Sunday, 15 January 2012

Happy Liversary

Today, or rather yesterday seeing as it's after midnight, my liver had its three month birthday.  It felt like it should be a somewhat momentus occasion, except it wasn't.  MR being away and me staying at home the whole day by myself in my pyjamas.  So I baked it some cupcakes.  Raspberry cream cheese cupcakes.  My favourite.  My liver's too coincidentally.  Actually, it would be nice to know what my liver's favourite cake used to be.  Or  favourite anything.  You know, so I can mark the occasion in proper form. 

Also coincidentally, yesterday Curlypops gave me the heads up about the FilmLife Project as a part of Donate Life Week in February.  So I'm joining in with the Blogger's Challenge.  I'm not quite ready to put my face out there on national everything to talk about it on film.  Small steps.  I'll get there.  It's just still a bit too fresh.  You can join in the blogger's challenge too.  You don't have to have had a transplant, or even know someone who has.  We're all just doing what we can to raise awareness about organ donation.  I wouldn't be here without it.

What’s your take on or experience with organ donation, and why did you choose to take part in the FilmLife Blogger Challenge?

Until very recently, my experience with organ donation was minimal.  A signed consent form saying yes, I'd like to donate my organs when I first got my license.  A discussion with my Dad which didn't convince him that he'd say yes if he ever had to face that decision.  A discussion with my sister to encourage Dad to say yes.  Her telling me likewise.  

Until a day in September last year when I ended up in hospital with advanced liver failure.  You see, I also was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia in March 2011 and the medication I took for that decided to chew up my liver.  Except I didn't notice.  Apart from feeling a bit more tired than normal I was fine.  And my leukaemia medication caused fatigue and it was the end of term at school so I didn't think too much on it.  Then, I started throwing up my medication within an hour of taking it.  Thinking it a bit odd I went off to my doctor who sent me for blood tests.  The next day I was in hospital.  

I was taken off my leukaemia medication and pumped full of many other medications to try and encourage my liver to regenerate.  Livers are pretty special, they can recover and regenerate from some pretty hard abuse.  Unfortunately, my liver was too badly damaged and within a week the doctors started mentioning words like possible transplant, then definite transplant.  By this stage I was suffering pretty badly from encephalopathy, meaning the toxins my liver could no longer process were affecting my brain and I had gone a little crazy.  I don't remember much of this time and the last two days are pretty much gone but I remember my nurse coming in really early one morning, so excited because they had a liver for me.  I was excited too but I couldn't remember anyone's phone numbers to call and tell them, or how to drive my phone and find them.

I found out afterwards that the doctors had given me about two days to survive with my liver in the state it was in and that I would have most likely have been moved to ICU that day if I hadn't gotten the transplant.  That in itself should be the answer to why I decided to join the FilmLife Blogger Challenge.  I am So Lucky that a liver became available so quickly and So Grateful to my donor and their family for making it possible for me to have another chance at life.  The ultimate gift and one that I can never repay. 

If you were to donate your organs, which one would you love to donate, and why?(nb. this question is intentionally quirky so feel free to be creative and have some fun with it)

I don't know if anyone would want my organs now, presumably if I have leukaemia so do my organs?  I don't know enough about it but it's definitely something to ask the doctors.  But for the sake of quirkiness, let's just say that I can.

I would happily leave my lungs to Curlypops, they don't have a big capacity Cam but they are healthy (minus the leukaemia) and have never smoked a cigarette in their life! Other than than I would love to donate my retinas.  I love reading and could not imagine not being able to do that.  The gift of sight is precious.  And I'd also like to see my new liver go on to another home (if that is possible?) We in the crafty world are all about recycling and vintage and wouldn't it be lovely if my liver could save multiple lives?  The regifted gift that would be guaranteed to be loved at every new home. 

Who in your family would you need to talk to about organ donation, to be sure your loved ones knew your wishes?

My Dad is now a convert to organ donation.  He'd want to be wouldn't he?  Once I find out from my doctors if I still can donate, I'll need to let my Dad, Mum, sister and MR know.  I have no doubt they would all happily sign those forms if the need ever arose.

A Year of Good Things
15/366 ::For the world::
I added my piece to raise awareness about organ donation.

14/366 ::For my liver::
I baked it some three month birthday cupcakes
Excuse the poor photo quality.  Courtesy of my old iphone which seems more interested in background focus than foreground.  Good thing the thing in the background is so good looking!


Sally said...

Happy happy happy Liversary!!! It really really is an event to celebrate.

You must have one very smart phone - even though the cake is good it knows that the crochet blanket is even better so is focussing in on that. Technology these days - so savy.

Again, happy liversary. I'm just so thankful that you're still here too.

CurlyPops said...

Thanks so much for joining in Megan and A very Happy Liversary! Raspberry cream cheese cupcakes are one of my absolute faves too (my sister bakes them for me).

It's really interesting how the whole vintage recycling donating re-using thing all fits together. Wouldn't it be amazing to just keep on doing it. So happy your dad is on board with your wishes!

2paw said...

Happy Liversary!! When my friend's son dies in a car crash, his organs went to seven other people, and in a way, he lives on. It is the best gift. Like, you, I am not sure my organs are any good any more, but I had always made it clear to y family that I wanted to donate.

Amanda said...

Great post Megan about an issue which is now such an important one to you x

Tara Lee said...

Thank you for such a lovely piece. I hope you had a wonderful liversary. I love the sound of celebrating such an event with cake.

I have also shared my story and together we can create conversations around Australia about organ donation.

Peace and love,