Well those who have been following my journey from years back to the present, know that - not only am I determined to succeed in anything told impossible to achieve...but,also pushing the boundaries with my lungs.
Living with Lam in my system and a double-lung transplant still astounds me, how I just keep going and push the realms of transplantation. I could choose to sit around and just breathe, but oh nooooooooo...not me. I know sometimes my parents worry - that I am doing too much, and shouldn't abuse my gift (so to speak). Maybe, they are right?? But, I love life and want to enjoy my 2nd chance. It is not a cure and just an extension, and if I was to die tomorrow.....I would want people to see all I have done the last 4 years to date, and think, "WOW" as opposed to nothing. Again, my choice and sometimes reality does bite me, and I DO have to stop and do get breathless...then know ok ok enough is enough...STOP!!!
The reason for this post is as for over a year now, I have participated in a weekly women's run group and never been able to run a mile continuosly. Some of you are already aware of the Great South Bupa Run I did last year (blog post further down).....and really struggled with this. Jogging a few minutes, walking a few minutes until I got to the end. I did collapse at the end before the finish line, and had two friends helping me and at times propping me up, and waiting until I wasn't breathless and ready to resume again.
Occassionally, I have lost confidence in myself with this run group, as I have never been able to keep up with any other woman, even new beginners pass me by. It's sad, as sometimes I wish I had 100% lung capacity since my transplant, and run like Forest Gump! Sometimes feeling a little teary eyed. I spoke to the coaches, who encouraged me to stay and said didn't want me to leave, and to work within my own ability, and praised me for all my determination. Also, saying that some people with no health issues, do nothing, and that I should be proud of myself.
So with a little pick me up talk, I continued every week with this class, still no better and a year later, still the same.
UNTIL......... Tuesday 18th May, I posted this message on my Facebook Account....
This may not be a big deal for U..BUT for the 1st time in FOUR years,I ran a whole mile continuosly in 15minutes thru struggling at the end!Almost cried with hapi tears on way home xxx
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And as you can see, I was overwhelmed with 'likes' and many many comments, some of which I have included here :-
Rebecca Balayance:- Hi Sweety, hey you know U may be right by saying that it's not a 'big' deal, (BUT THATS CUZ THE WORD 'big' DOESNT DO IT JUSTICE :-)). Justine.... IT'S ACTUALLY AN ENOURMOUSLY AMAZING & WONDERFUL ACHIEVEMENT! You must be so so so happy- well done ;-) I feel privelidged to be part of your friends group so i get to hear these updates - they are so wonderful !!! Good for you my friend - you inspire me .... Becca ♥
Steve Ferkau:- You TOTALLY ROCK, Justine!!! I remember watching your journey while you were sick and getting sicker -- and worrying whether your lungs would EVER come... I remember some of the little incidents that made us all worry even more -- whether you would make it over some of those bumps in your road... Then I remember the celebration when you got your... See more beautiful lungs... And this is a very happy milestone!!! Did you EVER think, when your lungs were collapsing and you were encountering all of those obstacles -- that you would be able to ever run a mile without stopping?!?! I'm so proud of you, and so happy for you... Love, SteveGina Lorenzen:- Okay, that's it.....I am trying it tomorrow!
Tuesday at 23:22
Then Followed by another post on my Facebook wall....
Gina Lorenzen:- OK sista txd lammie, you did it now......not to be bested, today I ran 1 mile....the whole way, mind you, not stopping halfway like usual, and crossed the mile mark spitting and snorting. GAH! i forgot my watch, but I did it! so there. (thnx for the inspiration xoxo ; P
So, there you have it......guts,determination, long time in 4 years - but, I finally was able to run a mile just about and continue the whole way. A BIG DEAL for me, and again achieving something that initially I have never done before!
I know you may be aware that I do other sports for the Transplant Games (but, they are more quick burst of energy) and, for the endurance on my lungs - I have always struggled with.
This is another milestone in my life, that I wanted to share with you all. Also, the fact when I told my parents a few days later, Mum gave me the biggest hug,smile ever! That was SO worth it, and thanks to my donor too........hoping my donor can see my progress somewhere from above.