2018: My Year in Review
2018 was triumphant. I accomplished several of my long-term goals. I had zero organ rejection, so I remained on my lowest dose of prednisone all year, and that meant less brain fog, more stable moods, and fewer panic attacks. Though I frequently worried about my health, for the most part, I was able to live unencumbered by illness, with fewer restrictions and more confidence.
I traveled to seven countries outside of the United States: Scotland, Ireland, Germany, England, Czechia, Canada, and (just barely) Austria. Throughout a monthlong trip to Europe, I avoided illness, even with a compromised immune system.
I visited four national parks: Pinnacles, Zion, Joshua Tree, and Yosemite, where I hiked Half Dome and climbed cables to the summit at 8,842 feet. I got my first road bike and competed in the Transplant Games of America, where I won three gold medals. My local newspaper wrote an article about me — in the Sports section!
My photography business blossomed last year. I photographed 35 events and second-shot six weddings. I showed work in group art shows and had my photos published in a print magazine.
I suffered romantic heartbreak and betrayal last year. Some close friends stopped talking to me because of choices I made in 2018. I cried a lot.
Two of my oldest friends with PH both got heart-lung transplants in 2018. For one, the road to transplant was quite rocky. For the other, the recovery has been a roller coaster. I have worried about losing each of them.
And I did lose many friends last year. For the past 10 years, I’ve felt like each year has been a record-breaking year for deaths in my life. So I guess I won’t say that about 2018. But, seriously, it’s been rough.
Through it all, I remind myself that life is a mixed bag, and I signed up for more of it. My organ donor gave me the gift of life, and I can say with certainty that I am living it fully.
Thank you for following along. Happy New Year!
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