My Moments to Breathe

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

So this is my story

I was/am just glad that I got uncomfortable at 5:00 am and rolled over to see my phone light up. Groggily, I looked at my phone to see why it was on and the word I had been waiting for was on my phone: LUNGS!!!  (yeap thats exactly what it looks like in my phone...) I flew out of bed and ran to the couch where Jeremy had fallen asleep. All I could do was nod my head when he looked dazed and grabbed his phone.

What are the chances that we both had our phones on silent/vibrate that night. We never do! But it doesn't matter because the Lord knew I needed to wake up so He made me roll over. I got the call! I can not tell you everything Amanda said on the phone because I was too...insert some emotion I dont know here...but all I remember her telling me was that they were "high risk" and wanted to know if I wanted them. It took 2 seconds to look at Jer and we both knew, this is it. They had tried calling both phones for over 45 minutes and every message left had a little more urgency to it. Heck, she was even trying to google Jer to see if she could get another phone number. But it doesn't matter because I did answer. So we had to "drop everything and get here as soon as you can."

So what to do first? CALL YOUR FAMILY. I woke mom up with a cracked voice, "Mom, I'm getting lungs. I got the call. I did it, I am getting lungs."...I rambled something to that nature and waited to hear that she understood. I didn't take too long. My dad was away for a guys weekend (sorry again for ruing it dad!) but luckily Angie was home so they could figure out what was best. Mom grabbed the first flight over (thank you Lord, for letting Angie be a flight attendant with some cool benefits) and Angie was on the one shortly after. Dad would come back to Ann Arbor, pack the car, get my Aunt and they would drive over. 

I wasn't sure what to do, what to wear, what to bring. Luckily my bag was packed, I threw on a Team Cassie shirt and some pants, brushed my teeth and I was "ready." We woke Laila up and I said my goodbyes...hardest thing ever. This is a moment I for sure am not looking forward to again. She was a trooper and we made sure she was happy and smiling when she left. She was going to be ok and she was not going to see me be scared. She is amazing and knew what her mom needed too!

Jer was geeked the whole trip over, smiling and flying and making sure plans were set and people knew what they needed to know. He made sure I was ok. Me on the other hand: I cried about everything from the fact that my nails weren't painted, my messy house, to the fact that I was messing up plans for so many people. SIGH I will handle that better next time.

We got there and waited...waited...waited. We waited. They took me up to B4 to wait and get lots of tests run, to make sure there was a cross match, to make sure I had the right drugs, to make sure everything was set for when my lungs were set. The nice thing is, once I was in my room, everyone and everything came to me. I didn't leave. That was my new home for weeks. I did learn that the tests, even though not fun...are ones that I can do and will be fine and something not to worry about. I took a shower with special soap, and I have to tell you, that shower was filled with many tears, inward screams and many man prayers. Dear Lord, please take care of me. The mouthwash tastes bad and yes that medicine that makes you have to pee, will in fact MAKE YOU HAVE TO PEE.

The cross match came back negative and everything was a go. They said they were starting the procurement at 2 and it would take about an hour, so I knew around 3 I would HAVE to be ready. Then it came, the double doors were opened, a nurse walked in and said, :"They are coming for you in 15 minutes." Almost a panic, excited, nervous, anxious, miss mash of emotions flooded me...and I am sure everyone in that room. We entered the biggest elevator I have ever seen and were headed to the holding area, the spot where I would have to say my final goodbyes and get a good look at everyone...make sure they all knew it would be OK, even if I ended up not being ok. 

It is crazy how the Lord knows what to do or who to send just to make sure you know he is there. First it was the "co-pilot" who was from non other than ANN ARBOR! Yeap, raised in Ann Arbor and whose parents still live there. He knew what neighborhood I was talking about when he asked where I had lived. Secondly, was the 3 very tall anesthesiologists who were rubbing sanatizer into their hands and staring at me like I was the zebra to their lion.  It made me laugh!

They wheeled me back rather quickly into the operating room...this room was amazing. It got a gasp and a wow out of me before I made it over onto the table. Imagine 4 large banquet tables piled high with teal, tons of medical supplies, bandages, etc as far and wide and high as can meet the eye. It was amazing. I am still in awe of that room. And then the lights started to spin, "hey did you guys give me some juice already...good cause then I am not going crazy." Now Cassie under juice is very talkative and thinks she is very funny. So I told my team of guys that I was going to talk a ton (insert laughs because all 5 knew it wouldn't be long until I could talk) and when asked if they could talk about me later I laughed a drugged up, "you better!" and was asleep without remembering much else. 


I woke up and was excited. I DID IT! Only to find out that, "no, Cassie, you didn't get your lungs." I don't remember much, I don't. But I do remember 2 of the times I got my heart crushed...and that was out of the 30 times I woke up excited that I had done it. This is the point in my story that is choppy (you can ask a family member more, they remember it well) but can tell you a few things of what I remember:

I remember seeing what my dad was wearing, I don't remember his face or anything he said, just remember what he was wearing. I also remember I was happy he was there, one of my first notes I wrote before I could talk was to tell Jer I was "glad to see Dad" 

I remember wanting the breathing tube out and being adamant that it should come out. (But didn't know I was as bad as Jeremy tells me I am.) 

I remember trying to rub my eye and Jer wouldn't let me (in fear I was going to pull my own tube out) so I wrote down, "please rub my eye."

I remember Jeremy sitting down to eat something in a pretty bag (which I later found out was pulled pork and puppy chow from the Johnsons!) and I ruined that (with a story I wont mention!)

I remember it finally sinking in that I had my old lungs and asking why I did. And then crying.

I remember all the nurses coming in and saying they were sorry.

I remember the blood pressure cuff going off once in awhile and I remember thinking how I didn't even care.

I remember thinking I was way more with it than I was. And trying to prove it by telling Jeremy what time it was (it didn't work so well.)

I learned a lot from my dry run. Crud happens, and if my phone rang right now I could have the same thing happen. That my surgeon is going to take such good car of me, so much that he wouldn't let anything but perfect go into me. I can go into the operating room smiling. Everyone knows how to handle it now, and lessons on what they would do different if they could (totally including myself!) Don't cry over spilled milk(like your nails not being painted), because in the long run there are bigger battles to worry about. Things I should pack and make sure I have (a needle for my port and conditioner!) I learned that you never really know when things are going to happen, so if there is something you need to finish, DON'T DELAY! I relearned that the Lord knows what you need and what is best, even if its a dry run gone as far as being marked up just to let me know YOU ARE READY! 

I was ready, but like I said before...they just weren't perfect!


  1. Soon Cassie. They're coming soon. I have my fingers crossed.

  2. Bask in God's protective care. Blessings

  3. He loves you so much. Thanks for sharing your ride. We pray for you every day, dear girl. xo

  4. Hi Cassie~ I am Rosie's mom @ "My Family & CF." I am hoping and praying that your chance at a new life comes very very soon. Sending you love and light!......Vicki