Can you believe it's been over three years since you got rid of that Dirty Rotten Liver?
I've been struggling over a week to write this letter. Three years is such a milestone in the liver transplant community. The rate of graft (liver) failure after the 3rd year drops significantly and the risk of complications drop significantly. It's like we can finally sit back, take a deep breath, and just enjoy.
This year you started taking your Prograf (immunosuppressant) via pill instead of liquid form. I can now keep an extra pill or two in my purse - and it's very simple to give you your medicine without too much fuss. You've also started to protest taking your medicine occasionally - but a threat that you have to call grandma usually alleviates that.
You've only had 14 lab draws this year (compared to 21 in 2006/2007 & 47 in 2005/2006). There has actually been a few times when we've forgotten to have your labs drawn - and the only "redraws" were for irratic Prograf levels. Your liver numbers have been rock solid - that old liver is doing good! (Speaking of the old liver, grandma continues to do very well and proclaims that she's gotten more out of the whole transplant than you did.)
Your daddy & I have grown somewhat lax this year - another indiciation of your overall good health. We no longer put shopping cart covers on when we go to Target - and we aren't quite as obsessive compulsive with the hand sanitizer anymore. We don't even put down the plastic placemats when we go to a restaraunt anymore.
This new found "freedom" has allowed us to do so many fun things. My favorite had to have been Disney World - seeing your face light up when you got to meet the princesses was so much fun. I can't wait to take you this fall when you hopefully won't need a nap - and aren't terrified of the characters.
What do I know after all this time? That there isn't a single day when I take your hugs for granted - and that I'm not grateful for the fact that you're still here. I know all too well that not all families are as lucky as ours. Sometimes it's very difficult to feel so indebted to your grandma - and to know that there is no way that we could adequately repay her or every confess our true thanks - but I hope when she sees your sly little grin and experiences your "World's Best" hugs - that she gets to experience a small piece of the joy that we do.