Who I am and why I’m doing this…

 Christopher Green

Today I begin, with all due respect to Harvey Pekar and his Our Cancer Year Graphic Novel, the chronicle of My Lung Transplant Years. Like Mr. Pekar, I will share all the good and the bad stuff. All the mind numbing mundane of waiting for tests, waiting for doctors and waiting for it all to be over will be put up here for all to see.

I am not going to pull any punches.

I say years because it will last for years, many I hope, because once that new organ is in, the battle lines between my new lungs and the rest of my original equipment will be waged every day, every hour, every second until the day I die.

You can guess which side I am on.

To that end, I will be gobbling dozens of different meds each day that will be like fresh troops rushed up to the front in WWI. And like WWI, the need for these troops will prove unsatiable.

With Mr. Pekar, the end was when they could find no more cancer. For me, and all the people who are transplant recipients plus those of us waiting to get new organs, it will only be over when we are over.

I promise you this: you will be getting the full range of stuff from the grim to elation, the setbacks and the joy of success. That success, for me, will be measured by how far I can walk around untethered to an Oxygen tank or unattached to an Oxygen condenser.

This is the start but it is not the beginning. I am not even sure how to work this thing so that I can add pics and what not. I’m going to go back to where I think it all started while I keep up on the day to day stuff, what is actually happening to me and how it affects those I love who are also signing up for this life altering “adventure” with me.

I want this all to just go away. I want it so that the disease that is eating away at my lungs has been treated. I wish with all my heart that I could be talking about something else, something a little more “peppy”. But they say write about what you know. And this is what I know, this Lung Transplant is a make or break deal. Either we celebrate at the end together or you are left with what I give on this blog.

Either way, I hope you can stick around or at least check in every now and then to see how it all unfolds.

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35 Responses to Who I am and why I’m doing this…

  1. MIss P says:

    I am so glad to see you doing this. I promise to be here with you every step of the way. I expect to learn more about lung transplants than I ever dreamed.

    All my very best wishes for a successful transplant and a very long, happy life following it.

  2. Best wishes Chris. I’m gonna follow you and hope for only good things 🙂 >hug<

  3. best wishes Chris. I’m going to follow you and hope for ONLY good things in your quest to better health.

    aA
    kesha

  4. I think this is how I will see it to the end…

  5. MIss P says:

    This is a very good thing. I’m really glad you’re doing it.

  6. Gizmonic says:

    Wishing you the best in all of this.

  7. Ms. Bee says:

    Good luck to you, sir. I too, am in the testing phase of the lung transplant program. I am trying hard to not be terrified and to embrace my situation as well. You give me hope.

  8. Ms. Bee says:

    Hi fellow transplant wannabee,

    Yes, it is very scary. I just completed my testing for the PH levels, blood work, and dental cleaning. It is hard to live attached to a machine. I am doing my evaluation in the Boston, Massachusetts area.

    I am still in shock sometimes when I think of what this procedure involves and that I need to have it done. I came across your site via DU. It keeps me going. I have to commend you for your bravery to post your experience. I was thinking of doing something like that but I get overwhelmed.

    I have a 12 year old daughter and it scares me to think of the possibilities of not overcoming my disease. I wish you the best and thank you for the response.
    MS. Bee

  9. christopher says:

    Ms. Bee, I look at having the transplant as a good thing… especially considering the alternative. I am just sick and tired of being sick and tired. That is how I have come to embrace what is coming at me…

  10. Melisa Yeoman says:

    Chris-

    You deserve a lot of credit for allowing your story to be told. This is such a hard thing to go through however, your strenth and postive attitude shine through.

    I have a friend whose father had a lung transplant recently. Everything went well and it has changed his life.

    I wish you all the best as you go through this endeavor and thank you for including me in your journey.

    Melisa

  11. cgreen says:

    I was thinking of you this week – wondering how you were. The other C Green.

    I will have hope for you to be really better. Will be wiith you through your story – thanks for the link.

  12. larry durstin says:

    Looking forward to a thoughtful journey

  13. Ed Boyle says:

    I’m looking forward to reading this blog for many years to come. Take care friend

  14. Ed Boyle says:

    I’m looking forward to reading this blog for years to come. Take care my friend and Happy Easter.

  15. Federica says:

    Hi Chris,
    this is Fede from Italy, Dan sent me the link to your blog.
    Leonardo and I say “ciao” from Italy, where we are visiting with my family, and renew our invitation for an Italian dinner after we are back home.
    I will be happy to follow your journey, and wish you the best of luck!

  16. Gary Jones says:

    Chris, our thoughts and prayers will be with you. It takes a lot of courage for you to do this blog, and my hat’s off to you. I’ll be checking in for updates. Take care, my friend.

  17. Wendy Balodis says:

    Hey Chris-

    I am so happy to hear you are starting this journey. The friend of mine that I told you about that had his transplant said he would love to talk to you about it if you like. He is doing so well, and has a great attitude. Let me know if you want to meet him. Also thank you for sharing your journey with us, I love and miss you!!! You’re going to win this fight.

  18. SJH says:

    Chris, You are forging ahead in your life. This is the path to take. I would do the same thing. “you do what you have to do” couldn’t be a more true quote for you. This is typical you Chris!
    Love you lots!
    Sandy

  19. Joe Glazer says:

    Well Chris, What Can I Say? If I have followed you from jobs, to homes, involved in families and friends, this would be no time for me to stop now. So for the last 29 years, you know I have eyes and ears and a good shoulder for another 29. Hang in Keep Tough. And we’ll see this thru
    Love Ya
    Joe

  20. Well, I will go along for the ride with you. It will be my pleasure to take the journey of your health and welfare on my computer. I am sure it will be through tears at times…just like now…to think of your courage and hopes and wishes for a different side to living with healthy lungs. God bless you, Chris.
    Go, go, GO! (ginny the cheerleader shouts out loud!)

  21. Chris – You are doing absolutely the right thing! Sharing your experience as you progress toward the lung transplant will be helpful to you and to all those who care about you. Thanks for taking the time and effort to include us in.
    with love, Al and Jean

  22. Jamie says:

    Thank you for your courage in sharing this journey with everyone. We all look forward to being by your side – in spirit and in person.

    Keeping your warm laugh and strong spirit close to our hearts – Love, Jamie

  23. donperreault says:

    My thoughts are with you my friend. April 12th will be four months since I received my double lung transplant. I feel great compared to what I used to feel like but waiting is difficult and recovery is tough. With transplant we exchange a host of complications for whole another host of problems. However, little choice do we have if we want to live.

    Best Wishes…
    Don Perreault

  24. Elijah says:

    Thanks for writing, Chris. Reading about your struggle makes me feel fortunate for everything that I normally take for granted, especially my health. I look forward to reading about a successful operation in the future and a new start with new lungs. Happy Easter.

  25. Carolyn and Bill says:

    God bless you, Chris. We’re rooting for you and love you. You’re in our thoughts and prayers. Laurie, too!

  26. Chris,

    You can bet your ass that good vibes are heading your way.
    Dude, next time we have a meetup, lose the O2 tank , OK?

    http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=105&topic_id=5465638

    Seriously, the procedure you face is nothing to joke
    about. But, I assure you, 150,000+ DU members have you
    in our thoughts and prayers, especially me.

    Be well, my friend. We will meet again another day.

    Peace and love,

    Ron

  27. Don Perreault says:

    Chris, you just described a typical day for me a CF patient prior to my transplant last December. Fortunately, I don’t remember the terrible taste Tobi left in your mouth, I should consider myself lucky. Anyway, life begins once again when you get your transplant. The daily routine after transplant is nothing compared to what we went through prior to transplant. Don’t get me wrong the first couple of months after transplant are a tough but well worth the new life you receive along with the new lungs.

    Good luck my friend….
    Don

  28. Bill Boehm says:

    Chris, I so appreciate having the opportunity to hear your thoughts. I’m grateful for the invite.

  29. Liz Schulte says:

    Thinking of you, Chris. You’ll be in my prayers. It sounds as though you’ll get through this well and feel much better when its over.

  30. Joyce says:

    Hi Chris! Good to hear from you– hope that the spring brings you better health and looking forward to following your blog.

    Write!

    –Joyce

  31. breathinsteven says:

    Hi Chris!

    I can see from all of the comments that you have an awful lot of support – that’s awesome…

    Like Don above, I’m a CFer too. Four days before my 40th birthday, I was called to the hospital for lungs for the fifth and last time. Yesterday, I celebrated my 50th birthday! I’ve had my beautiful, new lungs for 10 years as of last Thursday. Now – I have the honor of telling others about organ donation so that others know there are people out in the world waiting, like you – and I tell them about the girl who saved my life – a beautiful 17-year-old girl from Iowa named Kari. I posted about her here:

    http://revivehope.typepad.com/revive_hope/2010/04/thank-you-kari.html

    Blogging your journey, as you intend to do, will be so very helpful to others taking this journey. It is a rather amazing journey – full of fear and boredom and joy and every emotion… I hope your journey is as amazing as mine has been. Because of my CF, I never really understood what it was like to breathe normally. It blows my freakin’ mind! It’s been 10 years now, and I still think about it constantly.

    You take care – you’re in my thoughts… Love, Steve

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