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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It's Real

This blog will be posted some time after it was written due to an outside directive to not talk about my living donor experience until after I have donated.  If you are reading this, it is because I have completed the donation process.
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May 6, 2011.

After playing a bit of phone tag with the living donor coordinator, we finally connected early Friday (today) morning. As much as I thought I was ready for everything, I was very surprised with what she had to say.

"We have matched you to someone locally and we were wondering what you thought about June XX". (I'm blocking the date for now)

No news about my last test, no preamble-just "how's June XX".  I felt like I had crossed a momentous finish line, even though in some ways I've only just begun. The coordinator stressed they did not want to pressure me but at the same time, it was slightly under a month and some things would need to be done sooner rather than later. Although I was as sure as ever that I wanted to do this, it just didn't seem like a decision one should make on the phone, in the moment without checking in with a few different people. Not that I needed permission but I felt like I needed some kind of a check mark. I told her I would call her back later in the afternoon.

I sat at my desk at work for a few minutes trying to figure out what to do next. Do I call my mom? Charlie? I instinctively opened Facebook and did a cryptic status update. I looked for my friend Sarah online...she was online but away. I noticed my friend Milton was online and quickly messaged him.  He was supportive and congratulated me (which seems strange but it was the first of several I would get Friday).

I then picked up the phone and tried to call Charlie but it went straight to voicemail. I felt like I couldn't continue on the list of people I "needed" to talk to without getting him first. I went and got myself a coffee from the kitchen at work and when I returned, he called me back.  I wasn't sure how to start the conversation (he is supportive but still seems a little weird on the subject) so I simply said "How is June XX?".

"For what?" he asked.  I responded with one word-kidney.  "Oh that.  Wow really? How much time do I need to take off of work?" I laughed and said we could talk about that later but I didn't think a ton given the schedule and his ability to adjust his days around things.

Next on the list was work - again not that I needed to ask but it felt weird making a decision that could see me off work for a couple of weeks without saying something to someone. My new boss (there was a department reshuffle over the last few months) has been supportive of the idea but was out of town on a course and unreachable. I opted to instead got to one of my primary "stakeholders/internal clients", a director, to make sure he was in line with the timing (although really, who is going to be "that person" to say no)? He reminded me there is never going to be a perfect time and that I needed to not worry about work at all when it comes to this choice. I was thinking that all along but I think I jut needed to hear someone else say it.

Then I called Mom. She was excited, nervous and worried. She was very apologetic that she couldn't be out here to support me (it will be in Alberta) and was most concerned with the logistics of how she would be notified post surgery that her girl was okay. I reassured her that we'd make sure all that was covered which she seemed satisfied with. A small part of me wonders if between now and then she reconsiders (with or without family pressure) to make the trip out here. I am okay either way with what she decides to do but it will be interesting to see if she has anyone give her a nudge to come out (Sunday is Mother's Day and she'll be with all the other hens in the family-a very logical group to peck away at her decision to stay in Ontario).

Feeling satisfied that I had enough check marks to give confirmation to the program, I waited a bit (I didn't want to seem too eager) and closer to lunchtime called them back and gave the thumbs up. Which makes it all so very real.

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