Thursday, February 26, 2015

RIP Oupa Gouws

On Tuesday afternoon my Grandad (mother's father) passed away :-( I was at home on my sick leave when the old age home called me. Tomorrow we will be driving down to Jansenville to attend the funeral on Sat (same church where I was christened 30 odd years ago).

My Grandad was a farmer and formidable sportsman. He was passionate about his rugby and played for many years. When he couldn't do that anymore he played tennis. After that it was lawn bowls. Amazing competitive spirit and obviously he always encouraged any sporting activities that I did.

When I was small I used to be scared of him because he seemed so rough and tough, and the way he drove his Isuzu bakkie over loose rocks did not help! I think it helped me prepare future-me for my own driving!

He had a dry sense of humour and sharpness that I appreciated as I got older, and he could say grace before a meal faster than ANYONE ever could. He also told teenage-me that guys like a girl with some meat on her bones when I gained weight (not particularly what I wanted to hear). You couldn't get more honest and down to earth. The last time I spoke to him was exactly a month ago on his birthday... We will miss him a lot.  

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Yesterday, kitty love and Fawn's radio interview

Yesterday's procedure went very well and lungs behaved excellently. Very impressed with the WITS Donald Gordon Medical Centre! The staff were REALLY great and friendly, the place looks great, and everything super hygienic. I even got called twice and texted once in the last week to confirm the details for the day and the medical aid authorisation. So organised. Gynae removed polyp and chunk of cervix, hopefully this sorts out the matter for a good while again. At home today but back at work tomorrow. If it were up to the kitties I'd never go back to work :-p

Also, Fawny did an interview on Classic FM along with the mother of a CF patient and Dr Cathy Baird. You can listen to the interview here.

Gym on Sunday went pretty well again compared to the previous few times. Pretty curious about what lung function will be in 2 weeks time. My O2 sats were between 94 and 97% when sitting up in bed yesterday, and 92% when lying down. I know they drop to below 90% when I exercise but go up again when I stop. Last time I did the 6 min walk test they dropped to 85% at the end of the walk. Anyways... just random info. Back to watching TV for me.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

85 monthses!!!!

Today is 85 months! And yes, I still commemorate every month with the new lungies. Will need to do something to celebrate 100 months next year :-)

Friday eve we tried out a new spot in Melville... Jo Anna Melt Bar. When I first moved to Joburg 7th Street in Melville  was a very popular hang-out for people my age (although I didn't have any friends my age here back then so I was not one of the people hanging out there LOL). Since then popularity moved to Greenside, Parkhurst and probably some inner city spots like Maboneng. However Andrew informed us of this place and we tried it out. (even though Andrew mysteriously missed the invite and didn't join us!).

Melville is apparently having a revival which is good news (as my parents live there!) so was interesting being back there in the evening. Apart from the smell of weed wafting up the street and some dodgy characters (what would Melville be without them) the bar was pretty cool. They only do toasties (and have about 8 on the menu), but it is YUMMY. I also had a Mango Colada Cocktail which was obviously also great.

Looking forward to seeing what happens in Melville and definitely need to visit one or two restaurants that looked pretty amazing.

Today I need to go to the gym, but not much else planned yet. Tomorrow is going to be CRAZY, going in to work early, working till 10h30, checking in at Donald Gordon Medical Centre for my mini surgery at 11h00, and the rest of the day will depend on the Dr's timing I guess! At least on Tues I can chill at home and recover. Have a good Sunday!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Finally a good gym day!!!!!

Tuesday was much better at gym than Sunday, and today was also way better.... did almost double than I did on Tuesday and definitely at least 4 times more than I did on Sunday. Started taking iron pills again on Monday so maybe that also helped. Anyway... hoping the trend continues. Had a bit of a photoshoot on the circuit machines as you can see....

Really looking forward to Sat, my aunt Annelie will be in Joburg for the day before flying back to London (she is the one who ran 100km for CF and who I've visited with my sis in 2004, with Chris in 2011 and on my own in 2012 as part of my trip to go visit Louzanne). She is the best aunt ever and can't wait to see her. Also going to be checking out a new spot in Melville tomorrow, so hoping that's fun.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Struggling in the gym/ heatwave/ bad lung function/ whatever

Had a pretty good Saturday. Ended up shopping with my sis on Valentine's Day and visiting Gail in hosp. Unfortunately Chris and I couldn't attend the show were were meant to go to (stand-up comedy), so Chrislie and Pierre went in our place instead. Slept for 12 hours on Sat eve, and decided to go to gym on Sunday. What a horrible failure.... I only managed to do the following:

  • 3 leg machines that are part of toning circuit
  • 2 sets of 15 squats
  • 2 sets of 15 bi-cep curls with the 5kg dumbbell
  • 2 sets of arm lifts with 3kg dunbbells
So that's basically nothing. Right calf very stiff from random weird cramp on Friday night??!!! The only other things I managed to do on Sunday was do 2 loads of laundry and pull out some weeds in the garden. The rest of the day was spent collapsed on the couch.

Don't know if lung function is down, or if this heatwave we've been having took it out of me on Sunday or what's been up with my bad gym sessions. Can't be lack of sleep! Going again tomorrow so maybe there will be an improvement. Still 3 weeks before I do lung function tests again so not much I can do till then except what I'm already doing. Ugh

Saturday, February 14, 2015

V-day and stuff

After a pretty crappy week last week, it ended well with me being spoilt rotten at work by Chris and his TWO surprise valentines deliveries :-) First I got a Pandora charm for my charm bracelet (which I got from a special friend for my lungaversary now in Jan so it's still pretty empty) which I LOVE, and as if that wasn't enough, it was followed by flowers and Lindt chocs! Felt very loved indeed.

I also treated myself and had hair cut and coloured. It's a little bit more red than last time, although it's hard to really tell on the selfie I took. As you can see I don't often take selfies (can you tell that I'm 30?) so if I look a bit stiff and annoyed please excuse. LOVE the fact that I'm on lot less Prograf than I used to be (almost non-existent dose) as my meds were changed when my rejection started, so now my hair is actually GROWING again! It was the worst side effect of all my meds (maybe not medically, but for ME and vanity!) and so glad to be rid of that!

One of the reasons my week was shitty is that I'm going for minor gynae surgery on the 23rd. I have a persistent annoying polyp on my cervix that won't stay away, so Dr is going to cauterize it to death like she did a few years back (had this done 3 times during 2010 and 2011). Hopefully it will keep any issues away for another 4 years.

Also, the love gods hate us.... Last year this time I was in hosp for 2 days with some mystery illness/flu/virus/whatever, and this year Chris is sick as a dog :-( So we won't be doing anything special and poor Chris feels like death. However love is not about Valentine's Day and hoping the day will not reflect the year! Love you C xxx

P.S. Catch Fawny's latest media exposure here, cool article! Discovery is my medical aid too, so I'm glad to see that us CF/transplant people are on their radar (as well as probably on their financials as a huge red item LOL).

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Watch this space.... JOBURG post coming soon!

I've been updating the labels on my posts, and cannot believe that I haven't had a proper post about Joburg yet.... Even though I've only lived here with the new lungs, it's my home now and it has been very very good to me! I also have so family history here on my dad's side, which I should probably also mention! I also shared this amazing blog post on Facebook yesterday, so please go and read it here.... REALLY worth a read!!! Love it love it love it!

In other news yesterday's gym was rather a bit of a failure.... not sure of it's the heat, lack of energy or bad lungs but apart from 10 min treadmill walk I did almost nothing. Just a few weights. Took a break today and will see how it goes tomorrow.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Cause of death : gym

Due to last week being a tad crazy and also month-end at work, today was first time back at gym since last Monday. For some reason today was pretty hard. Though the 3 flights of stairs or whatever just getting TO the gym was enough to kill me. These days I normally need to sit for a few seconds before starting to get dressed but today felt even worse. Also forgot to pack socks or my towel. OVERALL FAIL

Did my normal workout and no treadmill (because stairs killed me) which consists of the following (not in any particular order):
  • 3 reps of 10 push-ups
  • 3 reps of 15 bicep curls with 6kg dumbbells
  • 3 reps of side arm lifts (no idea what you call them) with 3kg dumbbells
  • 3 sets of 15 squats
  • stretching
  • 3 leg machines that form part of toning circuit
  • 3 reps of 15 calf raises
As you can see it's not much, but all I could do today. Going again tomorrow and hoping to add 10 mins of treadmill and at least SOME abs too. Haven't gained any more weight but still a kilo more than when I saw the Dr last time. Seeing him again today in a month's time (well that;s the plan).

Last week was a bit of a blur, but the highlight was our supper-club that got together again, on a beautiful full-moon eve. Managed to get these 2 stunning pics of Northcliff (the hill on the right side of the first pic) and Sandton (the populated area under the moon). We live at the bottom of Northcliff and I work in Sandton, so it's exactly home and work in one pic! ALSO, saw Louzanne again who was in Jozi for work so her and I went out for supper and caught up on Thursday eve. Best therapy EVER. Wish I saw her more often :-( 

This weekend I attended the Gauteng Sports Council meeting as representing Transplant Sports along with 2 other members of the committee at the Johannesburg Stadium in the CBD. It was a bit of a challenge as the power went out just as the meeting started (loadshedding) so things probably didn't go quite as planned. Afterwards we went for a swim at Andrew's place, following a lovely thunderstorm! Had a great afternoon and yummy foodies.

Hopefully this is a good week.... ending in a good Valentines Day.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Beautiful Lung Pics

Love these!!! Lungs are delicate... like flowers.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Dreaming of far away places...

I've been having a longing to travel somewhere again. Anywhere I haven't been before actually. These breathers have taken me to Australia, Sweden, London (twice), Wales, Isle of Wight, Mapungubwe, Durban, Dullstroom.... First prize would obviously be California to visit Anna and Casey but that is still dependent on some financial matters. Fingers crossed!

A good start though is that my dad booked a weekend away for the fam here. It's still a few months away but will be AWESOME. Luxury relaxation. We are really spoilt in terms of family holidays, from when we were children. My parents were fortunate enough to be able to show us many places, including a trip to London for my 21st birthday, and many special places in the Eastern Cape.

So here's hoping the lungies will take me some new places in 2015!!! I need it, and Melissa's death just made me realise again how short life is.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Breathe easy Melissa...

A few years ago I started chatting to a bubbly and confident girl from Cape Town, also with CF. She needed to go onto the waiting list for lungs but was severely under-weight. I met her in person for the first time just over a year ago and we just clicked immediately. She had a similar thought-process to me (which I think is very pro-active and logical when it comes to medical stuff) and was sooooo positive and strong. She had a peg put in to help her gain weight, which worked very well. When I met her the first time she even brought me 2 gifts... a fridge magnet about kitties and the bookmark below... definitely knew me very well!!!

I saw her for the second time in October last year when we were in Cape Town... less than 4 months ago... we had cocktails at Blue Peter in Tableview. She was doing so well that she didn't have trouble managing without O2 (at the coast). The pic below was taken on that day. I saw her again later last year when she was here for a day at Milpark to see our Dr for check-up and spent the night in hosp. 

Yesterday she told me that she was admitted to hosp at 4am, and wasn't feeling well, she had been complaining about struggling to breathe in the heat the whole of last week. She did have bloods done though to make sure it's just the heat and bloods were apparently fine. AND she was just 200g away from her goal weight... she was so excited because it's the most that she has ever weighed, meaning she was ready for transplant! Last night she told me that she was still feeling crappy and needed quite a bit of Oxygen but that her iron was low and she should feel better after that gets sorted. This morning I see on Facebook that she passed away... I don't know why or what happened to cause this but it was SO unexpected and sudden.  

I'm so sad about this, and it's even harder because she was READY for those lungs and this was so out of the blue. If I had to sum her up in one word it's DETERMINED. She worked so hard to get ready for transplant, she was so passionate about her job as a teacher and so convinced she would go back to teaching after transplant. Before she stopped working she fought for as long as she could to KEEP working and stay busy. She was someone who took control of her health and did what needed to be done. 

RIP Melissa, I will think of you every day when I see my magnet and the bookmark that is hanging on my cupboard door. And whenever I dare to want to complain about something regarding transplant I will remember that she would have given ANYTHING to be post-transplant. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015


Feb is here, yay!!! Jan was a very long and broke month! Only good thing to come out of it was my lungaversary. Feb will be shorter, and includes Valentines day. Already have a good evening planned for that!

This weekend has been nice, on Friday after work I went to gym, and included a 10 min walk on the treadmill. Did 900m in the 10 mins, was a brisk walk. Next time will walk a bit faster. Did the usual weights as well. Good progress in all in all I went to gym 4 times this week, and hence also keep my 80% discount on gym fees with my medical aid. SUCCESS!

My friend Louzanne and her boyfriend came to stay with us for the weekend as they came to JHB for a wedding. We just had a chill supper at home on Friday eve, and went for brunch at 44 Stanley Str yesterday morning. In the eve when they were at the wedding we had a mini university reunion at The Foundry in Parktown, with another PE varsity friend visiting Andrew for the weekend. I've always wanted to go there, can't believe it took me this long! Very cool place and had a YUMMY strawberry cider (I think it's Swedish???). Also check out the cool wall art!

Today I'm just doing some domestic stuff and want to go visit a friend in hosp who is waiting for lungs and also from PE. This week will be month-end at work, but on Thursday Louzanne will be spending the night with us again as she will be here for work-stuff. Yay for seeing one of my besties twice in one week!