"6 days out from surgery and I'm feeling incredibly calm and serene; quite normal. I don't know if that will continue up until surgery day, but I'll allow whatever comes. I think about the kidney donation almost constantly, but it's always different aspects of it: the sequence of upcoming events, the medical aspects of surgery and recovery, my decision to do this and the path that led to now, the publicity and advocacy and wonderful goodwill from everyone, Dustin's experience of this and how it's both very similar and a very different from mine, the kidney's journey and how the whole thing is all about that one little organ. It only has 5 days left with me and then it will be off on the new job. I think I will be like a proud parent when I see how well it does! And of course, there's a possibility that things won't go as planned, but I really don't worry about that.
I have exercised control over the things I can, and now I can just go do this thing and accept whatever comes. When any bit of anxiety arises, I hear my yoga teacher BJ's voice in my head, from Savasana: "All is well. Everything is as it should be." One thing that keeps happening in my mind, and I think I've tended to do with other big things in my life, is to think through everything by repeatedly approaching the decision and my arrival here from many different vantage points. I examine each aspect of it individually, and then put the pieces together in different ways to see if the picture looks the same. Or I relate to others' journeys and how they got to a similar place. There was only one actual path here for me, but the forces were in place such that there could have been others. Sort of like if it's a place in the landscape, it's a mental process of coming in from every direction, making different trails to it, arriving at the location again and again to see if it feels as right as the original path to have arrived in the same place. It does.
I've never been a person that has doubt or regrets, so apparently this process works well for me to build an internal trust. And it must show externally also, because literally NO ONE has questioned my decision. I love the people in my life, and I really appreciate their trust and acceptance! Personal growth is like muscle development -- you have to take on something challenging to make it happen and this has been truly one of those things. It's a privilege and an amazing thing to be a part of -- it takes a many people and so many essential pieces of effort. The support of others (all the wonderful messages, comments, prayers, and well wishes) and the actual things that people have to do to execute this (such as the support team, the medical team, and our caregivers) all forms a strong bridge to the end goal here of getting Dustin back to healthy working kidney function and the great things that entails. I may be a keystone in this particular bridge, but I'm by no means the whole thing. Anyway, the bridge is built! Almost time to walk across..."
Anna Cannington has offered to be part of this program. As a kidney donor with a nephrologist brother (not to mention next level human) she will be able to provide unique insight into "other side" of the transplant process. It is particularly apt for her to join up as she is Dustin's Donor. To schedule a conversation with either of Anna or Dustin just connect with either of us!
Dustin was diagnosed with IgA nephropathy (Berger's Disease) in early 2007. He and his family know well the struggles that come with suffering kidney failure, dialysis and the transplant processes. Born from these fustrations and Dustin's love of strengths-based coaching (centered on what is best in people) comes the Kidney Koach program. This NO FEE program is for Renal patients, their families and nursing staff that want support, understanding and a little help on the path.