This is the journey of The Bean In My Side. With a new kidney and a second chance at life, this is my story about survival, loss, music, poetry, and the pursuit of dreams.
Friday, August 24, 2012
It has been 2 weeks since I was gifted a second chance at life. My body accepted this second chance in record time. No joke. The surgeon's message to my family was, 'the second we connected Meredith's kidney into Maura, it began producing urine on the surgery table.' Immediate acceptance. Typically there is some adjustment time that occurs. For some it could be a few hours before the kidney takes to its new home...for others it can be a few weeks. The fact that my body accepted this in seconds only confirms my faith and trust in the undeniable grace that has unfolded within and around me. My body opened itself to love and received it without fear, without hesitation. I received this gift with the deepest sense of gratitude I have ever, and quite possibly will ever feel. Now the awe I feel for my life, for humanity, for second chances, for my love, for my soul mates, for my friends and family, for my past, my present, my future, and for Meredith...is indescribable. I believe it may be some time before I actually have the words to explain. I also believe there really will never be words that can adequately explain it. It's one of those rare life experiences that can't be shaped in words. How do you put "awe" in words? I hope to try to find a way to share what this means to me...but I have come to accept that it's going to be a process. And I'm excited at the aspect of how this process will reveal itself to me. Even though it seems impossible, I'd like to entertain the chance at trying to give this awe words, because this awe is changing me. Forever. (Small dose of grungy reality, so I don't make everyone sick with sappy happy joy. There are A LOT of difficult things I'm adjusting to. There is a lot my partner is adjusting to. There is a lot those close to me are adjusting to. Having a transplant is huge, but helping the body adjust to all the medications to prevent rejection is also quite huge. Huge and rough (when I write rough, hear Tina Turner's voice growling in Proud Mary.) ROUGH. But of course, worth it. It's what makes this new beginning possible. So it is hard, and pumping my body full of toxins to prevent rejection is REAL hard in the first month post-transplant. But I choose to focus on the awe. I choose to see past the pettiness that occurs in daily life and focus instead on how unbelievably fortunate I am, how unbelievably fortunate my partner is, how unbelievably fortunate those who love me are for this gift we have all been given.) Awe. Awe for life equals a new attitude. This new attitude is is drenched in the feeling of possibility. This feeling of possibility wakes me up, and is accompanied with an energy I have not woke up with in years. This week I woke up without swollen hands, without swollen eyes, feeling rested and full of dreams, goals, and a renewed passion for my life. (I remember who I was just a few weeks ago. I didn't let my disease get in my way-I worked on recording and releasing an album with my band, I moved into a home with my partner. And I did these things with a sense of trust. But I have to admit there was a lingering fear that tangled itself around each adventure. This fear was rooted in rejection. What if people don't like the new album? What if I'm not ready to live with someone? What if, what if, what if?) On August 8, 2012, I put fears to rest. The surgeon cut me open and restored my faith. In humanity, in myself, and in all that I am capable of doing. I am capable of anything. I am capable of anything. I am capable of anything. I will pursue what I want and I will go after everything and anything that will make me stronger and more fulfilled. Regardless of the outcome, I am not afraid to try, because I have faced my biggest fear and have come through stronger than ever. I will: Get my band to Philly, NYC, and Atlanta! Take a cooking class! Audition for theater! GLTF! Share Meredith's and my story, increasing awareness of Live Organ Donation! Write! Get Published! Go to Ireland with my partner and family! Yoga!
This is my Act Two. Every morning is a new page and I hold the power within to shape it however I like. This is a gifted second chance at making the most out of my life. In honor of Meredith and her gift, I am going to make the most out of this second chance.