Monday, March 17, 2014

Best Week Ever (Transplant Update)

There's a show on VH1 I love called Best Week Ever. It's a show about pop culture and is sort of a "week in review" format commentated by comedians. Judah Friedlander, Paul F. Tompkins, and Mo Rocca were, at one time, commentators. After the week in pop culture has been reviewed, someone is declared to be having the BEST WEEK EVER.

I am confident that after last week, if I was someone to whom anyone payed attention, or if I was somehow noteworthy in pop culture, I'd have won the title of having the best week ever.

It started on Saturday, March 8th. It was my niece's birthday. I sent her a tutu which she did not want to try on because she had gotten some Calico Critters bunnies and beds for them to sleep in and a Calico Critters house for them to live in. She wanted to put the bunnies in the beds, not try on a tutu. I was feeling jealous she had a cake and I had none. It's impossible to share cake over FaceTime.

Later, my dad told me I'd gotten a letter. Here is why this is significant: in January, I applied to 3 graduate programs in New York. I applied to Sarah Lawrence College, Columbia University, and The New School University. I wasn't expecting a response from them until at least the middle of the month. Normally if I received mail, I wouldn't be specifically told, so when I was notified of a "letter" I assumed it was an admissions decision.

I calmly walked up the stairs. The letter was from Sarah Lawrence. I took a knife out of the knife block and slit open the envelope. Dear Sarah, I'm delighted to inform you that you've been accepted into Sarah Lawrence's graduate writing program... I'd been accepted to Sarah Lawrence. I can have Jo Ann Bear as my thesis advisor.

Then it was spring break at work. Like Hank always says, "[The University] would be the greatest place to work if it weren't for the students." Hank says it in jest; I say it with all seriousness.

Wednesday I was at work, minding my own business, reading a new YA novel called Liv, Forever when my phone rang. It wasn't a number I knew, so I was about to ignore the call when I noticed it was coming from NY, NY. So I answered it.

It was a woman named Margo Jefferson. She was calling to congratulate me on being admitted to Columbia University's graduate writing program and inform me that they were awarding me a stipend to help with tuition costs. Here was my response to this Pulitzer-Prize winning writer: "Ohmygosh are you SERIOUS?!?!?!" I was almost crying tears of happiness because Columbia was my "no chance in hell am I getting in there" school.

But I did, and they're willing to give me some money to attend. I never thought, ever in my wildest dreams, I'd get admitted to an Ivy League school. My undergraduate GPA was like 3.15. They must've really liked my writing because Columbia has a 7.4% acceptance rate.

The euphoria from being admitted to Sarah Lawrence and Columbia carried through to Thursday and Friday. I had choices. A committee of professors thought I was a good enough writer to attend an Ivy League school. I lost a lot of sleep to excitement.

I went to see The Secret Life of Walter Mitty on Friday night. I grinned like a fool through the whole thing. I was moving to New York City in 5 months. The 1 train stops across the street from Dodge Hall, where I'd take classes if I go to Columbia.

And Saturday. It was the 2 year anniversary of my kidney transplant. We had a reservation at Brio for 6 pm for 10 of us: My parents, me, Liz, Andrew, their kids, my grandma, and Klayne, a friend of mine who may or may not have known he was acting as my date.

The food was fantastic. So was the conversation. Then we had cake at my parents' house afterward. My mother had "A Tale of Two Kidneys" written on the cake for the kidney-versary. Klayne and I had a long conversation about moving to the East Coast for school, as he'd already done it. It was a really great night.

Plus, after a rough 4 months thanks to bacteria, my creatinine is once again where it likes to hang, at .96, and my kidney is function is at 79%. Point of reference: most kidney transplant recipients have a kidney function of 50-65% because they're operating on only one kidney. 79% percent is very, very good.

All of those things culminated into me having the best week ever. And I have a sneaking suspicion that 2014 is going to be a very good year.


  1. Impressive. Treasure this one. I know you will.

  2. Love it. Congrats. BEST WEEK EVER!