It's 6:10 in the evening, and tears stain my face. The words he said run through my mind: "And at 5 years, the survival rate drops to 50%." Half of the patients who receive a bilateral lung transplant die within 5 years. That's HALF, in FIVE. In his white coat, with his gently combed strawberry blonde hair and his sensitive but knowledgeable face, he explained that this means a patient wouldn't want to go through transplantation too early. The patient being me. For instance, he explained, if you thought you have at least ten more years to get out of your original lungs and you went with the transplant, you could be cutting 5 years off your life. Thus, as he so rightly surmised, it's a judgment call. Listening to him speak, hearing these earth-shattering words about a patient's odds, MY odds, I had to fight back the tears. And through these latent tears I wondered to myself, Can I live 5 more years on my own, on my original lungs? And honestly, I don't know the answer. But I feel in my gut that it's not good. And the whole idea got me thinking about my fate in general and how quickly everything can and will come crashing down. The thought didn't occur to me until now, but my life will most likely become drastically different in the next 5 years. What kind of fate is that for a 22-year-old, one with so much passion and dreams that I feel like at times I could burst, but with so little physical ability to chase after them. Where will I be in 5 years?
Written 12.10.09 @ 6:34 PM