We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here in the UK, obviously, but today we’re celebrating anyway, because as well as being Thanksgiving, today is also the day we got the results back from Terry’s latest round of blood tests.
This something we go through four times per year – something everyone with a transplant has to go through at regular intervals, in order to make sure everything’s still working the way it should. I don’t generally write about these tests here, because they’ve become part of our lives, but they’re something we have to live with – that particular brand of hell that is waiting for the results of medical tests to confirm to you that your life isn’t about to be torn apart once more.
That fear, of course, isn’t just a four-times-per-year thing, either. It’s something we live with every single day in life, and will have to live with forever, barring medical miracles. Had those tests come back today saying there was something wrong, there would’ve been no sunshine holiday for us, no happy Christmas: our lives would have, quite literally, changed overnight. We know this because it’s happened before.
So it’s not an easy thing to go through, this waiting. No matter how certain you are that everything’s OK, it’s hard to silence the “what ifs?” that whisper to you late at night that your life might once again be about to change.
It isn’t, though. The results that came back today were the best they’ve ever been – probably due to the fact that Terry’s worked hard these past few months to lose some weight and get fit. He’s probably healthier now than he’s been in years, and that’s quite an achievement when you consider that he’s a transplant recipient. The doctor described him as “the poster boy for transplants”. God, you all really want a new kidney now, don’t you?
So today I am thankful. I’m thankful that our lives get to remain the same. And, of course, I’m thankful to John, Terry’s brother and kidney donor, for saving them.