First Run Post Transplant

Today I went on my first run post-transplant. It was a huge milestone for me. I have been waiting and waiting until I could. It’s part of how I identify myself. It’s part of how I ground myself. And it is the only time it is fairly easy for me to live in the moment. Living in the moment is so hard most of the time, but when I run I am able to just be where I am, doing what I’m doing.

I am almost four months post-transplant. It is not a specific timeline that I have been waiting for. Instead I have just been waiting for my Hickman line to get pulled out. This is the line placed in my chest for all the various medications to go in, like a port but it has two lumen’s that dangle from me. I could not run with my Hickman in because it sat directly at the opening to my heart through my vena cava. If I ran and it was bumping up and down on my heart, it could cause serious danger.

I haven’t used my Hickman in months, but they could not pull it in case the clot that has been in my heart attached to the Hickman might get dislodged and cause me to stop breathing, as that is the direction it would go. It was in my right atrium. The doctor I have as a follow up oncologist will not make any decisions, so he would not give a referral to get the Hickman out until he heard from Seattle it was OK to do.

Because I have had this clot in my heart, I have been taking shots of a blood thinner twice daily that cause huge bruises on my legs and stomach, plus I have had to flush the lumens of the Hickman every day. It is also a big pain to having something hanging out of your chest that you always have to be mindful of and not let it snag on anything. It is a huge relief to have that visible symbol of me being sick gone. Now I can shower normally, I can run, I can sleep on my stomach without worrying about the Hickman, and I can let my children crawl on me.

This was going to be a great day. I woke up and started to fill my weekly pill regimen, my regular Tuesday morning activity, and found out I had no idea where the prescription I picked up from the pharmacy yesterday was. With my mom and dad’s help, I was able to find it. I had thrown it away in the trash. I am always surprised and depressed to find my brain such mush. I had no recollection of what I could have done with it. My parents had to think of all the steps I had taken when I got home yesterday because I could not. The mental recovery is harder than the physical recovery for me, I believe. I hate it. But, I did run today! Life is getting better every week.

Posted in: self-help