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As of writing this journal I am officially 10 days out from having an organ transplant. I wanted to wait and make the announcement until I was feeling a bit better. And now I am!

I was called and came into Seattle just 3 hours later, rushed to the Virginia Mason hospital and within minutes I was getting prepped for surgery. The surgery was 5 hours, went well, and I am currently in a long term stay hotel in Seattle. I'll be here for a month total (more if needed) and its still not hit me yet how insane it all sounds.

My organ came from a cadaver donor, is in the top %20 in the nation. After 4 days it is working at peak performance. New medications to get used to, new tastes smells and sounds. My kidney affects -so much- of my life that it's exciting to see just what changes on a day to day basis.

Here's a list of the biggest changes:

  • My skin is healthy, no longer cracked, dry peeling or bleeding
  • I can eat just about anything now (In fact they want me to eat tons)
  • I can taste things, and smells are entirely different
  • I am on lifelong rejection medications but will be tapered down drastically in the coming months, the strongest being steroids.
  • No more dialysis! I get my presternal catheter removed next month
  • I can now go swimming to my hearts content
  • I can travel, and am not tethered to a machine 9 hours a day
  • I must be careful around sunlight as my medications make me photosensitive, meaning no more tanning and lots of sunscreen
  • No more daily nausea
My only disappointment is still being unable to work a living wage, at least for the next 12 months. Due to medicare taking care of my medications during that time, I cannot work beyond $300 a month. I will be pushing back against this as I absolutely miss making an honest living at my chosen profession. I feel there has to be a way around this, but so far it's "Work and pay for all your medications" or "Don't work, don't save, and be disabled." After 5 years of the latter, it takes a mental toll on you. My government seems to think I'm worth very little, but I know I'm more then that and I can be a productive person. But these medications are in the couple-grand-a-month price range and no one can reasonably afford them for a lifetime.

One very specific issue here is the fact my transplant does not fix anything permanently. Its a temporary relief, but will be one of multiple transplants. I will be on these medications for life, but any time I can have with a healthy organ is worth it. It can last anywhere from now, until 20 years from now! It's worth it to try, and if for any reason it does not work out I can live on PD fairly average. This is all a learning experience and the more I know, the better choices I can make. At 31, it's a good time in my life to make some serious plans!

Many good things, but taking it all in a realistic light at the same time. I'm just totally ready to get back into the swing of things and live a bit more <3.

The biggest thing I want to say is THANK YOU.

THANK ALL OF YOU. For the words, the wishes, the donations and the good vibes. The fundraiser was a success, and my month here is so much better because of that. I am comfortable, fed, and able to rest in a clean environment and its all -because- of that support. I am trying to save whatever I can so that fund can be used in the event of any emergency concerning after-care meds, or if Medicare seems fit to drop me. 

I will update more as things change, but I felt it time to tell everyone here =) my twitter has a more daily stream of updates and if you have any questions please feel free to ask. I love to discuss it and teach others about the process because it's kind of fascinating!

Talk to you guys later, it's time to watch some superbowl!
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:iconmyselfsama:
Myselfsama Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Hope you get better soon x_x
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:iconblack-bladen:
BlAcK-BlADEn Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2015  Student Filmographer
Glad to hear you're doing well, I'll have to make a note to mention the taste thing to my Dad since he's on dialysis and every so often he complains that he doesn't like the taste of something and can't eat it even when it used to be his favourite. It's very encouraging to hear that that can (and has) changed afterwards :)
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:iconanamadeit:
AnaMadeIt Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2015  Professional General Artist
Good to hear you are doing better now! Stay in good spirits and you will overcome anything! <3
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:iconrbl-m1a2tanker:
RBL-M1A2Tanker Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
It's been a long time coming, and I am glad that it's finally worked out in your favor! May it last a very long time. :D
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:iconoushida:
oushida Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2015
Good deal, may you forever blow our minds with your awesome art.
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:iconckentavr:
CKentavr Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2015
Yay!  Good luck!

My uncle is one of the longest-lived heart-transpant patients - he got his replaced in 1986.  So here's hoping you a long, well life, too!
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:iconkana-kana:
kana-kana Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2015
Congrats hun!Im really happy for you and I pray for a speedy and happy and healthy recovery!
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:iconbyrdiethemotley:
byrdiethemotley Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2015
OMG!!!! I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!
I'm so sorry to read and reply to this late, but that is SO GREAT!!!
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:iconchaos-flare:
chaos-flare Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
This makes me so happy to read! I'm so happy that you were able to get the transplant!

YAY!!
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:icongoodgirl-badgirl:
GoodGirl-BadGirl Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2015
So glad things are getting better for you. :hug:
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:iconneolucky:
Neolucky Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2015  Professional General Artist
Thanks!
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:icongoodgirl-badgirl:
GoodGirl-BadGirl Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2015
No problem :)
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:iconcreatoremagico:
CreatoreMagico Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You are all the amazing. It's wonderful to hear you speaking so positively about everything, you're an example to everyone. Watch out for post surgery depression and keep fighting!
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:iconneolucky:
Neolucky Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2015  Professional General Artist
Thank you! I gotta keep it up, I got this far and it can only get better from here! Thankfully my main doctor had a long talk about pre and post surgery depression and I am managing it well now. =)
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:iconcreatoremagico:
CreatoreMagico Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm glad it sounds as though you have a very responsible doctor. <3 I hope things really do only get better for you.
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:icongeardrafter:
geardrafter Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2015
Glad to hear the transplant went well and that you're on the road to recovery. Maybe the 'making-a-living' part can be met through donations instead of wages?
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:iconneolucky:
Neolucky Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2015  Professional General Artist
Honestly I just wouldn't feel comfortable accepting money that way, because I can make a living the normal way =\ people have done so much by supporting my medical fundraiser that I couldn't ask for anything further.

Any donations I receive outside of that fund must be claimed and Medicare frowns on that in general. But it's a very kind suggestion!
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:iconthenameugiveme:
TheNameUGiveMe Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2015   General Artist
I agree!
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:iconfireballstardraco:
FireballStardraco Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2015
That is good news, I am glad to hear this and relieved too, just take it easy for now and I really hope for the best, well both me and everyone else too :hug:.
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:iconneolucky:
Neolucky Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2015  Professional General Artist
Thank you! It's hard to take it easy XD I just wanna walk around all the time
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:iconmechangel2002:
mechangel2002 Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
:hug: That's the best thing I've read today!

Also, if you're gonna be in Seattle for a while... I'll be down there the last week of March. Would love to meet up, maybe hang out a bit -- there's gonna be a LOT of artists in Seattle that week/weekend because of ECCC. A group of us are getting together to hang out :)
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:iconneolucky:
Neolucky Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2015  Professional General Artist
If only I would be here! I leave around the 21st of this month ;u; but thank you for inviting me!
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:iconmechangel2002:
mechangel2002 Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
Aww! Darn.... someday!
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:iconewm:
ewm Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
So happy to hear the transplant went well. I wish you all the best with your continued recovery :)
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:iconneolucky:
Neolucky Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2015  Professional General Artist
Thank you!
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:iconnoeinan:
noeinan Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm glad the transplant went well, and hope it serves you long and well. :)
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:iconneolucky:
Neolucky Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2015  Professional General Artist
I'll do everything I can to give my kidney the best chance :D thank you
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:iconlvl80catlady:
LVL80Catlady Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Take care of yourself and relax and get all the rest you need. I've not had an organ transplanted but I've had cancer and a bone cut out and screwed in to my lower jaw to replace a part of it that broke and was removed. It's a -very- intensive surgery and the number one priority is taking care of yourself. Make sure you also get in physical therapy if you need it and don't let your muscles/limbs atrophy. If you need anyone to talk to or something, feel free to message me. I've had a ton of surgeries and I don't know your medical history of course, but like I said, if you need a shoulder, I'm here. (sorry if that's a lot of info, I just want to make sure you're confident)

Best of luck and well wishes. I hope you recover quickly!
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:iconneolucky:
Neolucky Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2015  Professional General Artist
Aw thank you! I'm definitely getting as much time to flex my muscles without going overboard. It's a struggle to just rest haha, but my mom is here and makes sure I don't over do it. And yikes! Cancer aaaaa I give you my sympathies, surgeries take much out of a person and I've had plenty myself!
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:iconlvl80catlady:
LVL80Catlady Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Honestly the tumor removal and radiation was easy as pie compared to post-cancer crap like getting bullied for having facial disfigurement from radiation therapy for 5 years or even just bullied for having it in the first place. I hope your post-surgery stuff has gone well though and you recover quickly!
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:iconnerdio222:
Nerdio222 Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2015  Hobbyist
I'm glad youre better
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:iconneolucky:
Neolucky Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2015  Professional General Artist
Thanks :)
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:iconhoihoisan:
HoiHoiSan Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2015
\o/  I miss you!  I'm glad you're doing well!
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:iconneolucky:
Neolucky Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2015  Professional General Artist
I was thinking about you lately! I kinda keep watch over the Internet like a total jerk hah. But thank you, I just can't wait to get back to normal life! (Sorta)
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:icondoppelgangergrl:
doppelgangergrl Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2015
That's awesome! :hug: I know it'll be tough to not do more than $300 a month, but I wish you the best :D Enjoy your new smells ^_^
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:iconneolucky:
Neolucky Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2015  Professional General Artist
Haha thanks XD
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:iconmermaid1213:
mermaid1213 Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2015  Student General Artist
Even if it is temporary relief I'm glad it's relief!!! Happy to hear that your doing better and that there are some great changes :)
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:iconneolucky:
Neolucky Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2015  Professional General Artist
Thank you very much! I'd take this over dialysis any day for sure ;)
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:iconmermaid1213:
mermaid1213 Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2015  Student General Artist
No problem!!! Yeah, certainly seems better :P
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:iconpyrmappege:
pyrmappege Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2015  Professional General Artist
Oh my goodness! I had no idea! I'm so glad you're doing well, and I hope things get even better for you. :hugs:
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:iconneolucky:
Neolucky Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2015  Professional General Artist
It's not something I speak about often, no worries! Thanks I think they can only get better!
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:iconm4ian:
M4IAN Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2015
I'm glad that the Transplant what well.

I wish for you to have a quick and full recovery.
Reply
:iconneolucky:
Neolucky Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2015  Professional General Artist
Many thanks!
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:iconm4ian:
M4IAN Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2015
You'er welcome.
Reply
:iconshingworks:
shingworks Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
oh my god, I'm so glad you got a transplant and that the procedure went well!! I can't imagine how wonderful it must be to regain that kind of freedom after years of being limited... hoping it lasts a very very long time!!! best wishes for continued recovery :)
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:iconneolucky:
Neolucky Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2015  Professional General Artist
Thank you pal! It was a grossly fascinating experience, and I even got to look at the organ before hand XD but I am excited to take a log of changes as they happen. And also go swimming a lot because yes.
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:iconrose-kira-chan:
Rose-Kira-chan Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
Wow! Recover well~! :hug:
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:iconneolucky:
Neolucky Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2015  Professional General Artist
I will thank you!
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:iconevycrystal:
EvyCrystal Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I am very happy it went smoothly :) 

Just enjoy yourself :heart: 
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:iconneolucky:
Neolucky Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2015  Professional General Artist
I am doing just that :) Seattle is my favorite place to spend time in so I'm not at a lack of things to see.
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February 1, 2015
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