The surgery for the kidney transplant has been scheduled.
Like, in six days.
It was originally scheduled for the following Monday, but I have missed so much work from the race, that I thought it would be better to do it before the weekend, recover over the weekend, and get back to work on Monday. I will probably stay with one of my sisters that weekend, just in case.
My body is now completely recovered from the race – I had some muscles soreness in my calves for the last few days, and my appetite was slow to return, but I am 100% today, so that’s good.
I go in for some testing on Monday, and then into the hospital either Wednesday night or Thursday morning (not sure of all the details at this point).
I would be lying if I said I didn’t have any ambivalence about this.
The reason is that it took my brother, the recipient, two months to call me, or even acknowledge that this was happening. I even spent a weekend with him in Tennessee in March for the wedding, and there was not a single word about it. He only called me (two days before I left for Arizona) because my mother prompted him, worried that I would pull out because he hadn’t so much as called me.
She was right – I considered it.
I was angry, frustrated, confused. I submitted to the match testing because I really thought it would help, I really thought my brother would want to live. And I was his sister, after all, regardless of how estranged our relationship had become over the last several years.
When I was going through my initial testing way-back-when, I was sitting in the clinic office waiting for my CAT scan, and I was listening to two men - one a donor and the other the recipient. The recipient was talking about how his donor was also there for testing, and how he couldn’t believe his friend would do this, how he was getting a second chance at life.
I sat there alone, wondering if my brother would ever call me.
He never did.
And I didn't need to hear any multitude of "thanks" or "you're great!" or anything like that. In fact, I don't want to hear that -it just makes me uncomfortable because I am a family member, so donating is what should happen. I just wanted to know it was what he wanted. I started to wonder if my brother even wanted this – if he has just become so accustomed to being a “patient” that he didn’t want to give up that role, or if he was just so sick of being sick that he just didn’t want to go through anything else.
In addition to this, my brother hasn’t really done anything to improve his life since his initial pancreas transplant back in November. He has continued to smoke, hasn’t done a whole lot to care for himself, or to start to live again.
When he finally did call, we talked briefly, and had planned to meet sometime this weekend to discuss things.
At this point, I feel mostly committed to it. I think about the alternative – if I don’t and he dies, can I live with that? That answer is simple – no. Because he will die – that has been made very clear to me.
On other note – I have been anxious to get back in the pool (did I just say that out loud? Man, I guess IM has changed me), and am picking up my bike this weekend. Guess my hope for getting back in to the swing of all things physical might have to wait another week.
So I guess I move from one journey to the next.
Hopefully this one is just as rewarding.