Last Wednesday, Kelly got on a plane and traveled to Atlanta. He arrived about 12:30 am at the transplant facility where he would be spending the next two days. He would have to be up and ready for his first test at 6 am. This entailed drinking lots of water, and several trips to the bathroom to provide "test" samples. He had two full days planned for him. They took plenty more fluids, checked to make sure he was sane, had a CT Scan, and spent plenty of time in waiting rooms. Described to him all the risks and what to expect for the procedure, and life after.
Throughout this process, everything that Kelly has been told about life after the procedure is that he will live a completely normal life. His one kidney will become somewhat of a "super" kidney and once healed from the surgery be able to function no differently than he does now.
I think he was relieved to see where this would all take place, meet the doctors who will skillfully remove his kidney and be giving Chris a fully functioning kidney. Chris had already been through similar testing months prior. That was the beginning of this journey for Chris. I don't know what Chris imagined when he started on this journey but I can only guess that this felt like somewhat of a miracle to watch Kelly get even just this far. This was essentially the last stop before both these men received the All Systems Go. They were both really excited, and yet I'm sure so nervous.
Friday afternoon Chris headed to Atlanta along with a friend of his to meet Kelly at the hospital. The three of them took off and spent the evening together. They went to dinner at Mary Mac's Tea Room, a legendary eatery in Atlanta. They spent just a couple hours out and about in Atlanta. Kelly couldn't help but notice that Chris was not feeling well, his energy was low, clearly symptoms of his kidney disease and side effects from the dialysis that he had been on earlier that morning. Kelly told me it was hard to know that Chris was struggling so much every day. This fact only made him more anxious to get the results from the two day testing. Before he left the hospital they told him the decion would be made by the team Wedensday. Today.
Kelly was eager all to get the call all week. I stood by as support. The way I have this entire journey because I don't know what else to do. There is a level of helplessness. I have my own fears and my own excitement. But at the end of the day, this journey isn't about me. The best thing I did was get on board and support his decision, no matter what.
Mid-afternoon today Kelly called me. I could hear the excitement in his voice immediately. He says, "Guess what I just found out??" ... He finally heard. He was a match. I know my husband well enough to know when he is avoiding feelings. Kelly was avoiding the tears he had inside, so the call ended quickly. But was also eager to get Chris on the phone as well and give him the news. This would be another one of those life changing calls to Chris.
So, this is happening. Kelly and I will travel down to Atlanta in a few weeks where we will meet Chris and Carol and the surgery will take place. I couldn't be more proud of my husband. I am so proud to stand next to him every day. He teaches me what it looks like to give. So for now, our journey continues.