I was a pretty sick puppy by that time. My lungs had lost just about all of their ability to process oxygen from room air, and I was on fairly heavy supplemental oxygen 24 hours a day. I am proud to say that I had spent an hour on the treadmill, at 9 liters of oxygen, the morning of the phone call. I truly believe that my somewhat fanatical dedication to exercise helped me to qualify for the list, helped me to survive long enough to be considered. A couple of the members of the transplant team at St. Joe's had told me that, due to the fact that I was in pretty good shape except for my lungs, they were going to take their time and find me the perfect lungs.
That is exactly what they did. The car was full of gas and we had our "go" bags packed and in the trunk, so we headed for Phoenix. I will freely admit that I bent a few speed limits on the way.
How did it feel? Speaking for myself, I was so jazzed, so incredibly excited, that I felt absolutely no fear at all. We had gone through all of the tests, worked so hard for so many years to stay in shape, and waited so long that I felt nothing but a delicious anticipation. I was going to be able to breathe again! I was going to be allowed to live.
As we raced north on I-10, we called everyone that we could think of to share the news. Wendy of course immediately started making travel arrangements, waiting only for the word that the lungs were in fact a match, and that the operation was a go.
The only black cloud on the horizon, the only down side to the whole situation was the knowledge that someone, somewhere, had lost their life. That being the case, we knew that a family had suffered a terrible loss. With ...
It was about this time of day, 5 years ago, that our phone rang. We had been jumping every time it rang for the previous 38 days, since I had been judged worthy of being placed on "the list", joining the hopefuls at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center who were waiting for a lung transplant.