Friday, February 17, 2017

Valentines Day and relatively boring week.

I was super spoiled for Valentine's Day this year. When I went downstairs on Tuesday morning to make coffee and breakfast there was a vase full of red roses, a potted succulent, a chocolate and a very awesome card waiting for me. What an awesome surprise, not sure how Chris pulled that off exactly! We went out for Indian food in the evening at Ghazal (Melrose Arch). Their food was amazing as always, although this was actually our first time at the Melrose Arch branch, we normally go to the Sunninghill one. We were both pretty tired so we didn't stay out for long, but it was great.

The only other cool thing I did was brunch with Andrew yesterday after bio, at Milk in Rosebank. Haven't been there before, and it's so nice to try out a new place (especially in my current life situation where I feel a bit stagnant). It's right next to Circa Gallery, which I also haven't been to before, so we popped in quickly. Didn't stay long as there was some sort of class happening there but at least I know what it looks like now.

Feeling a bit bleh, in a stange mood. Next week will be much busier so hopefully I won't have time to feel bleh. Going to the gynae later today for quaterly visit, and dentist on Monday for a clean... so that's those medical boxes ticked. Have a good weekend everyone and Happy Fifth wedding anniversary to my sister and Pierre tomorrow! I know this year will be amazing for you guys!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

35 years!

Happy wedding anniversary to my parents for tomorrow! 35 Years of being married is no small feat! May there be many happy years ahead still! We love you!

Had a fairly boring week. Bio has continued to be a killer for this whole month now and feeling more short of breath. Not fun. Had quick brunch with Andrew on Thursday which was nice, and met up with another friend I used to work with for coffee at her house later that day. Yesterday we saw Cecile, Dean and their cutest little boy Ben! Friendliest baby EVER!

Had supper at my parents' house last night with the sister and Pierre, and today we've done nothing apart from lying on the couch and watching a movie. (I did to a load of laundry and washed the dishes at least). Finished another toy for the soon-to-arrive niece/nephew.... was supposed to be a koala but looks more like a mouse?? In 2 months' time the baby will be here! Nothing else to report on.... have a great week!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

"Breathe" - by Brian Mark

So this is the result of Brian's visit 2 weeks ago...

You can listen to it on soundcloud here, and check out Brian's website here!

I really love it (apart from not liking the sound of my own voice!!), and hopefully one day he will be able to organise a performance here in SA!

"Breathe was written for pianists Izzy O’Connell and Kathleen Supové, which incorporates pre-recorded sound design and spoken narration. The concept of this piece comes from my interest of the condition known as Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic disorder commonly affecting the lungs, and other organs of the body. A good friend of mine was born with this condition, and her stories have shaped my view of my own fragile health and mortality. Born in South Africa, Alice Vogt is still surviving her first lung transplant since her operation in 2008. For myself that has a very serious case of asthma, I’m aware that my own health is a small comparison to the struggles of someone who has CF, as I am constantly mindful of what they experience on a daily basis when I take my asthma inhaler every morning. There are strong arguments in the medical community that Frédéric Chopin may have very well suffered and died from our modern diagnosis known as Cystic Fibrosis. Due to this research and revelation, the piece is constructed in many forms, as it incorporate elements of music quotation from Chopin’s various works (Nocturne Op. 9 No.1 in Bb MinorPrelude No. 15 in Db Major, and Prelude Op. 28 No. 4 in E Minor) juxtaposed with sounds of breathing and circulation, with splices of narration from an interview of my friend talking about this disease. I was intrigued of Alice’s transition into her new lungs, and how she felt the first time her new organs felt completely fresh and new, which therefore lead me to also incorporate chord progressions from Pink Floyd’s Breathe (In the Air). The use of two pianos in this work is a multi-sided canvas of both experiences, the prognosis of this condition, and the new freedom that is given to successful lung transplant receivers. Although not all surgical procedures of lung transplants are successful, the gift of a new life from this medical perspective intrigues me on a profound spiritual level…The interview with Alice for the spoken narration component of this work was conducted at her home in Johannesburg, South Africa on 18 January, 2017. In addition, I would sincerely like to thank Oli Lewington, Engagement Director from the Cystic Fibrosis Trust in the UK for his assistance and guidance on this project.Breathe was made possible by a grant from the American Composers Forum with funds provided by the Jerome Foundation, and was premiered at the Yamaha Piano Salon in New York City on 26 January, 2017."

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

February and travelling!!!!

It's Feb!!!!! First month of 2017 is done, yay :-) Been an awesome year so far, Jan was a great month for me. Let's hope Feb is just as great. Feeling very positive at the moment... about life, what the future might hold, the friends I have, Love Life; Gift Life, becoming an aunt soon.... everything is just in a good space at the moment (well apart from my physical constraints).

Had a laid back weekend, just saw my mom and sis for some tea. Did some gardening on Sunday (I use the term loosely.... I sat and pulled out some weeds and cut off a few stuff before collapsing on the couch drenched in sweat)... Chris jumped in and did some more significant stuff. It's looking great after all the rain we've had.

Last night we went out for supper with Andrew, caught up on his Europe trip! I really hope I can travel again one day!!!!! So badly want to see Europe (the few days in Sweden with WTG doesn't really count). And New York!!! Watched 2 episodes of the Netflix documentary series "Metropolis" this morning.... San Francisco and London. Those are the two cities I've been to among those featured. Didn't want to watch the other ones yet as I know I will just want to go even more badly. At the same time I'm also really grateful that I HAVE been to these 2 places (and London 3 times at that!)... I think for a lot of people travelling is addictive.... I would rather sacrifice other luxuries and use the money to TRAVEL. Right now the only "travelling" we have planned is a trip to Magaliesberg for my dad's 60th birthday at the end of March... it's very close to Joburg so it doesn't even count as travelling but at least it's something.

Anyways.... may your month of Feb be filled with LOVE!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Local Touristing part 2 and health checks

On Saturday Brian and I went to the Carlton Centre in the CBD, which is the tallest building on the Southern Hemisphere! It's 50 stories tall (obviously there is an elevator!!!!). Some truly amazing views!

After that we went to Nelson Mandela's house in Soweto. I haven't been there before, and it was pretty great. Definitely worth a visit.

After that we were joined by Carli again, and went out for pizza. I was pretty knackered after all of that, but it was a great change to the usual routine!

That concludes the hosting section of last week! Apart from that I have also been productive health-wise. I had my eyes tested and got new glasses and free prescription sunglasses! The good news is that my eyesight hasn't deteriorated in the last 2 years so script stays the same. Love my new frames though, and can still wear the old ones too if I feel like it :-) I had to go to the dentist as well, as I was experiencing some pain when biting on my back tooth. Turns out a part of the tooth had broken off, and luckily it could be fixed. Still feels a bit sensitive but I'm going back in a month's time for a cleaning. Not keen for more drilling though so think I will just live with the sensitive tooth!

Also had lung check-up earlier this week. Bloods were all good. Vitamin D levels only just just in the normal range, so need to increase that. Kidneys, infection counts, glucose levels were all great. Lung function has dropped, but it's a new lung function machine as well so hard to gauge by how much. Not that it really matters a heck of a lot... it's just a number at this point.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Local Touristing part 1

Last week was a whirlwind of activity!!! Spent some time with my awesome friend Carli.... went for a manicure and pedicure (spoiling ourselves!!!), and met up with Andrew, Brendan and Marius for supper on Wednesday night at Hudsons in Parkhurst. I haven't been there before, it's really nice. Love trying new places.

On Thursday Brian arrived, ready to record an interview with me for the piece he is composing. We jumped right into it and started recording on the Thursday Night. It was quite interesting... some deep questions, and I couldn't see the questions beforehand...  didn't have much time to compose an answer... so the answers were all kind of instinctive. Can't wait to hear the end product!

On Friday the touristing started! Tried to show Brian as much of Jozi as time and my lungs would allow. We went to the top of Northcliff Hill on the way back from the airport on Thursday, and the Lion Park and Apartheid Museum on Friday. Also had some typical Joburg thunderstorms on Friday so that was perfect. I didn't take the first pic below, and not sure who did, but I found it on the internet and it's one of my favourite Joburg pics.... It's what I wanted to show Brian.....

Sunday, January 22, 2017

9 Year Lungaversary!

9 Years ago this time I was in theatre receiving my new lungs. To see the blog post from that day check it out here! Definitely one of the best days of my life, and probably the most important. All I can be is grateful. Towards my donor's family, the medical personnel, my family, God, my friends, everyone who was there for me. The breathers that have given me almost a decade! I hope that somehow my donor knows how much her gift has meant to me and my family.

Had a great day today with family. Way better than last year when I was in hospital waiting for a biopsy the whole day! It has also been a year now since I've stopped working. My last day at work was 20 Jan last year. The year was challenging but necessary, and I am grateful for the things that I have learnt. Looking forward to my 10th year with the lungs. I have a good feeling about this!