Archive for June, 2010

23
Jun
10

Here’s the latest!


I suppose the guy who has a heart attack on the CTA could say “I wish I could have had a warning and been prepared”. For me, I know what is to happen, I am prepared, still not scared – and just waiting for the magic call. I am now #1 for the entire city, so the only wait is the right size liver that is Blood type A+. Having been in the aviation business all my life, it is no different when you know that the aircraft you own will be the next one to sell. Problem is, one doesn’t know exactly when the next sale will take place. All of this is very simular. As of today I now have my extra point – so my MELD score is now 24. Stay tuned for more!

16
Jun
10

Practice


This is my first post by email, I am posting only to test to make sure we are ready for the big day(s) ahead. Laurie and I can blog for dad while he’s recovering. Well, until he can take over again…He will likely ask for his iPad and phone fairly quickly, if i know him 🙂

Sent from my iPad

14
Jun
10

YIKES – Really close now (#2) – Stay tuned.


Well, I contacted Katie, my coordinator at NMH this morning. This has become my Monday morning ritual, although she says it is more often. It must have been a busy weekend in Chicago with the Blackhawks win and all. She informed me I am #2 for the City and # 1 at NMH. SO – things are imminent so I had better wear my clean underwear, brush my teeth, floss, shave. Oh yeah, last week Nancy and I were driving into the city on the Eden’s where there was a backup. It was an accident. 3 motorcycles, 2 riders, 2 parked motorcycles, one mangled motorcycle, and an ambulance pulling away. It all gave Nancy and I an eerie feeling. I am still cool about it but those around me are now nervous. I am either dumb or confident. I’ll choose confident, and informed, and not real smart. Stay tuned for further developments.

13
Jun
10

Closer, so I Am Starting to Eat Some More Bananas…


I don’t think there is any magic to any of this and the math is starting to come together. I am now #1 at NMH and #5 for the city. That means for my blood type, there are four people ahead of me  in the city of Chicago. Assuming a healthy liver that means size is the only other criteria. So at one extreme, the first four people are petite women that would make me number one for a guy like me. However, the relevancy of all of this is diminished on June 24. That is the day I get an extra point on the MELD score (not three points as I originally thought) which puts me number one for both the hospital and the city. The Oracle from Omaha once said to only look at the numbers because the numbers don’t lie. I’ve held to that “Buffetism” and there is no difference now. Both bad and good weather seems to add to the donor availability. That being said, I can’t see this going beyond the Fourth of July.

As you can imagine, I’ve heard from many folks through the blog. My friend Janelle in St. Louis (Nancy calls or my Internet girlfriend)  had a transplant six weeks ago and is doing well. Essentially, she had the same issue as myself with identical timing. For the interim treatment she had RF ablation while I had the Y90  procedure. After her transplant they performed a biopsy section on the old liver and it wasn’t as good as shape as they thought. Some new lesions were forming which it stated progressed would have tossed her off of the transplant list. As you can see timing is paramount to many of these issues.

Another fellow contacted me from Texas. His father, who is in acute liver failure, popped up to  number 45 on the MELD. That puts him number one and will probably have a new liver within a week or so. He appears to be one of those guys who is really sick and will end up feeling better the day after surgery than he did the day before. His family hasn’t had time to research things out but he is in good hands.

And then there is a contact  from Venezuela. This is a young guy, healthy, well-educated, and it previously been in the USA for an internship for his engineering classes. He is back in Venezuela but wants out and seems to be scouring the Internet. The Quid pro quo is to trade part of his liver or kidney if he can only come to America. Putting the legalities aside, his “offer” says a lot on so many different levels.

I keep mentioning that I’ve run across many sick people that are further down the list than myself. Some of these people will die waiting for a liver. This is one of those things I have yet to compartmentalize in my own mind. The MELD score process is complicated and everyone in the USA deals by the same set of rules. The system is set up so the MELD process is reviewed by the “Ministers of MELD” at the appropriate interval. I have heard from several sources that my situation will be handled differently in the future. Several years ago there were really no treatment options to remove an HCC tumor from the liver other than resection. Today there are options to deal with it leaving the donor liver to the really sick people. No question about it–I am blessed with the timing of this whole situation.

So, in the meantime, I am full speed ahead doing what I have always done. I feel fine, have no symptoms, and is a close friend said to me “I’m the best looking sick guy I’ve ever seen”. I suppose that’s because I’m not sick but I have been assured I won’t be feeling very well after the surgery. Surprisingly I have no fear or anticipation of any of this. I was more scared of my only other major surgery–a vasectomy and it really hurt. Nancy has her ditch bag  ready and I have all my necessities which includes my iPhone, iPad, all-important communication devices, camera and clean underwear.

Stay tuned. I have been cleared to FL330 and just passing through FL310…