HAPPY 2011! It's been awhile since my last post so let's do it:
It’s been 4 and a half months since the surgeons placed a new kidney and pancreas inside of my belly and I feel AMAZING!! Every couple of weeks, I am hit with a massive energy level increase. I am fused with overwhelming happiness, thankfulness, youthfulness, as well as an abundance of life! I am still working on losing weight, but I started a regular exercise routine using Just Dance 2 for the Nintendo Wii this past weekend. Busting some light and feisty dance moves 3 or 4 times a week should help.
On December 1st, my anti-rejection medication dose dropped significantly, which allowed me to feel a little easier being around people who “might” be sick. I still use hand sanitizer throughout the day and of course I avoid being near anyone showing visible signs of illness, but an interesting discovery was made when Christiana caught the common cold then subsequently developed a fierce sinus infection. It got so bad that she even had to take antibiotics. Her symptoms lasted over a week, and we were together almost the entire time. So did I get sick? Pffffft! I am Jake Cordova. I don’t get sick. (And I didn’t.)
So it is cool to know that my immune system is strong enough to fight off the common cold, yet cool enough to work with my new body. Dr. Cline said the body gets to a point where it realizes the organs are there to stay and a synchronicity is formed between the body, the medication, and the new organs. Yeah!! It is happening! I see Dr. Cline once a month and I get my blood work drawn every other week. Not bad compared to how I started out. And it will only become less frequent throughout the year. I'm really looking forward to it.
You know, it’s really not much trouble swigging back a small cluster of pills twice a day. In fact, I've been taking daily vitamins since being a senior in highschool, so it's easy. You could even say it's nothing compared to injecting insulin everytime I ate, and checking my blood sugar levels 5 times a day by pricking the tips of my fingers. No more of that!
On the internet, I have been in touch with a wonderful woman whose husband recently had a kidney transplant. She said that like me, he was more afraid of the stent removal than anything else, yet it was a quick and painless procedure. Truly! I also had the opportunity to talk on the phone with my donor’s mother. She is just as optimistic and wonderful in person as she was in her original letter. Her family has obviously been through a lot… but it was good to sit down and talk with her over the phone about her son and his life and what his incredible decision has meant for me. She is an amazing woman.
Earlier this month, I spent a cold Friday morning at a Fertility clinic in Sandy. After talking with Dr. Cline about whether or not I would be able to have kids, he said, “Assume you can and get tested to know for sure.” Sometimes the medication causes infertility, but it is more common in women. The thing is, neither Chris nor I want kids right now, and in the past we’ve never worried about it because, well… how can I put this…
You see, around the time of my late teens I determined through a series of “biological events” that I was incapable of getting a girl pregnant. I mean, there is no way I could be THAT lucky. However, because now all of my blood work is coming back “healthy and normal,” Chris and I decided not to take any chances. So I dropped off a sample at a local fertility clinic and discovered a week later that I am now VERY capable of getting somebody pregnant. Yikes!!
It’s good to know I am capable of being a father, but it's probably not in the cards. I’m just amazed at how many possibilities have emerged from all of this and are STILL emerging. Some people who don’t know me in real life or haven’t kept up with this blog or my Facebook page or my tweets, etc. will often ask… “How are you doing, Jake?” in a timid, mother-to-dying-child voice. I understand it, because when I first learned that I would need a transplant, I too was uncertain of the outcome. I thought I might end up confined to bed, weak, limited, and far from normal. But of course the answer I always give when I'm asked how I'm doing is this: “I feel better than I have in my entire life. I am a new man. It is unreal!” And it’s true; I don’t ever remember feeling this healthy. The transplant is the best thing that has ever happened to me since being born.
The Universe, she loves to dance with you. Show her a good time, laugh with her and be fun! For she pays you in kind.