What I've learned from CANCER.

       {Post Transplant lymphoproliferative Disorder {PTLD} is the cancer I dealt with shortly after my first lung transplant in 2008. A type of lymphoma that was growing in my new, beautiful, donated lungs. It brought on new emotions I've never experienced before, a dreadful uncertainty amongst my doctors about its treatment and cure, and a dire need for my body to change from the inside out to be rid of its effects. It changed me. It changed those around me. And this is what I learned from my experience and hope to share with others to encourage them that they are not alone.}

You don't ever imagine on this special day, going from this...

To this....

And everything else leading up to that. 

Lately, I've noticed a lot of my friends are dealing with cancer. I don't know if it's because of my age, I am getting close to my mid-thirties and so are my friends. Therefore, cancer is more prevalent come mid-age. If it's more of an epidemic in this country and world of ours. Or, if I am just more aware of it, since I've been through it myself. Whatever the case, cancer is tough. It's one of the greatest storms one can face during your lifetime. And if you allow it, it is life changing. With the right attitude, it is life changing for the good.

               A picture taken the month before I was diagnosed with my cancer. 

Here are 10 things I have learned from living with cancer back in 2008. Because I know so many people affected by it now, I'd like to share those things in hopes of encouraging and inspiring others

1. Physically: It is one of the most difficult things I have endured physically. Maybe even more so than the two double lung transplants I have experienced. It touches every part of your body and especially when experiencing chemotherapy, it can wreck havoc on all systems. Yet, it showed me just how much my body can truely endure. What I am capable of surviving. How tough my petite 5'7, 100 pound figure was. I believe it was by God's grace and a will to live that I survived. Especially after almost dying immediately after my 5th treatment of chemotherapy that took me straight to the ER and ICU. The reactions of the doctors showed me I was not in good shape. I was bald, anemic, malnurished, weak and with little energy and my heart was beginning to fail. You could see the pity on everyone's eyes as I was wheeled into the ICU. But God allowed me to get through all of that and survive the odds against me at that time. I still had a will to live, and I was willing to give it my all. God protected me through it all. Going through chemotherapy, radiation, surgery will tear down your self esteem while living through it all. But in the end, as you look back, you will be proud of what you endured and your esteem will build back up. Perhaps to an all time high. To show your great strength & resilience; you inspire others do do the same. During their current battles, whatever they may be. 

2. Emotionally: I'll be honest. I never dealt with depression leading up to my cancer at age 26. I lived with a terminal disease of cystic fibrosis, but it never negatively affected my mood. I typically had a view that life was beautiful and there were good things in store for me. But after surviving the 50% chance of my daughter's emergency birth, living four months on a ventilator with cystic fibrosis lungs, and then surviving a double lung transplant, my life and view changed the day I was given the diagnosis of cancer. I thought for sure my life was not meant to be and I fell immediately into a depression. I thought to myself, God you got me through this all. I'm a new mom to a beautiful preemie girl  & for the first time I can breathe fully and am mucous free. And now You're ready for my demise. All of my life I thought I would die as a result from my cystic fibrosis or transplant complications/rejection in the years to come. But not even a month after my transplant, You want my life to end from cancer. I think most would agree they may naturally respond with depression as well. I didn't handle this as well as I should, now that I look back. The key to being free from depression for me was talking it out. Being able to freely discuss my feelings and emotions, and my thoughts whether positive or negative. Also being able to freely talk with your closest family and friends. Expressing how you feel through journaling, taking pictures, recording the events can be helpful. For me personally, prayer held me together. If you're an artist, an outlet may be playing music or painting. If you enjoy reading, it may be reading inspirational stories and biographies of those who have fought battles before you. If your an athlete, then running or lifting. Look for the best personal and healthy outlet to prevent you from slipping into the easy and natural reaction of feeling sad, blue, and depressed.

3. Spiritually: God is the Creator of life and controls the end of our lives. Even if you have a distant relationship with our Creator, cancer has a way of bringing you back close to Him. It reminds you how precious life truely is. How in the end, money and material things don't matter. Love and relationships do. And our relationship with a God who loves us is the most important. It is ultimately up to Him how things turn out. My prayer life grew during my time of cancer. I was constantly aware of my need & dependence on God. Not my doctors or even my family could give me the peace that He can give. It was also a time I was really sensitive to His Spirit. Not only that but the true meaning of life, it's significance to all, the hurts that everyone experiences, and the hope we have in a relationship with God. Just don't spend time alone in bed. Get out, if the weather is nice have some quiet and peace outside. Or at a favorite park, lake, mountain peak, beach, or backyard. Enjoying the creation God has made will do wonders for your body, soul, spirit & mind. My spiritual relationship also connected me to my local church which was beyond the support I could have ever needed or asked for. Having a close body of like minded people who loved and cared for my every need was an enormous support when I needed it the most. If you're not already involved in a local church, I highly recommend it. The body of believers is God's hand and feet at work. I would not be here today if it wasn't the prayers of God's people and their active support in keeping my spirits up and helping out our family during our greatest time of need.

4. Family: Cancer builds relationships closer then ever. You may have a parent, spouse or child that is not very verbal, but during a time like this you'll hear just how important you are and how loved you are. Not very affectionate? It somehow naturally comes out during a time of suffering. Tough times have a way of bringing couples closer together. Parents and children bond tighter. And broken relationships restored. The love and support from my family during my walk with cancer was amazing. Especially from my husband. His role as caregiver showed me such an unselfishness & unconditional love. A true reflection of God and His love for me. My immediate family of parents and siblings also went above and beyond to show how much they cared for my well being. The connection and bond I shared with my family during this time is unique in my life. I'll always cherish it dearly. I didn't have older children at the time but later with my second transplant. Through that experience I have seen how God protects our children in the midst of our suffering. During a time when we were not sure how much longer I had, our children stayed with relatives. It was a very hard time and I was very sick. My children were 5 & 7. The other day I asked my son about the most difficult and scary times in his life. He never mentioned the time my life was on hold. When we were unsure of the outcome. I prayed and asked others to pray continually of their protection. Sure my kids experienced anxiety, fear, nightmares during the time. But now when we speak about it, I can see all in all how they were protected. Don't get me wrong, kids will be affected by cancer. The older they are, the more impact it may have on their lives. Hopefully, the attributes of being more tender hearted, compassionate and caring than their typical teen peers will be a result of the cancer. I have seen that with my nieces and nephews who watched their dad fight his cancer. If you look for positive outlets, role models and supports for them, and pray for their protection then I believe wholeheartedly they will get through just fine.

5. Friends: People come together during a time of crisis. By means of fundraisers, meals, cards, visits. Friends have a way of stepping up to the plate. They want to show you their love by helping. It's an incredible reminder of those around you who truely love you and care. Who wouldn't want that? It's easy to do during a time like this. But I highly recommend not pushing others away. Text and call people back. Have people over and go out when you can if you're physically up for it. Embrace the love others have to offer you. My strongest relationships today are reflected by how much my friends involved themselves during my battles. Whether with cancer, my transplants, or sicknesses in between. My closest girl friends {& you know who you are} will forever be loved and cherished because of the impact they had on my life during this time.

6. Support groups: Cancer has a way of bringing others closer to you, you normally wouldn't naturally attach yourself to. It's amazing how much we learn from others, bond with others, and give hope to others all because of a shared negative life experience. Support groups have been a huge source of encouragement in my life. Attending a support group while going through both transplants with other lung diseased compadres, being a part of a CF community online that can teach & learn better from one another, and watching other preemies grow that have lived most of their first couple of months in the NICU have all been so encouraging to me. Seek those either in your community or online that have been there. Either they have experienced cancer themselves or they have exactly the same type you have. And they are out there, my post transplant lymphoproliferative disease is in approximately 10% of the transplant population and I found a few of them online! I know one personally. It's so refreshing to know you're not the only one out there. For me, my brother in law and I experienced lymphoma and chemotherapy together right around the same time. We fought the battle together and both won! The majority of other persons with your type of cancer may not be online but many others who deal with cancer will. I believe we are all connected to those we seek and find for a reason. All of those I have connected to were a huge source of encouragement to help me make it through. And now, in turn I support others going through similiar battles.

7. Community: Cancer can do wonders to a community. It encourages and builds healthy lifestyles, it shows how caring, giving, loving and compassionate our neighbors truely are. We are a healthy nation because of cancer. Our communities are healthier. Think about all of the runs out there to fight cancer and raise funds. Research being done on behalf of those living with cancers that teach us to eat more healthy, exercise, avoid bad habits like smoking. 
 All of the relay for life local businesses that come together for a great cause. It prompts and urges us as a community to be selfless, to give up of our most precious belongings. Our time and money. It gets us moving and using our minds about how we can think outside of the box to help others in need. Children will do the most priceless selfless acts, when they see a person in need. It inspires our communities to give and show love. My community has quite a reputation. I live in a small town in the Outer Banks populated by approximately 7,000 persons. But even at Duke in Durham, North Carolina, doctors and nurses have heard of our small town and it's reputation for being a close knit, loving, giving and caring community. We've got heart here in the Outer Banks. I just love that!

8. Change: Cancer and its treatments have a way of changing us. From changing every bad and damaging cell into a new and cancer free one. Changing your unhealthy habits of what you eat, how you exercise, what risky behaviors you may do on a daily basis like smoking or sugar intake. I'm speaking to the choir here, but poor health has a way of changing us. Cancer has a way of changing us. Whether we inherited our likelihood of contracting it or it came incidentally because of virus' we have been exposed to, let it change us for the good. Some of us need that wake up call. Let the changes begin now. Your body will thank you. Your spouse & children will thank you. You'll hopefully live a longer, more healthy lifestyle because of it. Let your mind, soul and spirit appreciate life like it's never done before.

9. Give Thanks: I have learned after living 32 years with cystic fibrosis, two transplants, and experiencing cancer that the best turn around for a frown and a pity party is simply thankfulness. Having a grateful heart for the things we do have: life, freedoms, family, and love can help adjust any attitude wanting to feel sorry for itself or just give up. Sometimes we need cheerleaders to help us in this area, no doubt. But giving thanks and being grateful for others, those especially around you, supporting you, and what God has given us will help us come out in the end with no regrets. No matter what the outcome!

10. Hope and Love: Be hopeful. Hope is a huge component to overcoming any diversity or challenge. "Prepare for the worst but hope for the best." This was the advise of many of my doctors. Dreaming of the future with my family as a healthy, energized, enthusiastic person who overcame this disease is what helped me through many nights I was plagued with anxiety. Anxiety is a natural reaction to stress, especially when it comes to your health. Having dreams and hoping for what may come in the future is an excellent anxiety attacker for anyone. God's got your best interest at mind. Jeremiah 29:11. Hope for the future. Don't be scared or hold back dreaming about your future and talking about it. But also be wise and plan for the future in case something does happen. It's a good eye opener for your whole family to think about planning for your future if either you or your spouse is not here. Otherwise, would we consider doing this? Probably not. Having a will in place, advance directive, donating organs, funeral wishes, burial is all very wise. So plan, but hope for the best outcome possible. 

       Lastly, love. Accept love from others during this time. You may have little to give, but show your love to anyone and everyone around you. And when you have the strength, give back. Give back what you've learned to someone else experiencing cancer. Or just a difficult time. So much of what we learn can be applied to any difficult life change. Whether it be a broken relationship, death, another physical handicap or hardship, job loss, income loss, etc. I fully believe in purpose to our pain. Use what you've learned to benefit the whole of society. It's how every pain should be dealt with, to help others. And if every person did this on planet earth; how much more beautiful our world would be.

      A couple months post chemotherapy, in remission. Hair growing. Love growing. 

         A year in remission. Our Christmas card 2009. Being Merry & Bright. 

And please, if you have anything else to add from your own experience. Please share!

Photo credits to: Mary Basnight, Jessica Claire Norwood, and my husband :) 


The Odd Life of the Lovebug Family

Lovebug Family August Happenings...

Little Ladybug is doing fabulous with her cochlear implant. The day her implant was activated was not world changing for her, she even declared the device was, "too loud." But as she has become accustomed to the new & different sounds she is more aware of her surroundings. She frequently will cup her ear and say, "What's that noise?" Many sounds are new for her, so we explain what they are.  Or she will tell us she hears something. Just the other night, she ran inside to tell me on her nightly walk with Papa, that she heard an owl hooting for the first time. This makes us so excited as parents to see her new discoveries and learn more about the world around her. Her first mapping session at CASTLE will be next week.

my Sisters!!!
Mrs. Ladybug has been having a great couple of weeks. Since my Campath treatment & last Duke appointment, I have been feeling on the upswing. I have also had lots of quality time with my extended family recently which is some of the best medicine for my soul. I am still in the process of the transplant evaluation. Once I complete it, the doctors will have a better idea of listing time. Right now my goals are to work on strength training and weight. I've lost alot of weight recently and am back to my pre-tx cf malnutrition weight status. My doctors want me to get a feeding tube to help fatten me up. I've had two feeding tubes in my past and although I am really not looking forward to the procedure or sporting around a smelly, uncomfortable, long tube that connects to my innards, I know it's whats best right now.

FosterBug is still with us and is doing well. We are praying that long term plans to be with us will be in FB's future. We don't know how it will all pan out, but we know if it's in God's plan, things will come together. Mr. & Mrs. L saw the movie, The Odd Life of Timothy Green. I really enjoyed the movie and cried throughout it. I could really relate to so much of the story line. I think this is a must see for all parents, but especially for those who have adopted and fostered. This movie reminds me of just how thankful I am for fosterbug and the impact FB has had on our lives. It hasn't always been easy, but so worth the while. The last several lines of the movie resonated with my heart so much. I was basically crying like a baby by the last scene. Please take your family to see this film!

Our friends Jesse & Whitney at the Surfin' Spoon
  I have been beyond encouraged by the out pour of love, generosity, prayers, and thoughts of others. We have had two fundraisers to try and raise Duke's recommended $25,000 goal for transplant expenses and have raised between $6-7,000. : ) Our community is beyond wonderful and I am very thankful for everyone involved. Especially to Milepost 13, South Beach Grille, Surfin' Spoon, & friends and family at Nags Head Church.

Mr. Lovebug has been very busy this summer. When he is not working at NHC as a worship leader, he has been working nights taking pictures for his business, Nathan Lawrenson Photography. To help with our family's growing medical expenses. On most of his days off this summer, he has been driving Gwyneth and I to our appointments at Duke & UNC. He is a man I deeply love and cherish. Mr. Lovebug started off his love of photography, not of personal portraits but of the OBX scenery. I've included a recent picture he has taken at one of his favorite locations, the pier.

“Because there's nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it's sent away.” -Sarah Kay

Definitions for italicized words:
Cochlear Implant: "A cochlear implant consists of an internal and external component. The internal component is surgically inserted under the skin behind the ear, and a narrow wire is threaded into the inner ear. The external component, which looks somewhat like a behind-the-ear hearing aid, is connected to the internal one through the skin via an external magnetic disk.
Incoming sounds are converted to electrical currents and directed to a number of contact points on the internal wire. This operation creates an electrical field which directly stimulates the auditory nerve, thus bypassing the defective inner ear. Unlike hearing aids, cochlear implants convert sound waves to electrical impulses and transmit them to the inner ear, providing people with the ability to hear sounds and potentially better understand speech without reading lips." -hearingloss.org
Mapping: programming a cochlear implant to the specifications and needs of its user.


Faith, Hope, & Love

Sometimes being optimistic is easier said then done. These past few months have not been easy for our family. When I contracted the RSV this winter, we were told of the doctor's concerns that this could lead to rejection. Rejection, something that doctors are continuing to learn about and the treatment is not quite down to a predictable science. We were praying and hoping for the best. Throughout the course of the winter and spring I had up's and down's, many trips to Duke and back, and continual testing.

Despite this, my health seemed to be in a good enough state that we were able to continue with foster care. I have felt passionate about foster care. Why do we do it? Well, for many reasons. Because we both love children. We wanted to expand our family and since having a lung transplant didn't allow me to bring another child into this world, why not take care of a child in need. I too, was a foster child before I was adopted and have always considered being a foster parent myself. Our family also believes our role in this world is to care and love for the child that has no family. Being involved in our local foster care system has been such a blessing to our family. We love to share our stories of the two children that have been under our care.

Just this past month, my health has seem to go downhill quickly. Mainly my breathing and the symptoms of rejection that constrict me. This has effected my entire family. This past week has been the hardest. In so many ways.

But I hold onto my faith, God's promises, hope, and optimism. No matter how difficult it may seem.

God has shown me throughout the course of the day here at Duke, how I can be hopeful. He has shown me this through the course of my life.  I have been hearing good news throughout the entire day in relation to my health. I also am continually amazed by the prayers that are being offered on our family's behalf. It is very encouraging! The doctor's here have some very big decisions to agree on that could make/break my health. But I have to constantly be aware of who is really in control. My Master. These are the encouraging words Moses delivered to the Israelites before they entered the Promised Land, and which I hold onto today. "But Adonai — it is he who will go ahead of you. He will be with you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you, so don’t be afraid or downhearted."

There will be two important meetings taking place on Tuesday, that we ask you to be in prayer about. One is regarding our foster child and their placement during this time of uncertainty. Our family was in the process of considering adoption, so this is heartbreaking for us to say goodbye. The second is a meeting of Duke's transplant team to make a treatment plan for my health. My case is complicating, which makes the decisions for the doctors a bit more difficult. There will be about 10 doctors discussing the case and plan of treatment.

There are so many uncertainties for us at this time. But ultimately, we will have faith  that God has our foster child, our family, and my health's best interest at mind. We will have hope of His plan for us in the grand scheme of things. And that we will continue to love others as God pours His love into our hearts.

Romans 5:2-5

 Through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.


Good bye RSV, Hello Rejection: Steady My Heart

This month and a half has been a bit tough. The after effects of the RSV have included pneumonia, lung infection and concerns of rejection and my PTLD returning. Physically and emotionally, this month has been very hard and exhausting.

My doctors have been most recently concerned with some spots that have managed to pop back up in my lungs. I had xrays, cat scans, pet scans, bronchoscopies and blood work this past month, all of which came back inconclusive as to if the spots were infection or cancerous. My doctors then ordered a second bronchoscopy to biopsy my lung lymph nodes and suspicious spots to get some more clear cut answers. I was very relived to find out, my PTLD was not the culprit, and that I did not need to be concerned about malignancies in my lungs. I was informed, that for the first time in my donated lungs almost 4 year life span, I have grade 2 acute and chronic rejection.

My doctors have been concerned all along with this RSV infection, since it put me at a much higher risk for developing rejection. I am thankful I am at a transplant center that is aggressive with it's care and was able to diagnose it early on.

Because of the rejection and infection. I am being treated with a strong IV antibiotic for the infection and another very powerful IV steroid and added immunosuppressive drugs for the rejection. It's going to be an interesting balance of reversing the rejection and controlling the infection. Added immunosuppressive drugs will increase the risk of cancer, which for me and my history, makes the balancing act a little more complicated. But I know at I am in great hands at Duke. And I can be assured that I am in the palm of my God's hands, which give me the peace I need to get through this obstacle.

These next several days and weeks will be tough on my body physically and emotionally. But I need to remember, despite these hardships, there is a reason, a purpose to it all. I also need to constantly remember about how much support we have received during all of this. My family, friends, and complete strangers have reached out to our family. Praying for us, sending us encouraging notes, making meals, watching our children and just loving on us. For that, I am so grateful for and undeserving of. Thank you.

Even it hurts
Even when it's hard
Even when it all just falls apart
I will run to You
Cause I know that You are
Lover of my soul
Healer of my scars.


Ladies' Home Journal

I was excited to see the latest issue of Ladies' Home Journal feature this story in their March issue.

I had the privilege of meeting both Editorial Assistant Amelia Harnish and Health Director Julie Bain during a girlfriends trip to NY City this winter. Amelia gave my friends, Rebecca and Lesle, and I a tour of Ladies' Home Journal.

David Molar and his wife Tammy did the photo shoot for the magazine. They are such a great couple with such amazing talent. If you ever have the chance to see David's work, check it out.

One of my favorite photo of the day was of our family.

It's ironic that the article came out the day I was being released from the hospital. This is the first time in a long time that I have felt very sick. I am still recovering from the RSV, pneumonia, and infection. It has been a harder road then I expected. I do feel so thankful for all of the prayers, letters, meals, gifts and well wishes from everyone to keep my spirits up. I am trying to reflect on present blessings and all of the amazing things God has done in my life, to bring me to where I am this day.


Happy Birthday to my sisters!!

RSV: Respitory syncytial virus

RSV: Respitory Syncytial Virus

If you are wondering, like me about the S, in rSv. Syncytial means: multinucleate mass of cytoplasm that is not seperated into cells.

RSV is a common virus with cold like symptoms. Not usually dangerous for the typical child and adult. Their immune systems usually take care of it in a few weeks. But it can be dangerous for children who are at risk like those born premature, those with lung problems, and the immunocompromised.

Here are some factiods about RSV:
  • It's the most common cause of lower respiratory tract infections in children worldwide.
  • Virtually all children contract it by the age of three.
  • It's the leading cause of pneumonia and bronchiolitis in infants.
  • It may play a major role in the pathogenesis of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
  • It causes significant morbidity and mortality in immunodeficient patients.
  • It spreads easily from person to person through contact with respiratory secretions.
Ladybug was given shots to prevent RSV for her first two years of life. This is a common practice for premature infants, since during the first 24 months of life, RSV can lead quickly to bigger issues. Ladybug girl presented symptoms of a cough and fever a few weeks ago and later on a runny nose. It is her first time with RSV and as a child with chronic lung disease of prematurity, makes me a little nervous as her mama. We have been treating her with tylenol, xoponex and pulmicort, and some cough medicine at night to help her sleep. It has taken her some time, but she seems to be at the end of this yucky virus. She used to loathe her fish face mask, but now as long as we keep her entertained, is great about holding it herself and doing her breathing treatments. We think having PFT tests as an infant, which forced her to cry through a mask, began this fear and traumatized her.

As a lung transplant patient who is immunocompromised, this virus has been the first that has given me a high febrile temperature and has given me trouble with breathing since I was transplanted. Whenever you have high temps or dropping PFT levels, it is a sign of infection and time to call your transplant coordinator. I called mine, and they told me to head over to the local ER for tests. I tested positive for RSV, was given fluids and a prescription for Ribavirin and sent home.

Now this is the part that makes me a little upset. Of all my ye
ars of life, never have I been denied a drug by my insurance company, except for a vitamin which I can handle. My insurance denied the oral Ribavirin because, "coverage is provided for use in combination with an alpha interferon for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C. " The drug seems to be mainly used for this purpose, but if you read further, it is also used for respiratory purposes. So, instead of purchasing a simple drug on my behalf I was put inpatient to be treated. Yes, insurance company: deny me a drug so you can instead pay for a 5 day hospital stay, that will save you some money! : )

In the end, it is a good thing the insurance company denied me I suppose, since I do have RSV related pneumonia. Plus, having RSV puts one at risk for BOS, which I definitely want to stay away from! All things happen for a reason, right?

Antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infections and viruses are generally a little trickier which is why they say, "there is no cure for the common cold." My RSV is be treated by inhaling an antiviral teratogenic and mutagenic drug called Ribavirin. I inhale it with this mask which is attached to a small particle aerosol generator and am covered in this lovely plastic tent. Duke, if one of the few hospital centers who performs this aerosol treatment. I get to inhale this breathing treatment at night for 6 hours. I will complete this treatment after 5 days. My nose blocks up with the chalky crystals every 45 minutes. As soon as the six hours is up, I take off my mask and fall into a deep, restful sleep.

I miss my family very much during this 5 day hospital stay.

I am using skpe for the first time and have enjoyed skyping with Mr. L, my family, and especially our children. The super bowl was last night, but skyping with my daughter was the highlight of my evening! I miss my Ladybug kisses very much. I miss our Fosterbug's hugs. And I miss Mr. Lovebug who has been amazing through this all and can't wait to get home to the Lovebugs 3.

The nurses, doctors, and staff at Duke continue to make me thankful for the blessings of incredible care at this top notch facility. As hard as it is to be away from my family, the nurses here are like family and make my stay feel like, home away from home.

I also have received letters at Duke from family, friends and strangers letting me know they are praying and thinking of me and sending love and encouragement my way. These kind words touched my heart and soul. If you sent one of those letters, I can't tell you how much that impacted me. Thank you.

A big game is coming up this Wednesday here in Durham, NC. UNC vs. DUKE. I will depart the hospital that day with this cheer: