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May 1–31, 2010
Sunday May 2nd we enjoyed a delicious dinner at our son and daughter-in-law's house. Larry made fresh popped popcorn for the grandkids. They love it when "Popo" makes popcorn for them.
Tuesday, May 4th was my "annual" biopsy! Today wasn't like the other biopsies. This time they were going to check everything in the heart (arteries, valves, etc.). They would also be checking for signs of rejection. I am a little anxious about this one....just want everything to be okay.
Wednesday, May 5th I met with my brother-in-law, Chuck and my friend Ed Bia for lunch to celebrate birthdays. We enjoyed a nice lunch at Little Italy Express. My veggie sandwich was so delicious!
Thursday, May 6th I met my friend Jennifer at Rubio's in Grossmont Center for a birthday lunch celebration. I think you can see that the birthday celebrations are just beginning!
Around 5:00 pm I received a call from Vicki McCalmont (transplant coordinator) about my biopsy results. She said that my heart looked great,
Celebrating my new heart!
Friday, May 7th is my sister Janis' 50th birthday! We all piled into her SUV and headed up to Los Angeles for my nephew's graduation. We arrived at the hotel late that evening and immediately went to bed.
Saturday, May 8th was "rise and shine" about 5 am. We arrived at Loyola Marymount University early to get good seats for the graduation. Our nephew, Peter, was graduating with numerous honors! We were so proud of him! The campus was beautiful! The university is near the ocean so we did have a bit of a breeze during the ceremony. Afterwards, we had lunch at Bucca di Beppo in Manhattan Beach. We had a large family group and we enjoyed celebrating Peter's accomplishments. Later that afternoon, we all headed back home.
Sunday, May 9th we celebrated Mother's Day and several birthdays at El Torito. Later we came back to our house and opened cards, gifts and blew out candles celebrating birthdays for Janis, Chuck and myself. Later, Larry and I left to celebrate Mother's Day at Jim and Jan's house for Larry's mom. I'm not going to lie...Larry and I were so stuffed from eating all week and weekend! We both love all these happy celebrations and I feel so blessed to be alive to celebrate them all!
Monday, May 10th — yes, today is my 55th birthday! Last year at this time, I didn't know if I'd be here celebrating this birthday. So you know why this birthday is so special to me! Tonight was Bunco night at my friend Robin's house. She surprised me with my favorite Lemon Snow" cake from George's Bakery. It's so light and fluffy! My girlfriend, Janell, surprised me with a beautiful heart necklace. I won the most "losses" that night and the "last bunco"! It was a fun night.
Tuesday, May 11th Allyne, Carolyn and I met for lunch at Daphne's. Sometimes a last minute get together is the best! We really enjoyed our afternoon together. That evening, my Dad treated us to dinner at Casa Guadalajara in Old Town. Once again the birthday celebrations continued =0) !
Wednesday, May 12th I met with employees from Sharp about the Start! San Diego Heart Walk that will be on Sunday, September 19th. We talked about fundraising ideas and goals for this year's teams. There was a lot of enthusiasm and it was wonderful to see the commitments made for this year's Heart Walk! You can log onto www.sdheartwalk.org to sign up for this year's heart walk. I will be walking with the Sharp Heart Transplant Team.
That evening we attended a Board Meeting for the National School District. Larry received the "District Employee of the Month" award along with some of his co-workers! Way to go Larry — you're awesome!
Thursday, May 13th Bobbi, her mom (Beverly) and Larry's mom (Chie) and myself had pedicures. The pedicures felt great! That evening we went to dinner with our neighbor's Guy and Edie to the Cheesecake Factory. I had the lettuce wraps. They were so delicious. With all the dining out this month — I have to make some healthy choices!
Sunday, May 16th my cousins Susan and Alan treated me for my birthday to lunch at Downtown Johnny Brown's and to the performance of "Rain" at the Civic Center. "Rain" is a tribute to the history and the songs of the Beatles. It brought back so many happy memories. I even felt like a kid again! I love Beatles songs! What a wonderful gift!
Tuesday, May 18th we went to my nephew Ryan's softball game.
Saturday, May 22nd went to my nephew Peter's graduation party at my sister's house. Peter will be leaving for Notre Dame to work on his Master's Degree. We're so proud of you Peter!!
Sunday, May 23rd we had brunch at Sheila and Ryan's home. We enjoyed our time with their son Connor (he's six) and they made a wonderful breakfast of asparagus/cheese omelets and spinach/goat cheese omelets. With side dishes of fresh strawberries/blueberries, bagels and orange juice! They had a beautiful table set and it was made for a very enjoyable and relaxing day!
Celebrating my heart's
May 25th and 26th our nephew Ryan had his softball play-off games. Unfortunately, they lost their last game and it ended his season. Sure was fun going to his games!
Today, May 27th is my one year anniversary of my heart transplant! Larry gave me a beautiful "Happy Transplant Birthday" card this morning. Had breakfast with my Thursday Breakfast Club. It was so much fun celebrating my one year anniversary. Later, I picked up my niece Nicole and we went to Ryan's school for his family/friends BBQ. Ryan had a beautiful bouquet of red gladiolas for me when I arrived. It really meant a lot to me that he wanted me to come to his school BBQ. Made my day! Tonight we went to my other nephew Austin's softball game. He plays in a bigger league.
May 29th-31st we spent our Memorial Day weekend with our friends Bobbi and John in Big Bear. Big Bear always has garage sales all over the town on Memorial Day weekend. We always find great buys on items that are hardly used. We found a really nice golf cart for $5.00! We had a blast! Sunday evening we had dinner and met several of Bobbi and John's friends that live in Big Bear. We love their new place — it's great for entertaining. It's really spacious and has beautiful views from every part of the house. We left early Monday so we wouldn't get caught up in the Memorial Day weekend traffic.
It's wonderful to be able to do things with my friends and not worry about if I can participate or not — I'm just doing everything I can! As you can see...it's been a month full of fun and celebrations! =0)
It's been an amazing year! It seems like it was yesterday that I received the call that there was a potential heart for me. Yet, I look back and see everything I've accomplished in one year. I can't tell you joy I feel in my heart.
I hope my journey has inspired and given hope to those who struggle with heart disease or need a heart transplant.
My sincere thanks and gratitude to Dr. Jaski, Kristi Ortiz, Chris McGovern, Dr. Adamson, Dr. Baradarian, Dr. Politoske, Dr. Chinn, Suzanne Chillcott, Marcia Stahovich, Dr. Romero, Dr. Altenau, Dr. Shachar, ICU nurses and 5 West nurses — you've all played a vital role in my life. I know I'll never be able to thank you enough for all you've done for me. You've truly been a blessing in my life and I am very grateful for everything you've done for me.
To my donor — you are always with me in everything I do, everywhere I go and with every heart beat I take. I promise to make you proud of me in my life's journey. I am a living miracle in your honor.
If you haven't signed up to be a donor, I hope you will consider being one. Log on to this website www.donateLIFEcalifornia.org it's the greatest gift you can give to someone. If you are a donor, please encourage your family and friends to register as donors.
Life is a beautiful gift...treasure every moment.
For More Information
To learn more about the heart transplant program at Sharp Memorial Hospital, please contact the program directly by calling 858-939-3831, Monday through Friday, 7 am to 3:30 pm.
To learn more or to find a cardiologist affiliated with Sharp, please call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-824-4277) or go to Find a Doctor.