Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas is almost here and I wonder, have I been naughty or nice this year? I think it is important to think not just of the big acts that we do on occasion but the little daily niceties that count out of sincerety just to brighten someone's day.

I have once again received an outpouring of love and support from my friends this holiday season and I love the updates and picture cards. Let me tell you from my experience, posing with a dog, is a lot easier than posing with a 2 year old, and, as cute as Miss Heather is with her imposing blue eyes, it is impossible to make her look anything less than the devil's own, even with the best red eye reduction tools out there. My Christmas card duty was tripled this year, as I wrote Kevin's business cards, my personal cards, and then, at the last minute with few picture options, those for Kevin's family. Both his mother and father are in the hospital this year and Heather continues to have respiratory symptoms. I keep insisting that Kevin take her to the doctor- as many of us have learned the hard way, doctors, as good as they are, are people and it is easy for a pediatrician to be complacent and dismiss a first time father as overly cautious for every sniffle and wheeze. But Heather was like this last year I am told and ended up with pneumonia in the hospital.
Unfortunately, I have made it to few parties this year if any at all, because I have a blob of goo instead of a pancreas that requires bathroom location and privacy factors to consider. I appreciate the invitations nonetheless.
Admittedly, I have been getting more and more anxious about the pancreas transplant as January draws closer and it could be any day now. I haven't written any letters like I did with my lungs, I haven't packed a bag like I did with my kidneys, so I just haven't taken any physical steps to assuage the mental part, unless you count taking pills-of the prescribed but no so drastic kind.

In much happier news, my dearest friend MANDY and her husband TED, also known as the kidney locators, are EXPECTING A BABY in JULY 2007! Certainly, I will have to begin saving now so that I can be out there when she delivers. I figure I pretty much owe her since she drove 6 hours to come for the lung transplant and then flew like 5 hours to bring me the kidney! Although they are unsure of the sex of the child, I told her Jill was a good name, but I think I'll have to kick the bucket before I generate a namesake!

More later....

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Well, it's holiday time again and instead of printing out snip-its of my year in summary, I thought it best to direct people here so they can see the pictures and get a real blow by blow about what life has had in store for me in 2006.

I spent most of January and February recovering from my kidney transplant. I can't begin to thank the family of Brett Stern enough for their sacrifice and truly making LIFE possible this year. With this in the back of my mind I set out to pay homage to my donor Brett and of course, Uncle Bob. My lungs turned 74 this year and are doing quite well. In March, I began dating Kevin and Heather (yes, a package deal) and although things went quickly and weren't without hiccups, they are even better now. I began working at Camelot Self-Storage one day a week to start to be part of the family business. A good, quiet job where I can do my school work. In April, I celebrated my 7th lung transplant anniversary! Yippee! In May, I ended up moving in with Kevin and Heather, helping with bills and babysitting. I parted ways with Carrie, who has since moved back to FL. It's hard to live with friends sometimes and I think we found our expiration date for being roomies. June waas filled with babysitting and July found me with a rubber hose up my nose for sinus surgery. I decided to not take summer classes and to give myself a break. August found me working a whole 45 hours in a row- a feat I hadn't done in years. I was excited I could work, but I really need to recuperate from the marathon so that I could have the work-up for my pancreas. On Sept 7th, I was one of 4 listed at the Brigham and Women's. Also in September my oldest brother Scott got married. Everyone had a blast. Unfortunately, I came down with pneumonia just after and my excessive partying didn't help. In October, I was totally spent up with school and figuring out things with Kevin. It seems we hit a little speed bump. He was working overnights and was miserable. Serious questions came about whether we should stay together or not and which/whose direction we were headed in. Halloween was adorable with Heather as a ladybug and Detroit as a bumble bee. They are quite the pair. I decided to move back to Liberty Street in November to prepare for pre and post transplant- to have a space of my own and give Kevin some space too. It seems to be the remedy because when I went away to Jessica's wedding over Thanksgiving he was amazed by the thought of what life would be like without me. And now here it is in December, waiting...waiting for a pancreas, for snow, for Santa. I've learned to live with waiting and have shared this notion with many of the students and groups I've spoken with. Volunteering and spreading the word of the importance of organ and tissue donation has been main mission this year and I think it has been successful.

So what about next year? WELL<>

I have been blogging somewhat less because although I swore I wouldn't do it, I started a myspace page for a Northeastern Project

Seasons Greetings,
Jill Balboni
You Are Strength

You represent both fiery energy and steadfast will.
You are innocent and naive - yet unafraid and undaunted.
Perhaps you don't have the most powerful physical strength...
But your mental powers make up for any amount of muscle.

Your fortune:

Lately, you have been a pillar of ethics and moral strength.
And while things may be difficult, your faith in yourself will come through.
You may need to conquer the animalistic nature of yourself or others, with gentle force.
Although this may seem like the darkest hour for you, victory is near.