets some sleep c.)the answer is yes to transplant and d.) it happens asap...like May 5th. I will go with whatever tomorrow throws my way. Tomorrow will be a good day!

Romans 5:1-11

Faith Brings Joy
"Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where now we stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God's glory.

We can rejoice too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know they help us build endurance. And endurance develops strength of character and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God's sight by the blood of Christ, He will certainly save us from God's condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God. (Taken from New Living Translation)

I am not especially good. I am an average person who tries to do good. This scripture reminds me of Lindsey. What she is doing for me is not the usual. It is extraordinary!!!! She is extraordinary!!!!! I cannot say this enough. She is risking it all to save me. This verse speaks volumes to me about what Lindsey is about to do for my life. I cannot ever say thank you enough...Thank you Lindsey, for being the extraordinary person you are by nature. I am so blessed to have known you and had the opportunity to get to know you better. You are one in a million and I will never forget the gift you are going to give me. Soon you will become my sister (no offense Heather...but you gotta share! LOL)
Much Love to the entire Rouse/Anderson Family on the eve of what will be a life changing day tomorrow. The day I finally find out if this transplant will happen and when! I am so thankful to everyone who has been supportive to Lindsey throughout this part of the journey. The real journey begins tomorrow!!!!
xoxo

Saturday, March 26, 2011

May....be

Kidney failure has been a roller coaster of emotions. You may not have thought of this, but my two original kidneys are probably dead. I am sure they have atrophied and they haven't worked in over two years, so there are dead parts inside of me. When they first shut down and I felt the loss, it felt like someone had died. Only someone didn't die, only a piece of me died. It is a really strange feeling. I really mourned the loss of my birth kidneys. It was very hard to explain this feeling but it is the same feeling when someone passes away. They go on to their eternal life and we are left here to mourn the loss. It was so weird though, mourning my kidneys. And just like that loss I felt when they died, anticipating the new one is a lot like the anticipation I felt when I was pregnant and waiting for Madeline's arrival. So it's like a circle! I have emotions of joy and happiness when I think about receiving Lindsey's kidney. In some ways it will be like a rebirth. The rebirth of Jill Ziegler's organs!!!! So, just like in 2005 when I couldn't wait for that little 7 pound, 9 ounce blessing to arrive, I am feeling that same excitement and anticipation of this blessing, Lindsey's kidney.

We do not know the date of the transplant yet. Monday Iowa will call Lindsey with the news that the transplant board considered her favorable for transplant and then she will call me. We will pick the date. I am very blessed to have Dr. Reed doing my surgery. He is the best of the best. So we will work around his schedule. But I am praying to do the transplant on May 5th. All transplants at Univ of Iowa occur on Thursdays and May 5th happens to be on a Thursday this year. This day has special meaning to the Ziegler family. Chris's dad passed away on this day and it is Chris's birthday. I would like my transplant to bring some joy to this day for him. So, if you are reading this, say a little prayer for May 5th!

Philippians 1:29-30

"For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. We are in this struggle together. You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it."

This verse from the bible really speaks volumes to me. I have often thought that God chose me to experience ahus because I am strong. And I didn't know I was strong, until ahus. It helps me to think of it in this way because it takes away the "why me questions?" I would prefer to think "why not me?" It also means that even in my darkest or sickest hour, I was not alone. He was there in the thick of it all with me. And He is the very reason I got through it. I just wanted to share this because I do not know who all of my readers are, but someone out there probably needed to hear this. He never leaves our side and will get us all through our trials.
xoxo

Friday, March 25, 2011

Iowa Update

The trip went really good! I have found a new road trip buddy and shopping buddy! Lindsey and I had a really great trip...considering everything she had to go through. She had to go through rigorous evaluations from the transplant surgeon, psychiatrist, general medical doctor, EKG, Cat scan, x rays and labs. And I am sure I am leaving something out. They said we might not make it through the entire day of testing, but we/she did! So that is a very good sign. We also know her labs were all normal/perfect.....like her! It is so interesting to watch a doctors appointment go so fast because there is nothing wrong with the patient. I was really impressed. She had no problem giving labs, me on the other hand, it took 5 sticks to get my labs. That's just typical with my veins. Lindsey was my rock and strength through the entire eval process. We would leave a room and I would ask her, " what do you think?' and she remained steadfast and confident that she will be my donor! I have never met anyone like her! She is a smart and self assured woman. She knows what she wants! I admire her bravery so much! And she reads a map pretty darn good too!

Anyway, Iowa will have a transplant committee meeting Monday at 8am and make their decision whether or not I will get a kidney from Lindsey. They will then call her with the news. She then will call me with the news. We are praying of course, to hear yes the transplant is a go. Also, I am praying it will happen on May 5th. This day has special meaning to my family and I would really like to honor that day with the beginning of my new life. It all depends on Dr.Reed's schedule. He is the head of transplant surgery and will be performing my end of the transplant, so we have to work with his schedule too! Can't wait to update everyone Monday! Pray for a favorable decision!!!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Stats from the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics




Iowa Pics

I am wayyyyy too tired to blog about my wonderful trip with Lindsey to Iowa right now but I will upload some pics. I will say, that girl went through soooo much poking and prodding just so she could give me a body part. Lots of sacrifice on her part. I know she would have rather spent her spring break with her family but she was sweet to do this for me. She is one AMAZING woman!!!!!! Never underestimate the strength and grace of Lindsey Rouse!

Me with my Angel!!!!

My transplant coordinator! Love her!!!

Going through another exam!!!!!

Just the 2 of us!

Waiting for one of her MANY appointments!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Green With Envy

This morning while sitting in church Bro. Charlie's message really hit home. I know we all are guilty of being envious at some time in our life and that you ask to be forgiven and God forgives you. But I felt the spirit really talking to me today. Many people are envious of other peoples toys or nice things. But that doesn't bother me at all. I pretty much am satisfied with everything in my life except for the occasional thought that crosses my mind, "why my kidneys?" It would be so easy to give into that thought and just be mad at the world over my misfortune. But I don't give into those thoughts. I cannot let them in. I have accepted the fact that God thought I was strong enough to handle this and so I am the one with kidney failure. I believe I am suppose to help others with renal disease find peace on their journey. So when I find that thought creeping in, I have to stop and look around my life and see how wonderful it is. Bro. Charlie says envy is wishing your life is something that it isn't. And I must admit that is a hard pill to swallow. I should be thankful my kidneys don't work? No, but I am thankful that everything else in my body works. And with God's help, the doctors can put me back together with Lindsey's kidney. I do not consider myself a victim of bad luck. I do not consider myself a victim. I have definitely grown and changed over the last two years. I very much felt like a victim in the beginning....but I didn't know or couldn't see what God had in store. If being envious leads to evil, then I want no part of that. I am no longer envious pf people with functioning kidneys. I am not even envious of the people whose kidneys work and they abuse their bodies. I am just thankful for what I do have. And I have a lot of things going good for me. Envy is ugly. So I pray that I don't feel those thoughts ever again. If I am to be more Christ like, then there is no room for envy in my heart!

Attention!!!!!

If you are coming to the walk I need your t shirt size. Not sure yet if I will be able to get kids sizes. But all adults walking will need a "Kidneys Not Included" Tshirt...which has been designed by my very creative brother!!!! Not sure if I wanna post what it looks like or leave it as a surprise???? It is VERY cute!!!!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Don't Go to Bed Mad!

You have heard this saying, "don't go to bed mad." I think we should all practice that philosophy. And it doesn't even have to apply to spouses/significant others. You could be mad at a coworker or neighbor and go to bed upset. But why? Is it REALLY that important. 99% of the time the answer is no.

This has nothing really to do with kidney failure except for the fact that it was an eye opener! I have had the opportunity recently to reestablish friendship with an old friend. It was very important to me that I let all hard feelings go and also that I say I am sorry. I think we need to be quicker to get over our differences and grievances with one another. Who knows what tomorrow holds. For many people, it will be their last day on this earth and I don't want to leave with any unfinished business. Now, I know I'm not dying but I still felt like saying what was on my heart. We need to be able to laugh at ourselves and say I'm sorry a little more often.

God used kidney failure as a BIG wake up call for me. I knew going into (at the beginning) kidney failure I would not come out of it the same person. And I was right!I'm not at all. SO if you new me pre kidney, I feel like a completely different person. And I like kidney Jill the best!
xoxo

Fluid Overload

Yes, I am in fluid overload and very upset at myself. Yes, I know better and no, I'm not in "that bad of a condition" but I do need extra dialysis. How did this happen? One word, three letters, tea! Yes, I am admitting to drinking sweet southern tea. Any of you who have read my blog over the past couple years knows how strict I am with my diet, fluids, meds, treatments, etc. But since I have learned a transplant is around the corner, I've said to hell with the fluids!!! And I have been able to justify it by saying, "I'm not going to have ANY caffeine when I get Lindsey's kidney." So, I have really been enjoying it.....a little too much. In a few days I will lose about 10 pounds and thigs will be back to normal. But I cannot let myself do this again. I am very puffy, have edema and my skin feels too tight on my body. I am pretty uncomfortable and I am getting winded with simple activities. I am so mad at myself. And I feel extra guilty because I know my beautiful donor has already given up caffeine. I don't know how it happened. One day a couple weeks ago I started craving tea like it was a drug or something and tonight I am paying for it. My clothes even feel weird on me. I can remember being on hemodialysis and that machine could take off 10 pounds in a day.....peritoneal dialysis can't do that, unfortunately. But hey, at least I am miserable in my own bed and not some dialysis chair at the clinic (which I had many good times with many friends and those memories I cherish). So, I am putting it in writing, the romance with tea is over! It's been a nice fling but it has left me all bloated and feeling guilty inside. The first thing I do in the morning will be to throw away the remaining tea bags!!

Front Page News

I have only been in the paper a hand full of times in my life, but never the front page. I was really excited to hear that the Jonesboro Sun was wanting to do a story on my upcoming transplant and kidney walk. It gave me the perfect opportunity to say thank you publicly to my incredible donor. I will always feel like I need to say thank you one more time. I mean, how can I ever feel like I have said it enough??? This gift she is giving me is so priceless and special. She is one of God's fine pieces of work. There needs to be more Lindsey Rouses in the world. If we all were a Lindsey or knew a Lindsey, we would be better off! So thank you Karen at Jonesboro Sun for being interested in my story and allowing me to use that platform to say thank you to such a deserving person!!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Too Many Too Soon.........

I am puzzled by this and I would like to hear feedback if you have an opinion. Here are the facts:
Fact 1: I cannot get immunizations because they "COULD" not will, trigger my ahus.
Fact 2: I had to get three vaccines for my transplant that is coming up but the doctors made me get them separately bc they were afraid 3 would be too many at one time
Fact 3: I got each shot separately over time and ahus was not triggered.
Fact 4: We are suppose to take our newborn babies, whose central nervous system is not fully developed like an adult, and inject them with 4 or maybe more vaccines all at once. And we think there will be no consequences to this.
Fact 5: If my docs were worried about me getting vaccines, why do we not spread out our babies vaccines. The cocktail shots are very troublesome to me. I am not anti-vaccine but I am pro spreading them out.

Just thought this was very interesting information. I am saying that it is my opinion that multi shots "COULD" be dangerous for some children......

Monday, March 14, 2011

Testimony

Copy and Paste to hear Testimony 3-13-11 St. Paul United Methodist Church

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.spumcjonesboro.org%2Fj%2Findex.php%3Foption%3Dcom_content%26view%3Darticle%26id%3D310%26Itemid%3D28&h=628c8

Friday, March 11, 2011

World Kidney Day March 10, 2011

World Kidney Day was awesome. I got to spend the morning at a health fair for dialysis and then had the pleasure of telling my story. Later that day we were treat to BBQ at the Rendezvous for our annual Kick off Party for the 2011 Kidney Walk. It was a fun and exhausting day....but well worth it!





The 3 above pictures I "borrowed? from a Frecenius board explaining hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. The other pictures shows the progression of the 5 stages of kidney failure. I as we all know skipped stages 1-4 and went straight to stage 5!

My fabulous nursing team at Frecenius

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Made it to 31!

I am officially in my 30's! Pre Kidney failure Jill might have had a hard time with turning 31 but this Jill is just happy to see another birthday. This birthday year will be extra special because I will get my best gift of all from Lindsey in a month or so. This will be the last birthday I spend on dialysis. Next year on my birthday I might actually get to eat cake and ice cream and stay up past 8 o'clock. It is a good feeling knowing this is the last birthday I will spend on dialysis and all the things that go along with renal failure. Lindsey is giving me the gift of many more birthdays. As I have said many times before and will again in the future, she is my angel. Giving me the ultimate gift! Would have been awesome if I could have had my transplant today but it gives me something to look forward to! So, on this last birthday on dialysis, I might go eat sushi.....since I will never be able to eat that again Post Transplant! Happy Birthday to me!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Kidney Walk 2011 Preparations

I am starting extra early this year with the fundraising campaign because I plan on having a transplant sometime between now and the walk. Here are some WALK details:
Saturday, June 4th, 2011
Memphis, TN at Rhodes College
Non-Competitive 2 mile walk around the beautiful campus
You can contribute a donation with or without walking.
I am going to try to do ALL fundraising on line this year, to keep me from handling massive amounts of money. The National Kidney Foundation where you register is a safe and secure website.
To donate: Go to www.kidney.org
Then on right side of home page, click on Sign up for a 2011 walk
Then click on support a walker
Then type in Jill Ziegler Arkansas
It will then take you to my team, Kidneys Not Included and you can donate or sign up to walk.
Any support will be greatly appreciated. A donation of $25.00 or more secures you a t shirt. People who choose to walk, will get a custom t shirt designed by my sweet brother!
Hope to see you all there!!!!!!!!
All proceeds go to the National Kidney Foundation for research, patients assistance and prevention.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Speaking Engagement

I am excited! I have the opportunity to speak about dialysis and my experience with kidney failure next week at Baptist East. March 10th is World Kidney Day. I spoke to the National Kidney Foundation of West Tennessee last week and they have made me their spokesperson this year for the walk. So I am pretty excited about it. It is a wonderful chance to put a face with kidney failure. I pray my message is encouraging and inspiring!

You got to work for it!

There is a common misconception I've noticed about kidney failure. Many people think your kidneys shut down and you automatically go on some list for a new one. If only it were that simple. It doesn't happen like that at all. For example, I am not even eligible for the list. "The list" refers to the list of people who want to be an organ donor upon their death. They are called cadaver kidneys. You have to meet certain requirements to be on the list. I was not eligible because I have to be in the hospital 1 week before transplant. I have to have a scheduled transplant surgery. With the list, when its your number, you go. You only have a certain amount of time to get to that kidney and have the transplant. That is not an option for me. Every state has a list. And you can get on every list in each state if you want to. You just have to go to a transplant hospital and be evaluated and approved for their program. Many people have asked me questions like, does your doctor put you on the list? No, from my experience the patient has to do all the work. If you need a kidney, then it becomes your full time job. Filling out forms, going to doctor appointments, being evaluated, poked, prodded and blood draws. And if you have to go out of state, there is a lot of expense involved. But it is all worth it. It's my life, so it was my job to figure out how to get a kidney.

My entire immediate family was tested and my Mom, Dad and Brother were all 3 matches. Chris was the only person not a match. But we knew he wouldn't be because we are not the same blood type. He insisted on being tested anyway. But then about 3 months after I had decided my brother was going to be my donor, we found out my blood disorder is genetic and that took away the option to have a related donor.

I never in a million years thought it would happen so fast that I would have a live, non related living donor. Lindsey spoke up very quickly and said she was willing to get tested. That in itself to me, is a miracle. God has definitely worked hard on this transplant too. He knew from the beginning, the day I went into kidney failure that I would need a transplant one day and He already had Lindsey in mind. Two years ago, neither she or I had a clue what God had in store for us.

I just wanted to share how difficult it really is to find a donor. In my case, which is not normal, I have had weird obstacles. But Lindsey came into the picture and made it a breeze. She was the one and only person tested....aside from my family. And the fact that she was a match, is nothing short of a miracle! I have a friend on dialysis who has had over 300 people tested and nobody has been a match. That pains my heart. I pray she finds a matching donor. But you see, it is our responsibility to get ball rolling. I am not sure how other transplants work. I think if you have to have some type of organ failure, kidney failure is the one I would pick. It's the only one I know of with a machine to keep you alive while you wait and everyone has two kidneys.....you have pair so you can share!!!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

I want it to be a PARTY!!!!!!

I haven't talked to Lindsey about this but I want the transplant experience to be a party. I don't want anyone worrying....just praying all goes well for both of us. Anyone that knows me well, knows I like a crowd. The more the merrier. I like to cram as many people in my hospital room as possible. Lindsey may be totally opposite. She might want to rest in private.....I need to find out her wishes. But if it were up to me, we would just have a big party there in Iowa!!!!! I think because I love people and I feed off their energy, it calms my nerves when something big is happening. I can't explain it because I don't consider myself "the life of the party"....that's usually my husband! But I love people and want them all around me. I feel the safest in the hospital when there are large groups of people praying around me. Maybe I am selfish? I don't know? I just enjoy the energy a crowd brings. Too bad I will be 8-10 hours from home. There probably won't be a large crowd of friends and family, since I will be so far away. But I definitely won't be alone. I will have Lindsey, Chris, Erick and hopefully Alyssa. My parents are going to try to make the trip too. And of course I will need the comic relief of little bro, if he and Kasey can be there. Also my cheerleader Aunt Susie needs to be there! It's going to be so miraculous, I want as many of my peeps there to witness it as possible. Even if friends and family can't be there, with ahus, I will have plenty of docs keeping me busy and company.

And to my heroes who will be at home. Those that will be taking care of my most precious possession of all, Madeline. You know who you are. I will never be able to thank you enough. You are some of the unspoken heroes of my tragedy. Picking her up from school now when I am sick on a whelm. And keeping her while I am at transplant! We have awesome friends and family!!!!!! Madeline is not stressed at all about mommy getting a transplant. She is just looking forward to all of her sleepovers she will be having. And that is exactly how I wanted it. I don't want my precious baby worrying. I will be in great hands!

So, I hope its a party for all involved. I pray Lindsey has a super fast recovery, Chris and Erick stay calm and cool....as they are, I have a successful transplant (no doubt in my mind) and my friends and family all celebrate this wonderful work of God!!!! I want it to be a party!!!!!!

We need each other!

Recently I have reconnected with an old school mate. Turns out he is having kidney problems. If it wasn't for the technological advances in the way we stay connected to each other, we would have never known about each other. Yes, another facebook success story. I personally find facebook to be a rewarding meeting place. I have met up and become friends with so many people on there. I might not be getting a kidney if it wasn't for facebook. That is where Lindsey found out about my story. Anyway, facebook is a whole different discussion.

I mainly want to talk about the "club." No your not missing out if you are not invited. It's what I refer to as the kidney club. People with kidney failure are a different breed of people....or so my experience has been. I have observed that we are all fighters by nature, not willing to give up. From what I witnessed in the dialysis clinic, we can be difficult patients at times...and yes I include myself in that. But we all have a big heart and reach out to one another. Kinda like prison, "what brought your here?" gets asked. For some it was blood pressure, diabetes, PK or like in my case, some rare and out of the ordinary disease. What we lack in kidneys, we make up in heart. We wanna help the "new guy at clinic" feel welcome. It is a scary and depressing place. I had so many sweet patients try and make my clinic experience better. And I made some great friends at dialysis and because of dialysis. Some friends were patients and other were people from church or other places who kindly and generously took me to dialysis. Any hoo, dialysis patients lean on each other for support many times because nobody understands the journey, unless you have travelled it yourself.

For me, Alyssa was my saving grace. Once I found her and we figured out we were going through the same thing at the exact same time, I knew I would get through this, with her! She is the brave one of the two of us. She started dialysis first, started peritoneal dialysis first and got her transplant first. She has and remains my guiding light. I don't know what I would have done without her. She is the ONLY person who knows what I have been through.

And now there is this new person, who might have to start dialysis. I am going to pray that either his kidneys wake up and start their job or he gets a transplant. I would love nothing more than for him to skip dialysis all together. But if dialysis is in his future, I want to be his Alyssa. I want to guide him and help him get the best care from the beginning. I learned a lot about "what not to do" in the dialysis world. For example, going to a small, hospital owned dialysis unit is a BAD idea. I just want to steer him and his family in the right direction.

This is just an act of God. It just goes to reinforce how important EVERY encounter with EVERY single person in this world is. You never know who is going to change your life or be able to help you in some way. In some ways, being a part of the kidney club and having this experience has taught me so much. More than I probably would have ever learned otherwise. We all need each other whether we want to admit it or not.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


It's that time of year again! Seems like yesterday we were working on the 2010 walk. But the 2011 walk is around the corner. It will be in Memphis at Rhodes College on Saturday June 4th. I plan on walking in it in some capacity. I hope this year to have my kidney at the walk. So this years team is titled Kidneys Not Included....but soon they will be! I will have the honor of having my beautiful, gracious donor at the walk too! Word has it that Lindsey and I may be speaking. So if you were a part of our walk last year, I hope you will consider joining us again this year. And if you didn't get to walk last year, please walk this year. I have so much to celebrate and be thankful for!!!
Come back soon for more updates!!!!!