Thursday, June 25, 2020

Dear Friends

Friends I need to get this off my chest, the weight I'm carrying around is to heavy for my heart and soul...

Maggie, Megan, Stephanie and Melissa and Maria, you deserved better and it breaks my heart you didn't get to experience what I feel right now. Its survivors guilt to the extreme. I have been blue these past few weeks and I didn't realize what I was experiencing. Everyone of you have a special song that takes me back to the day you passed away and I constantly hear them and are reminded of the terrible loss.

 Maggie-View fron heaven- Yellowcard
 Megan- Lady Gaga- poker face
 Stephanie- If I die young -The Band Perry
 Melissa- See you again-Wiz Khalifa 
 Maria - Sunflower Post Malone & Swae Lee

This is a new struggle for me and I'm at a loss at how to turn things around. I miss you guys so much and it doesn't seem fair. Im doing so well and thriving for the first time in my life and I just wish this was all a different ending for you girls... You deserved better. Please know your in my heart and I think of you guys every single day and it brings me joy to think of you all in heaven looking down on me and watching over me, blessing me with the best guardian angles. Maybe you all have met and instantly became friends because of your love for me. I can find joy in knowing your together, happy and healthy and for the first time in a long time even though the hurt is strong, I don't long to be with you quite yet, I still feel like I have a lot of living left and now I have a donor I need to make proud. Maybe when its my time you all will be at heavens gates to welcome me and that brings me joy knowing no matter where I go and what I do I will never be alone.

Ill leave you girls with happy moments.

Maggie- your sweet 16 was beautiful and such a joy to be apart of that monumental occasion. your independence was something I never saw in another person and your will to live and live the life you wanted was amazing and something you held strong onto even towards the end.

Megan- Constantly talking to you and watching you live your life after getting lungs, sending you a care package before your Lady gaga concert. your love for you sisters and the lord was in everything you did and it showed.

Stephanie- my little sister who I really got to spoil and send some amazing care packages and the smile on your face was worth it all and id send you a million more packages just to see that smile. Being you big sister is the biggest joy of my life, I hope you know life never was the same without you in it,

Melissa- My little Pinky...Meeting you when you were so tiny and getting to watch you grow to be strong and independent and just a force of energy. Gifting you your computer when you were really sick and driving to the hospital and seeing that smile through a mask was the best Christmas present ever.

Maria- My sunflower. My gangster cyster, your strength to get through all you had was amazing and so inspirational. Your love for your son and how you were an amazing mentor for me when I started the transplant process I could talk to you about my fears and concerns and you were always right with me. When you passed I cried and cried. thankfully 2 west was there to support me and I'm sorry I couldn't make it to your funeral but you know I tried but being in the hospital was where you would have wanted me to be.

Life isn't as bright with out you girls in it but after receiving my lungs I'm trying to find that color in different ways, maybe it isn't meant to be as bright but I'm grateful for the light you did bring into my heart. I love you ladies and I hope to make you proud just living a life you should of all had the chance at.

sincerely your friend
 Jessica

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Dear Donor

Dear Donor,
 I don’t know anything about you and I hope one day that will change and ill be able to put a face to the person who saved my life. See I was close to death before you made the selfless decision to donate what you could no longer use. You gave me the ability to breathe on my own only days after receiving my double lung transplant on 2/2/2020. A day I’m sure your family looks back on and feels sadness my family will celebrate the second chance I got and we will celebrate a selfless act. I don’t remember much as the days leading up to the surgery I was very out of it. I don’t remember getting the call or the emotions that go with it and if truth be told I’m glad I don’t remember because just listening to the stories my family told me makes me get a lump in my throat. I don’t remember having any white light moments but I know if it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t be writing this letter. After my surgery and waking up knowing you gave the ultimate gift I couldn’t help but find myself crying randomly knowing this was a huge decision on your part and wondering am I worthy of such a gift. Would I go on to touch peoples lives and make organ donation a topic in ever conversation spreading awareness everywhere I went? Would I find the strength to become this person who worked out and hiked so much putting these lungs to work. Truth is its only been 2 months and only time will tell who and what I become but whatever it is I’am grateful. Grateful for the opportunity to live and breathe and to be a wife. To be a sister and a daughter and a dog mom. I don’t know how long these lungs will keep me going because with transplant you are living on borrowed time but I can tell you for as long as cam breathing I will always have a grateful heart to the person who gave the ultimate gift to a stranger.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

first dry run

I had my first dry run Nov. 10th, it was a whirlwind of emotions and sadly the night ended with me leaving the hospital without shiny new lungs but I'm thankful for the experience because 1. it was a great learning lesson. 2. one call means another call could be coming shortly. 3. I realized how much I truly want this. You see I had doubts about transplant. I was and still am scared for the whole experience but leaving with my original lungs made me sad and disappointed to come back to living with oxygen, I let myself imagine a life free of the leash of an oxygen cannula. Even though using oxygen has only been full time for about 2 months its 2 months too long for me. Don't get me wrong I manage and am fortunate enough to have portable oxygen for traveling but the image of me being free set my heart of fire and it was a desire I didn't know I wanted until I got the call. The call was so nonchalant; Is this Jessica Benson? yes, well good news we have lungs for you. No way. yes. are you for real?? yes this is real. Holy Shit. Yes Holy shit is right. I then got some information and then thats when the emotion and madness set in. first of was telling my family who thankfully were all at home and in one place. As moms crying I'm like I got the calll lets go!! after a short break to take a shower and throw some clothes in bag we took the longest drive down to san Diego ever. Felt like the longest ride but really with Dads driving we made great time. Once at the hospital I was put in my normal floor (yay 2 west) and I was lucky enough to get a double room blocked off for me so Matthew had a bed to sleep in while we waited. from 7-4am we waited with a few doctors coming in occasionally to update and sign consent forms. Lots of blood work too. I managed to sleep for a few hours after my best friend made the drive down to visit and braid my hair. AT 4 something they said the lungs were not viable for surgery and I was able to go home. Just like that my new chance at a new and improved life was gone. Im thankful though that the surgeon has my best interest and thankfully I'm not in a position where I need to take lungs that are less then perfect. My perfect set of lungs will come and it will all be alright. Man what a night. Id like to give a shout out to my Mom and Dad who paced anxiously for hours. My Brother and Krystal who brought snacks and blankets and Dinner and waited with us for every moment. Matthew who slept but was there every time someone opened the door, My mother in law Zena who sat in the room with Matthew and I and watched us sleep and made sure the blanket never fell off me while I napped. Brandy who dropped everything and drove down to visit. I received so much love and prayers that I don't think I could be any more loved. I'am one lucky girl.
 Goodnight my friends
 

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