Starting the long road of receiving lungs
A Note from Lara
I figured that since I am sitting around so much, it’s a good time to send out the end of yearnewsletter, after all I have no excuses for not getting this done now, do I?!
So as you all know by now, I got my lung transplant. I received the call on November 4th around 2pm. Craig was at home taking a nap, thank goodness, as it was the last sleep he would get for a while! I was at work, where our technicians were officially starting on A Christmas Carol, and the rest of us were preparing for the first of the actors to arrive the next day. (Well, nobody ever said getting a transplant call would happen at a convenient time, now did they?!)
Craig and I gathered our things, took a taxi to the airport, and there was the plane waiting to take us to the Rockies. (The company for this private jet is called Sanford. They were so nice to us!) It took two hours for the flight, and then another 45 minutes in the ambulance to the hospital (no, they did not turn on the lights or sirens for me.)
Once we got to the hospital the steps toward transplant began. Everything was very calm all the way through. It was strange, in a good way. There was confidence in the air, no doubts, “the lungs look GREAT”, the whole shi-bang...everything was going exactly the way Craig and I had envisioned...except for the fact that Aaron Rodgers got injured during the football game. (Hey, I have to watch my Monday Night Football!) We proceeded forward... We’removing ahead. Yep, this is really happening! They had me give Craig a hug and they wheeled me around the corner. That’s it; anesthesia is taking affect; no going back now! It was midnight, Nov. 5 when they took me back.
The doctor came out to talk to Craig at approx. 10:15 am to tell him everything went well. He also told Craig what horrible shape my old lungs were in; I will spare you the details, but suffice it to say, the timing was right, as CF was kicking my lungs’ butt!
I woke up (and stayed awake) around 6:00pm, though apparently I was doing a lot of
By Wednesday, November 6, I was up and walking. And with that, and many other things going the way they should, I was released from the hospital Monday, November 18. Since then, Craig and I have been in a hotel. I am in the stage of letting my body heal from the surgery, and in near isolation to protect my body from outside world germs during this vulnerable time. We get out for doctor’s appointments and tests 2-3 days a week; we walk the hotel halls for some exercise.
Last Thursday, December 5, I had my first set of breathing tests since the surgery. These tests are called PFT’s (Pulmonary Function Tests); you all have heard me talk about “that magic number” during the campaign – how that number was averaging 25% (my lowest was 22% in February 2012) - well, now was the magic moment...what would my PFT’s be? (Drum roll please)... 76%!!!!! Woot-woot! I haven’t seen that number in over 20 years!
Do you know what’s even better? As my body continues to heal over these next few months, we should see the number get higher. And with that, I can tell you that on the second set of tests, it was 85%! We don’t know how high my lung functions will go yet, of course...but WOW! How did I get so lucky??
So, we are in week three (out of four) of this seclusion stage. As time goes on, there will be more tests to make sure I do not have any bacteria in my new lungs and that I am not rejecting. There will be physical therapy added to the schedule, and I will be allowed to get out in public. They would like Craig and I to stay in Denver for 90 days for the full “hovering” process part of the healing. Assuming all goes the way it should, then we would be able to go back to Omaha. What does that mean then? Well, it depends on my body. TOTAL recovery is 4-12 months. Yes, a broad range. It just depends on the person. But that can also include going back to work; or not for some people. You all know me; I can’t wait to doing what I love to do; and that’s to get back to OCP and the theatre!
I guess that’s all I can say for now. The rest is in the future; we will make sure you all getupdates as they happen.
Fun facts about/from the transplant
Why do we still fundraise?...don’t forget: www.cotaforlaram.com
Don’t forget to donate. This is the time....this time period right now is why we’ve been
fundraising for five years. But many people do not know why I still fundraise.
Betsy Scott and Bridget Robbins for making sure my campaign is/has run smoothly to prepare for this time.
John Gibilisco, Pam Felthauser, Pat Kies, and Darrin Golden for various aspects of marketing and press.
Karen Wheatley, Jane Matsui, Brett Nielsen, Nick Masson, Kimberly Much, Betsy Bauer, Matt Walsh, Dana Colagiovanni, and John Rogers for specific fundraising projects.
Carmen Mazza – my mother-in-law, who is watching our house and kitties for us.
Sandi Wilmer Hansen who is Skyping our kitties for us while we are in Denver.
We have a whole team of people helping with snow removal, headed up by Kim Jubenville.
There are so many entities; almost every theatre entity in town, along with the Pizza Shoppe where the cabaret is held every year.
I/We just cannot thank everyone without missing someone. So just; thank you everyone, for going along this journey with us in all aspects.
From Lara and Craig; thank you for everything you have done so far with the “Places, Please Campaign”. Have a great Christmas/Holiday season/New Year’s; we will keep you updated as Lara continues to go through the recovery process.
Fifth Annual “Sing Your Lungs out for Lara” is asuccess!
For the fifth year in a row, the cast and crew of the Nebraska Theatre Caravan’s “A Christmas Carol” got together to raise money in honor of one of their own. Actors from across the country converged in Benson at The Pizza Shoppe Collective on Saturday, November 16 and raised over $3,000 towards transplant surgery expenses. A big round of applause and thanks goes out to Nick Masson, Matthew Walsh and Dana Colagiovanni for all of their help in organizing this wonderful event, as well as the folks at The Pizza Shoppe Collective and John Rogers for setting up and running sound. Special thanks to Darrin Golden for photographing this year’s cabaret. We have posted several photos on the following page, but you can view them all athttps://www.dropbox.com/sh/5yidu6yxwjwldk3/d2YI9puWH6.
It’s Not Too Late to Donate for 2013
2014 is just around the corner, but it is not too late to give the gift of giving for 2013! There are several ways to make a donation.
Find us on Facebook at “Places Please” Effort to Support Lara Marsh