Raeann Blake (Author)

Ramblings from Raeann

Quality of Life vs…

Posted by Raeann Blake (Author) on December 30, 2013

Questions-to-Ask-Hiring-an-Offshore-Call-Center-Services-ProviderWell it has been a while, hasn’t it? Since I was last here the days have been filled with some hospital time, some time feeling not so great, and some feeling okay. I’ve worked some on the books as has my editor who is currently working on ‘Michael’ (coming real soon). I have reached the point where I can no longer work up to my own personal standards in a full-time capacity and have been forced to reduce the number of hours I spend working at the day job. The passing time has not been easy as you could guess from my conspicuous absence from Facebook, Twitter, and this blog.

As most of you know, I’ve also been through some very extensive testing for evaluation of my suitability for a lung transplant. Thankfully I am nearing the end of that process and have been approved to be placed on the list although I would be considered a high-risk candidate and rejected by most transplant facilities. Which brings me to a question that I have asked myself several times since all of this started but have never felt as deeply as I do with the decision I face now. When does the quality of life outweigh the quantity of time you have left to spend with those you love? Knowing that there is no guarantee of another day with or without the transplant makes it even more difficult to answer that question.

Depending on the final tests, I may require the permanent placement of a feeding tube to be put on the transplant list. One of the earlier tests showed an issue with reflux up to the point that it could reach the juncture with the windpipe and thereby run the risk of food and/or acid seeping into the lungs and cause either damage or aspiration. I personally think their initial test provided a false result, but who knows. The first of the last two tests came back normal. The other test is not until Jan. 9th and 10th. But, in the meantime, I have to make a decision whether I will or will not agree to the placement of the tube if it is deemed by them to be medically necessary. If I say ‘yes’, I am on the list. If I say ‘no’, I am not. On the surface it sounds like a no-brainer. Of course I will accept it. Well…hang on a minute.

Let’s think about this. While a transplant is my best chance of living more than one or two more years, it is not a guarantee. I may not make it out of the operating room. I may reject the lungs in one day, one week, one month. And while I absolutely LOATHE dragging this oxygen tubing around behind me 24/7 and would enjoy nothing more than chopping it into tiny pieces, I would be swapping that for not only managing the anti-rejection medication, but also a myriad of procedures and rules that transplant patients must adhere to. But, if the tube is needed, then I’m also adding all of those pieces required to “feed” and hydrate myself several times a day and make sure I carry all the supplies around for that wherever I go. Looking at it from that perspective, the oxygen tubing doesn’t seem to be so evil after all. It’s at least six of one or half-dozen of another. Or to put it another way, damned if I do and damned if I don’t.

And what about the food? This means nothing by mouth…EVER. Fried chicken with white gravy. Steaks. Hamburgers. McRibs! Burritos and tacos. Black-eyed peas and cornbread with fresh tomatoes and corn on the cob. Homemade stew. Pecan pie. Ice cream. And let’s not forget…sweet tea and coffee. Holidays must be fun smelling all those wonderful smells and watching the “mouth eaters” feast while you slink away with your little can of food and a syringe. You get the picture…or at least the picture in my brain.

So what is the answer? Is it worth it knowing that it comes with no guarantee of more time knowing that the high risk of complications could actually cost you time?

I do not know. I just know I have to make a choice. I could choose to accept it and then not need it, but I can’t count on that. If I say ‘yes’ then I have to be willing to stand behind that decision, regardless of the consequences. I just don’t know.

9 Responses to “Quality of Life vs…”

  1. Linda said

    Dear Raeann, I wish there was a simple solution to your dilemma but sounds like you might be leaning toward wait and see. Remember, new technology comes along every day creating miracle cures but the patient needs to be alive to receive it. I’ll hope you get that miracle sooner.

  2. Carol Bryson said

    Those are some tough decisions for sure. I really have no advice having never faced this type of decision. I did have a friend who did go through a liver transplant and faced those same decisions. She went on to live a full and healthy life for several years until cancer took her. So you are right there are no guarantees. I do know there is a holy God who loves you and will walk you through the journey which ever way you choose. I will pray for your decision and I hope you are not offended.
    God bless you as you move forward.

  3. Alice Johnson said

    Pray that God will lead you to make the right decision, even though will be such a hard one. He is our Great Physician & will hold you in His arms as you go through this journey. We can always depend on Him & His love, just know that.. Prayers will be coming your way for you & your family. I do know a strong Christian man who had a double lung transplant at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville FL 4 years ago this past Oct. Rick is the father of my granddaughter by marriage & we have all gone through his trials with him. He had a rare lung disease & was called in for the replacement, instead of one, received two simply because he is very tall, 6’3″ & the donor, a young man, was also very tall. Unfortunately for the other man was too short for that lung. Rick has fought different cancers and again, beginning this past Monday, is undergoing radiation for Melanoma Skin Cancer. A very aggressive one. I simply cannot understand why he continually has to fight for his life, but it apparently is in God’s plan.
    God bless you Raeann, my heart goes out to you in this battle!

  4. Catherine said

    I hope all goes well, Raeanne. My thoughts and prayers are with you. xx

  5. PJ said

    Dear Raeann, I hope that you are doing well. You are in my prayers an thoughts. Stay strong an fight like crazy. I also just want to tell you I love your books. I have reread the them many times. I think Taming Clay is my favorite. That was the first cowboy romance I read an now I am hooked LOL.Let us know how you are doing.
    God Bless You.
    PJ Nusbaum

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