166 days ago I entered the 10th floor ICU at Hartford Hospital a place that I soon dubbed the penthouse. Shortly after my arrival here I decided to begin a blog just for shits and giggles. I didn’t know how much I would stick with the blog or ever guess I was a good enough writer to get the accolades such as top overall blog in CT. Tonight I realized that people did read it quite a bit as it has been viewed over 20,000 times meaning that many of you through the use of my blog had been keeping up with me every step of the way. Today on day 166 though I get to write the blog post I have wanted to write since I started this page. That is right everyone today I will go down to the O.R. and will be leaving the penthouse behind, because as fate should have it, today is the day that everything came together for me to receive my oh so special gift: my new heart. I can’t really put into words what a wait like this has been like. It is definitely something you have to live through to see how taxing it is on, not so much the body, but on the mind. News like the news I was given today hits you like a ton of bricks. My situation went a little something like this: My nurse Sue walks in and says “Colby I just got off the phone with the doctor and he says he has found the perfect heart for you.” Naturally my first reaction was disbelief. I had been here for so long it never felt like this day would actually come. I asked if she was joking. It was obvious she was not and Sue does not joke, she is a straight shooter. Next came the waterfall that overcame my bottom eyelids and just let loose. So long have I waited to hear those words. After that shock and some continued crying and hugging of nursing staff I had to call my mother. I spoke two words to her: “It’s time!” That was all she needed to hear, she knew exactly what I meant. She composed herself better than expected and quickly her and my father were on their way. Next was the call to the girlfriend. Her reaction was one also to be expected of pure joy and I believe the first happy tears she has ever had in her life. It seems she knows finally we may be headed towards relationship normalcy for once. After the next calls to the sisters to let them know the deal and to say come visit I sat alone. This is when the feeling I had expected hit me. Numbness. Too many emotions at once just completely numbed the senses. I was elated, scared, sad and who knows what else all at the same time. I was able to sit and think about what this meant for me. Running, hiking, going back to school, headed towards one day being a doctor, but I would be lying if I didn’t say there were scarier thoughts that crept in. I could not sit there and not think that this meant soon my heart would be taken from me. My chest sawed open and my heart cut out to be replaced by some stranger’s. The idea left an eerie feel floating in my room. That however needed to be pushed aside. This is a scenario I have waited for since September 23, 2010 when I was first listed for transplant. It was the happiness that needed to win out and as the next few hours went on it sure did. I was excited and ready to go. If I was on a podium I would give Tim Tebow a run for his money saying how excited I am. Now I find myself writing this at 3 in the morning. When I post this I will be sure I am getting the transplant but at this moment I cannot help but worry. I have been here far too long and seen things go wrong and people’s hopes get crushed when they thought it was their time. I do not want to live through that scenario. I could sleep now but am unable to, not because I am too anxious but because I am too scared. The fear I feel now is not because of the insane surgery I am about to deal with but because I don’t want to fall asleep and then wake up and be told bad news like I encountered last time I almost got a heart. Lastly what came to mind during this rush of thoughts and emotions was the dear john doe letter I wrote on this blog to my would be donor. Again I still don’t know the donor but I know they must be relatively young to be a perfect match for me so I can’t help the sadness that hits me with the thought of him or her losing their life. I can only imagine if their mother is anything like mine what horror must be hitting her right now. I keep thinking back to my promise in that letter and how badly I want to fulfill it and that is making the donor and their loved ones proud to see that heart went to someone (me) who will make them happy to know my life was worth saving with what I accomplished in this life. At this point I know it is in my best interest to rest. When you read this I will be headed to surgery and I can’t imagine the new emotions that will hit me then as well. I thank you all for the continued support and look forward to my first post with a new heart.