Save Me, San Fransisco


Mackenzie Madsen - Draper Wedding
I’ve had a million different thoughts these last few weeks. Thoughts made up of a combination of stress mixed with blissful ignorance, a hint of planning and just the right amount of fear to throw me into full-blown meltdowns at least twice a week.

These are not the Disney princess/throw-yourself-onto-the-bed-and-gently-weep kind of meltdowns.

These are the kind of meltdowns where your eyes start to sting from crying so you wipe your eyes with your fingertips, but forget you were wearing mascara and so you’re left with this smeared sticky stain on your cheeks and fingertips that consist of tears, sweat and black mascara remnants and then you wipe your nose cuz it’s running full force now (which when you have oxygen tubes makes it all the more messy and complicated). So you now have snot, sweat, tears and black mascara on your eyes, cheeks, nose, and fingertips along with the oxygen cannula, now hanging from one ear. It’s the purest form of the ugly crying art form.

And here we are, six days away from our move to San Francisco and everything has fallen into place.

In an effort to downsize and simplify, Henry and I spent the last week sorting through everything we own – still in the boxes from our last move – and I am proud to say we cleaned up shop! I alone donated 7 (yes 7) black garbage bags filled to the brim with clothes. Wha?! Goodbye magenta corduroy overalls!

We plan on taking suitcases of only the essentials with us to San Francisco, leaving otherwise unnecessary items behind. This means different things to Henry and I. For me, the essentials include a box of journals from grades K-12, the last 4 DIY projects that I’ve started but haven’t quite finished and 2 years worth of Oprah magazines. For Henry this includes 14 tennis racquets, his chambray shirt collection and all the lotions and oils he’s tested in the last 12 months to get his “ashy brown skin” to cooperate. We may need a third party intervention.

I don’t know why I spend so much energy worrying about logistics and details and everything else there is to worry about. The Lord always comes through. ALWAYS! I literally can’t take any credit here. Yeah, we’ve done our part and studied and searched and prayed, but without the kindness of others and without the Lord, where would we be? To say it’s been a humbling experience is almost laughable, because the words just don’t do it justice. People are so incredibly kind and we are so incredibly blessed. It’s the same lessons over and over again. “Mackenzie, trust. Mackenzie, surrender. Mackenzie, I am in control. Have faith, Mackenzie. It’ll all work out. Stop whining, Mackenzie. Breathe! Look outside yourself. Be still. I love you.” Over and over again and over again. “One step enough…,” right?

Worrying aside, I’m actually so stinkin’ excited for this adventure ahead. I mean, I love Utah and I really, really love my family. And if I could fit both in my pocket and take them with me, I would! Change is hard and moving is stressful and marriage takes work and lung disease is scary, but it’s all part of my journey, and (insert British accent here) if I can be so bold, OUR journey. San Francisco represents the beginning of this next chapter in Henry’s life and mine.

I have appointments set up for the week we arrive with the Lung Transplant team at UCSF. They’ll be updating a few tests and then I’ll finally be put on the list shortly after. Motion. Movement. Momentum.

Then we wait.

It could be a week, it could be months, and it could be longer when that fateful phone call jolts us into our new reality. But until then, we get to explore the city on 43 hills, whose oldest neighbors and friends are the giant trees and we get to fall in love all over again in a city that I’ve heard we’ll eventually leave our hearts (and one pair of lungs).

Or maybe we’ll never leave. Wink.Wink.

“When I come home to you, San Francisco

Your golden sun will shine for me.”

4 Responses
  • Susan Berger
    June 20, 2016

    Henry and Mac, we are only five hours away. Anything you need. Anything.

  • Tricia
    June 22, 2016

    I can’t wait!

  • Ashley Girvan
    June 28, 2016

    You are an inspiration. I just shared your blog with a dear friend who’s husband has a terminal autoimmune disease. She is one of the most faithful, loving and charitable people I know but is currently maxed to the limits she has previously known, I am confident she will find comfort in your words and Henry’s.

  • Susie Hyde
    July 13, 2016

    I just started reading your blogs and have totally connected to everything you and Henry are going through! I had posted that my husband had a double lung transplant 4 months ago! Our first call came only 3 weeks after getting on the list at 3:45 in the morning. We live 2-3 hours from SF! 1st call was a “dry run”. There was only one good lung and Dr. Kukreja felt my husband was good enough to wait for two lungs. Next call came a few months later and we were told he was a backup. That didn’t seem too promising, but, of course, we were on our way. Unfortunately, no one got those lungs as they were not good enough to be transplanted. 3rd times the charm and on March 10th at 7 pm we got “the call!” My husband was not the backup but told he was the primary. At 3:30 am, he was wheeled into surgery! Life is definitely a new normal, but so much better! We are living again! And, you will, too! You probably are aware that UCSF has a Transplant Support Group once a month, and the one this month is next Thursday on the 21st. My husband and I will be attending and would love to meet you and your husband. The meeting is very informative and definitely worth going. Sure hope to see you there, it’s from 1 – 2:30 on the 10th floor in the conference room. Susie & Larry (we are also LDS!)

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