Not only was November 4th my first full day out of the hospital, but it was also the 4th anniversary of my first transplant, or my second birthday. I didn't actually tell anyone this, which is weird because I spoke to many friends today and yet I didn't say anything about it being my fourth second birthday to anyone, even though it was on my mind all day and is kind of a big deal. Maybe it was just too complicated to get into.
It was a day of very mixed emotions. On the most immediate level, sucks to be contemplating my second transplant on the anniversary of my first transplant. How many additional birthdays does one person need? I already have two, I really don't need or want a third. Instead of continuing to move on with my life and progress in all of my plans for the future, I'm back where I was four years ago, staring a major medical procedure in the face with my future on hold and uncertain.
On another level, it's a great day, because in the four years since my transplant I've done so well. I graduated from college and lived in France for two years. I lived in France for two years! I became pretty fluent in French, managed my way through French bureaucracy, traveled all over Europe, met amazing people, and generally had this wonderful experience teaching children how to speak a little bit of English. Even for someone who has been healthy every single day of their life that is pretty incredible, and I wouldn't trade that experience for anything. In fact I would almost certainly never have done the assistant program if I hadn't had a transplant. Going through the transplant and the year of isolation afterward made me want to do something more than just continue through to graduate school like a drone. It made me want to do something bigger, something insane like go live in a foreign country. Funny how life works out.
Even though my last transplant wasn't the ultimate fix, it still did a pretty good job for four years, and I have a lot to celebrate, regardless of what is to come.