Next week marks 5 years since my transplant. More than that, though, it’s a key landmark on my post-transplant journey. I stop being “a statistic”.
50% of people waiting for a double-lung transplant will receive one. The other 50% will die. I was in the lucky 50%.
25% of people who undergo a double-lung transplant will die within the first 12 months. I was in the lucky 75%.
50% of people who undergo a double-lung transplant will survive to 5 years. I’m in the lucky 50%.
After 5 years, the stats pretty much stop. We all know one day it’ll get you, but to all intents and purposes, everyone has stopped counting.
It’s a big deal.
Before my transplant, for most of my 25 years, I hadn’t planned beyond the next 12 months. As my transplant got unknowingly closer and closer and I got sicker and sicker, planning shortened to months to weeks to daily ponderings of what I may be physically able to do tomorrow.
I’ve never been able to plan for the long term.
I remember vividly setting the date for our wedding some 18 months in advance and being both incredibly excited and incredibly freaked out by the prospect of planning something that far ahead.
Adapting to planning for the longer-term has been one of the biggest adjustments I’ve had to make in my new life.
Over the last few weeks our little Seat Ibiza has been getting sicker and sicker. It’s at that stage where you’re either going to have to sink a lot of money into it, or get shot of it.
After a service and appraisal of the work that needed to be done, we chose the latter option, which left us on the hunt for a new car.
As we looked around and weighed up our options, we began to think about the life of the 3-year finance plan and what those next 3 years may bring. And the weirdest thing? It didn’t freak me out at all.
It suddenly seems perfectly natural to be sitting here thinking about needing to buy a car that was big enough to fit a large quantity of filmmaking gear in as I develop a plan to increase the amount I’m producing.
It suddenly seems fine to buy a car that’s got great fuel economy to get us good mileage around the country on our mini adventures we’re wont to take.
It suddenly, and strangely, feels fine to know that we can happily start a family without needing to upgrade the car to fit in car seats.
And I cannot tell you how odd it feels that none of that feels odd.
Five Years Gone
Time flies, they tell you, when you’re having fun. And how the last 5 years have flown.
I’ve had my ups and downs, sure, but none of it would have been possible without the generosity of my donor and the courage of their family. You’ll hear more from me on that subject next week, no doubt, but for now suffice it to say that every time I start thinking forward, start planning ahead, start thinking about 3-years deals and 5-year plans, I say a quiet prayer of thanks to my donor for allowing me to even consider thinking about thinking.
What are you planning? Where do you hope you’ll be in 5 years? Let’s look forward together and plan for a better, brighter future.
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