There is this romanticized concept of getting "out of the woods." We wander, we work, we try for a time and then we will be rewarded for our efforts by the work ending. I thought a lung transplant was kind of like this. Once I got past the first year, I had to take my meds and avoid crowded spaces. If I did it was going to be smooth sailing -- at least for a while. But life just isn't that simple. Just because we do one thing well or get through one challenging situation doesn't mean that we're off the hook. It doesn't mean that the work ends or that there won't be other challenges.

What I have found is how much lighter those challenges are made by having friends and family who support you through the rough spots. Y and I came to Cleveland expecting a clean bill of health and were given something else. I was angry. I feel like I've done my time and I was looking forward to doing some more pleasant time in the coming years. But even pleasant years have challenges -- be they dirty diapers, difficult husbands, challenging social lives, etc. We all have a cross to bear and this whole health thing seems to be mine.

While I might not be "out of the woods," there is more beauty and love inside of them than I could have ever anticipated.