Four more years of normal life is what I've been blessed with by my kidney transplant.
Four years preceded by two years of dialysis, two years of intermittent ill health and hospital visits, and before that, eight years of declining health following the removal of my first kidney. all due ultimately to Polycystic Kidney Disease.
In the last year before transplant, I finally came to grips with being on an artificial life support system, i.e.: dialysis. In other words, I came to see dialysis as a blessing, not a curse. I was fond of saying that my new birthday should be the day I started dialysis. My old kidneys had failed me and in any other century of mankind I would have been dead. Instead, I had been blessed with two years of machine-assisted living.
That realization came just weeks before my transplant. No one was more supportive of my "new birthday" than the person who was intimately involved with my first birthday, my Mother. Every year on the last day of October, she would send me a birthday card to remember these extra years of precious life.
Until September. She died a peaceful death at home in the arms of her family as hospice helped her struggle to breathe with her cancerous, smoke-damaged lungs.
And I passed through this anniversary of my transplant without giving it a thought.