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…


2 Responses to “Closer, so I Am Starting to Eat Some More Bananas…”


  1. 1 Jim & Louise
    June 14, 2010 at 5:38 am

    Dan…You are amazing! You feel so well, you look so well….you do not one thing different than you have ever done. Your attitude it so positive, yet inside your body a storm was raging. The enire Y90 process you went through obviously was just what your research data said it would be and your life has continued as it always has. Blessed, you are! You have terrific daughters and sons-in law, an adorable grand-daughter and a new grand-son on his way, and, of course, Nancy. Who could have known from all those Men’s room walls where she left her name & number, you would have picked her? Turned out OK for you!

    Possibly flying high in the sky as you do, it brought you to heaven right here! With all that going for you, your operation shall be nothing less than PERFECT!

    The 4th of July also would be perfect for Your operation. Right there with the Rockets Red Glare!

    All our love and prayers are with you…(even a sinner’s prayers are heard.)

    Jim & Louise

    • 2 flyguy33
      June 14, 2010 at 12:14 pm

      Well, it wasn’t that long ago when we were having dinner with you and Jim in the South African bush. Jim said, “by the way, I think I am having a heart attack” There was one Beech Baron left at the airport and it belonged to that Doctor. We flew to Bloomfontein in the Baron and that day he had his triple bypass. I remember the first day out of surgery how bad he looked. The second day he looked fine and if I remember correctly Jim was bribing the Docs with a new GPS installation at a very reduced rate for his Baron. So, the lesson I learned was (a) Bribing works (b) South Africa is a great place for heart surgery (the total bill was about $25,000, right?) (c) day one I will be pretty bad, and (d) day two I will be playing “lets make a deal” with the Docs. All I need now is a good Pizza and a day in bed with a good Doc (Nancy the naughty nurse)


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