|I came across this yesterday and it made me smile|
Today marks one year since my transplant.
According to the statistics, once you reach one year your survival rate goes up to 88%. I can't find the percentage for less than a year but from memory I think it is around the high 70's. I try not to look at statistics too much, they freak me out somewhat beyond that first year hike up. After 5 years it drops to 83% and then by 10 years its 76% and it continues down from there. There aren't any statistics past 20 years. Maybe they are too depressing to list? That's a bit scary so we won't think of that! I'd like to think that that is taking into account everyone of all ages but unfortunately those percentages above are for 16-39yo patients at transplant.
On a positive side however, I've had one more year now than I would have had if I hadn't have had the transplant. Every year from now is a bonus for me.
My emotions have been a little bit all over the shop over the last month as I've been looking back at this time last year. There was the anniversary of they day I went into hospital, absolutely exhausted, looking forward to a few days off my leukaemia meds and not having to do anything apart from rest as my liver recovered from its prescribed medication overdose. No one had mentioned liver failure. No one had mentioned liver transplants. Sure, I had leukaemia but apart from this little hiccup things were going fine.
There was the anniversary of the day they told me that I might need a transplant. That one would be mindblowing if I hadn't already partially lost my mind to the hepatic encephalopathy (toxins secreting into the brain because my liver was too damaged to process them). And the anniversary of the day I was put onto the transplant waiting list. Although, I have no idea what day either of these two days actually was. Encephalopathy became my friend here. Being scared and worried was somewhat minimised by the fog my brain was in.
There has been lots of remembering about how little I actually remember. This was a hard thing to overcome as I recovered. Little dribs and drabs of memory. Not knowing when they happened. Not knowing what else happened. I don't like not knowing.
And then, there have been the thoughts about what would have happened if I hadn't been lucky enough to receive a donor liver. Well, we know what would have happened to me - according to the doctors I only had a couple of days left and they were ready to transfer me to ICU when the call came in. All the things I would have missed out on, what my family and my man would have had to go through. Unpleasant thoughts best not thought of but still they crept in.
I'm feeling much better now. The day is finally here and I can move forward again. I am having a bit of a party today to celebrate it. There will be birthday cake. And pretty dresses. I considered a game of Pin the Bile Duct on the Liver, but we are going to be at a restaurant so it is perhaps not the best place for such a thing.
Happy birthday liver
and more importantly, thank you to the amazing young man who chose to donate life and to his family who respected his wishes.