Friday, May 12, 2017

Bumps in the Road

Hey guys!
Sorry I've been kinda MIA this year, but like I said before this is a good thing, it means I am out living my life.  This year I really have been!  School is out and once again I am back in Colorado, this time for most of the summer, no awesome travel plans to Europe for me this summer.  Can you get withdrawals from lack of travel because if you can I have them.  I miss being in Europe so much and can't wait until I can get back there.  Next summer anyone?

Anyway, this semester went well, even with the slight hiccup at the start, which ended up causing me to basically miss the first two weeks of class.  My classes were all super interesting and I really learned a lot.  My social life has also seen a few big changes.  Remember those great friends that I mentioned in my post from January??? Well one of them has become a little bit more than a great friend!  That's right, I'm dating now!  It has been going really well and is definitely an exciting new path in my life, neither of us is sure where this leads yet but it is an adventure and we are both enjoying getting to know each other better!

Most of my summer will be spent at home or working.  I am going on my usual Mexico trip, but for a lot shorter time this year.  Then at the beginning of June I am in a few weddings.  I have reached that age where all my friends are getting married.  The funniest part of all is that both of my groups of friends (School and friends from home) are at the marrying age despite being 5ish years apart.  It's what happens when the younger ones are part of the Christian crowd, why is it that Christian people often get married so young?

As far as my health goes, I've hit a bit of a road block.  Rember that crazy sickness I had back in January well, ever since then I have had a bit of a cough.  I had met with the transplant team in Phoenix and they didn't seem to think too much of it.  However I had this sneaking suspicion that it was linked to rejection.  After a bronch at my most recent Duke trip, it was confirmed that I do indeed have rejection again.  (What is this like my 6th or 7th time?  It seems like my only break from rejection was right after chemo, killed two birds with that one stone)  Luckily, so far I have only needed the lowest form of treatment they have for rejection, which is what I will be doing this time too.  I will start an IV steroid treatment tomorrow afternoon that will last for 3 days.  I will have to go back to Duke later in June for a follow-up bronch to make sure the steroids do the trick.  Steroids are not my most favorite thing in the world but I am thankful they are available and effective in treating my rejection.  Hopefully this time the IV goes in a little smoother than it has been in the past,  last time it took 6 tries!

With this last bout of rejection have been getting a lot of people wondering why I have rejection again, doesn't your body get used to the lungs eventually?  Unfortunately, the answer is no.  Rejection is always a threat with lung transplant and sadly is one of the leading causes of death for people post transplant.  The transplanted lungs are not my own cells and they never will be.  Our immune system is designed to recognize self versus others and respond to the presence of other by attacking and destroying the foreign cells.  Great when it is a bacteria invader, not so great when those cells are another's organ that is keeping me alive.  As of right now there is no treatment that completely prevents the immune system from attacking the lungs while still providing the necessary protection against bacteria and other harmful substances.  That is why it is so important to put off transplant as long as possible.  Transplant helps give a person more time but it is not a permanent fix.  One way you can help people like me delay the need for a transplant as long as possible is by donating to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation which does ongoing research into new and better treatments for CF.  They are not governmentally funded at all, yet they provide amazing support and treatment for all people with CF.  They are a major part of the reason I made it as long as I did without a transplant.  In July a group of us will be climbing the stairs at the football stadium to raise support for the foundation.  If you are around and interested we would love to have you join our team.  Please also consider donating (that's a link, click it!) to our team.  All the donations go directly to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation!
Thank you so much for your support!

At the Sand Dunes with Anniken (My Norwegian sister!)

Adventures with this crazy kid!

Art Night with these Cuties!

Some of the Climb Team from last summer!

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