Well, here I am....just 8 hours from the time I need to report to the hospital and 10 hours from surgery time. I keep thinking maybe I will get nervous, but so far I am not nervous at all -- just very excited! This morning my alarm went off at 4:07 a.m. and less than a minute later I received a text message. I wondered who in the world was texting me at 4:08 a.m. Turns out it was my lifelong friend Jolene telling me to have a good trip and that she was praying for Sara and I. I texted her back and asked her why on earth she was up. When she replied she said that her dog had gotten up to go to the bathroom at 4 a.m. so she figured that was God's way of telling her to get in contact with me. Very cool! At 5:10 a.m. Mike and I headed to Madison. We arrived about 7 a.m. and had a full morning of pre-op visits including a physical, EKG, chest x-ray, MORE blood draws, urinalysis(NO BLOOD -- YAY!!), admissions, nurse visits, meeting with the surgeon, and talking to a pharmacist. My coordinator Chris also stopped in to visit me and delivered me a bag of goodies, including a "Donate Life" polo shirt, a travel blanket, puzzle book, deck of cards, Lifesaver gummies, bottled water, Crystal Light, and a nice handwritten note from Chris herself. After the morning we met up with Sara and Craig and had lunch in the hospital cafeteria. Then we all headed over to the hotel to check in. After we rested a bit and settled in, my parents arrived and we walked down the block to the Blue Moon Bar and Grill for an early dinner. I had to stop eating at 5 p.m. and then drink some "yummy" lemony drink that is supposed to "clean me out" for surgery. When we got back we found a comfy spot in the hotel lobby to sit and chat for awhile. Sara and Craig talked to Ashlyn and Mike and I talked to the boys for the final time before surgery.
This afternoon while I was checking my email I saw I had an email from the National Bone Marrow Registry. That is not unusual as I have been on the registry a long time and they often send me newsletters. I was about to delete it when I noticed that it said something about a potential match. I clicked on the email and it said that I was a potential match for a patient and I should call or email the Registry as soon as possible! I couldn't believe it. I glanced at the top of the email and it showed the date that I originally had registered with them -- July 22, 1991. It will be my 20 year anniversary on Friday! In all that time I have only been contacted once to tell me that I was a potential match for a patient. That was back when I was in college! And now, just a day before I was about to donate a kidney I was receiving this email! Crazy! I emailed them back and they called me right away. The lady just laughed when she talked to me and said that for now they would place me on "inactive" status for approximately 6 months. She wished me luck on my donation tomorrow. Now I have no idea why this would happen right before my kidney donation...nor did I realize I was just 2 days away from my 20 year anniversary with them! But I am sure someday it will all make sense -- just like this kidney journey has.
To my family, friends, co-workers, friends and family of Lonnie and Sara, acquaintances, and total strangers who may be reading my blog -- a heartfelt thank you from the bottom of my heart. At this moment, the night before surgery, I feel your love, your prayers, and your thoughts. I have been humbled by the support you have all given me. I will be eternally grateful. And to God...thank you for the ride of a lifetime! You have proven to me that You are eternally faithful and that Your love endures forever. And to Sara...this is it! We finally made it! I look forward to your lifelong friendship. You are my family now.