Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Birthday Wish

A fire’s been started that must press the keys to life. A storms been brewing and now Miss M has sent me a news post. A terrible twist of fate. A father of 3 young boys lost his life saving his brother in a live donor liver transplant surgery this August. Now the new liver is rejecting. It’s 1am and it’s my 36th birthday. I should be sleeping but it’s going to have to wait till I’ve got this out…. It’s my birthday and I had a live donor transplant 9 months ago. Miss M saved my life just in the nick of time as the blood discontinued its flow through the left side of my heart. I have been reborn. I am wife to my husband who has patiently waited for so long. I am mother to the 3 year old little boy to whom I devote my life. I am slowly resuming the roles and relationships I have missed so dearly. The odds were trying to tip against me but we fought back. I did not fight alone. Thank you. So- there’s cause for a bit of reflection today I guess. Meghan risked her life to save mine- a thought that’s never far from my mind but tonight it seems an even more eerie reality. I cannot imagine the pain the brother left behind must feel. I’m sure I couldn’t endure it. My heart and prayers are with him and all who this story has affected.

Where have I been for the past 3 years? It’s all a faded murky bog of grey except for the brightly colored figure that is my gorgeous Nate. Every second of his life is crystal clear. Despite the fog that surrounds everything else I can remember with astounding clarity the date he ate his first food, took his first steps, said his first words, where we went what we did the things he’s said- everything. It’s as if my mind was hungrily grabbing every moment as the last and locking it forever in my mind. My brain has skilfully edited the details of the horror away from my memory and I am a willing participant in this survival process. I don’t think I could bear to always carry it with me or remember. People tell me stories of things that happen and it sounds like someone else’s life. It is completely unfamiliar. One night I am grateful to have completely blacked out is the night before my surgery. My immediately family gathered for sushi around my hospital bed. We played on the bed for a little while and then it was time to say good-night. I am told Nate climbed on to my lap and we hugged tightly for a long time. I have heard them tell me of the loud sob that seemed to belong to 3 lifetimes of pain that came from the bottom of my soul and escaped out of my lips into the room. My brave son held me tighter, kissed me many times without shedding a tear and left my room silently. He didn’t say a word until he reached the pond in front of the hospital where he asked for a fistful of pennies which he threw “for mama”. I have had many heroes in my life but this little man is one of them.

I am ashamed to hear I was unable to contain my grief while I held him but I can only hope he felt the intensity of my love for him.

I do not want to wait for life to begin any longer but there are toddlers to live, jobs to do, houses to clean, laundry to fold, beds to make and food to cook. In other words you must move your torso to exist. And the great part is that I do exist now. I am NOT ILL ANY MORE!! But the problem is there are days where the pain of joining these severed muscles, tendons nerves leave me feeling attacked by a bear in the front and that large snails have coiled the muscles and entwined with the bones and ribs in my back. I want to eat holes in the walls and chew the pillows it hurts so much. But the pain goes away or is quite tolerable if I rest or do very little. But I can’t wait for myself anymore. Now is when I’m needed. My family is young, my life is young. So am at a standstill here and off to Transplant on Thursday to see what can be done.

As a tribute to Meghan, I want to enclose this piece from the past, just before January last year..... It shows how far we've come. What her sacrifice has meant for me and our family. I love you sweet angel. I'm so sorry Ryan died for his brother Chad doing what you did so selflessly and unwaiveringly for me as he did for him.

“A few weeks ago, my tot was having trouble falling asleep in his little bed. He insisted on sleeping with me in the spare room. I asked him if he was sick and he shook his head vigorously. I knew something was bothering him so I leaned him and kissed his rounded cheek. I reminded him that I’m his mommy and he can tell me anything. He whispered softly, “you are”. I repeated his words and asked him what he meant. He said it again. I repeated my question and snuggled him close to me. He whispered loudly, “You’re sick mama.” He had never said the words out loud before. I wasn’t ready to hear him say it now. Up till that moment I believed that he didn`t really know what was going on. I burst into tears despite my urgent desire to be in control of my emotions. It was his turn now. I couldn’t stop the waterfall steaming down my face. He jumped into my arms and held me silently. I could hear his breathing quickening, almost panting. I quieted and he told me he is so scared. He hears me throwing up. He’s afraid the doctors aren’t going to save me. They are taking too long mama. He wants to fix me with his tools. He loves me so much and he’s afraid that I am going to die. I gasp. I didn’t even know he knew that word. I feel like I have just listened to the confessions of a 15 year old and look at his tiny face and hands to remind myself that he is only 2 years old. What a brave little boy.

I tell him that mama was born with something broken inside of her tummy that needs to be fixed. Mama needs a new part. I tell him I won’t be sick forever. At least I can promise him that. I tell him that there is a special doctor who can fix me. A look of relief washes over his face and he smiles before pronouncing, “I will meet him mama. I want to meet the doctor who is going to fix you.” I can`t imagine the high and mighty Dr. S would be able to look at his little face and deny his request. In fact, our sweet tot has been to the transplant clinic with me only once. It was after his visit that they activated me on the liver transplant list.

I do believe that my son will see me well again. I believe I will dance and work and lift and climb and ride and run like I used to one day. I tell him this and he is happy. I feel like I just had a conversation with a 15 year old. I cannot believe this amazing child came out of my body and is my son. He is truly a living breathing miracle. Thank you.

After being rejected by Toronto and BC once again we were burnt out, done and depleted. We have been living this white knuckle ride as if each day could be my last. We cannot continue like this. I literally got on my hands and knees and begged the BC transplant team to do the surgery. Please set all of us free from this purgatory. No dice. We’ll see you again in January.

I am quite sick now. The disease is literally oozing and popping out of me and I am drowning in its force. I cannot believe that I will be rejected again when I return to the transplant clinic in January. My kidneys are bloated with backflow of blood (shunting) from the spleen. The pressure between the organs has resulted in ginormous varices in my torso which are now protruding from my skin and look like bloated worms after a rainstorm. I simply cannot get the upper hand on my pain or my nausea or my fatigue or the feeling that I have been poisoned. I am losing the memory of wellness now. I watch.....

That's enough of that. I don't feel like that anymore. No oozing and popping, no puking- none of that pergatory nothing. Phew! This is WAY better. Happy BIRTHDAY! All my birthdays from here on out are dedicated to my Angel and friend, Miss M. You know who you are. xox

Love and live,


Kidlet (Michelle) I just felt like honouring the sign off I would have given my dad who always called me Kidlet. I enjoyed that name. Maybe it will be my penname.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Slowing to a Steady Trot

Well... do you recall that froth I was talking about- that chomping at the bit I was doing? Well I chomped a little too zestfully and bit a tad too much off. Now I’ve had to have a nice bite of humble pie and admit I can’t do it all.

It started out all very innocently at the end of September with a family week-end to see Meghan on the Island and my intention to fulfill the Tater Tot’s request to “be a whale” in the swimming pool. This is something I’ve done on numerous occasions in our little local shallow swimming pool. However, in the unfamiliar pool the bottom suddenly dropped out and we were drowning while Jarvie enjoyed a few moments off bubbly heat behind the wall in the hottub. I struggled mightily against the water`s draw to sink us both to the bottom with Nate flailing on my back. I couldn`t reach him because of the feeling of tearing and searing pain across my abdomen as I tried in vain to reach the top of the water and swim to safety. I screamed and sputtered and somehow Jarvie heard us. He reached from the side to rescue the Tot. He expected me to swim to the side now that I was free from the urchin that clung to my back but now I was tired out and in too much pain so I continued to drown and sink. He eventually realized and aided me as well.

After panting and heaving on the side of the pool for several minutes we all looked at eachother and jumped back into the pool. We never discussed it and went out for lunch. I guess the trauma we`ve been through doesn`t make a story like this worth mentioning on the rare occasion we get out for a family vacation.

24 hours later I couldn`t move and we couldn`t figure out why. Now over a month later I am still having a lot of trouble moving. The docs tell me I ripped away the muscle from the incision in my desperate effort to save us from drowning. The pain of just holding myself standing let alone functioning has tired me all out so I`ve had to blow the whistle on my new found function to say that I can`t increase, won`t make my goals and have had to reset my own boundaries.

My doc`s looked down through their eyebrows and told me, tsk tsk – you`re always over estimating your strength``. To that I say, Amen sista! Guilty as charged! But, no seriously, I do so I will calm it down a little. I didn`t die so many times just to kill myself after all. 

Thanks for listening. Much love.

Monday, October 4, 2010

What I'm Up To

It's 1AM and my rooms are filled with the huffs and poofs of dedicated sleepers. It's that solid time of night when I could vacuum, pick up the bed and re-make it without waking up anyone. I'm usually right there beside one of my boys enjoying a solid sleep but tonight is different. I've done all the right things but I just can't get all the way to the sleep part.

Is there anyone out there anymore? Does the return to normality and the navigation of recovery from liver transplant, return to work, raising a three year old and guiding a husband who just watched you die and come back to life back into a normal marriage contain a story? Every day I am awakened by the surprise that humanity brings to life. People's stories, their laughter, their anger and emotion, their fears and even the things that people choose to wear. Everything has a new amusement and hold genuine appreciate for me now. Every day I get to see a friend for lunch or a playdate is a day that might not of been. Although that tone is being replaced by the joy of seeing a person and being to share a normal healthy experience without having the compromise of illness to be in my way. WHAT A MIRACLE!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have returned to work. I am an official inhabitant of cube world now. I am a voice in the egg crate as my dad used to say.

I am eager with excitement the night before a work day. It is an adventure I wasn't sure I'd ever get to have again. Nate's jaw dropped the first time he saw mommy all gussied up for work. He gave me a standing ovation and picked out my pink high heels. They didn't exactly match but who's going to turn down such a participation!?

It has been a humbling and joyous ride back into the saddle where everything is changed and nothing is different. I am being trained by my students and sitting with my future co-workers who do the job I will one day do if I can ever work full hours again. They work with the seriously injured or psychologically impaired. Their days are filled with the need for compassion and endless patience, negotiation, balance and tolerance. I am learning how to change an address in the new computer system. A very simple but just as necessary task!

I hear my friend guide a man through the emotions of returning to his home for the first time without the leg he had before he'd gone to work and lost it in an accident. Will this get to be my job? What will it be like for me to talk to these wounded people? I have felt their pain. I have had to bend my life, be broken and rise again. It is best I heal and wait for now but I can feel the froth forming at the bit and my pace is picking up to a steady canter.... Slow and steady I keep telling myself.

The docs at transplant have got my headaches under control (transplant meds can trigger migraines) so life has gotten a lot better in the last 2 months. My/our liver has accepted it's new home very well (knock wood). My overall score hovers at about a 38 which usually takes years to achieve. I can only believe it is because of the relationship between myself and my donor made the body that much easier to receive the gift. My kidney's are tolerating all the toxic meds that I take every day very well which is one of the hurdles of the first year of transplant. My biggest irritation has been this very deep chest cough that has required 3 rounds of antibiotics and puffers every day. My donor has chronic bronchitis so we don't know but it's a possibility it may have transferred through her blood! Anyway, it's been really difficult to get rid of with all the anti-rejection medications so I sound like I have tuberculosis. Gives me a whole new empathy for my friends with asthma or breathing issues. You have my prayers! So far I have been very lucky to avoid any of the very common pitfalls of the first year especially because I received a very small piece of living donor organ. So, thanks to your prayers and all the extra rituals (you know who you are! :-) I am alive and kicking.. THANK YOU sincerely from the bottom of my heart, soul and toes to my nose.

I am so grateful to Meghan for her sacrifice that allows me to graduate from surviving surgery to watching life and now truly participating in it. I can wake up with my son, stay awake all day and put him to sleep at night, I can slide, swim, work, iron, bake bread and have dinner on the table on time. Sometimes I have to pinch myself. I will never forget what I've been through and the pain of the surgery is still very fresh but that girl I thought I might have lost was only wearing her safety gear. She's very much alive and well. I feel my old self rise as the fatigue, pain and memories sink and fade.

Meghan- I hate that you itch and I don't want your blood cells to be smaller than they should be. It's not fair for you to have aftermath from your heroic gesture. I know we will find the answer. I pray for the resolution every day. I know you say you aren't suffering and we never lie to each other so I take solace in that. Much love and THANK you for my life that wouldn't have been without your brave decision.

oxo to all and I MUST GO TO BED!!!

Bon Nuit!


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Past The 6th Month Mark!

First off, thank you so much to everyone who contributed to help Miss M in her return to work process! She is now back to work full time! She reports lower then normal red blood cells since the surgery but we are hopeful this will change under her doctor's care.

Michelle has been a pretty sick chikadee for over a month now. My initial over-the-phone diagnosis was pneumonia, but a trip to the hospital turned up a negative chest x-ray. Many days of green sputum, blood oxygen levels below 90%, antibiotics, gasping for air, and numerous trips to the ER for breathing treatments...Michelle is finally rounding the bend. The bizarre thing is, Michelle was not really one to develop chest infections, let alone one that makes her lungs seem so chronic. Albeit, she has poor immunity now that she has to take anti-rejection medication daily to protect her new liver, there may just be another piece to this story. According to the transplant team, Michelle was told she is the only BC resident to receive a live-donor liver transplant from a non-relative. I've read stories of people receiving transplants and picking up habits, food cravings, or conditions, etc that the donor experienced. Miss M. has a history of bronchitis. Coincidence? Potentially interesting; how much information and power our little cells carry, even when they are outnumbered in a new body.

Another interesting tidbit, and great news for people who are offered the gift of a live-organ donation from a relative. BC transplant told Michelle they have had no cases of rejection from live-donor transplants when the donor-recipient dyad were relatives. Again, Michelle has been told she is the only person in BC to receive a non-related donation of liver from a living donor. Michelle experienced some complications of rejection in the beginning of her recovery. This is thought to support the idea that living, related donors improve the odds of the transplant being a success. Michelle and Miss M are contributing to science that will potentially lead to a better understanding and further advancements in organ donation!

Phew, that was a lot of medical stuff, I hope I got it right!

Please continue to keep Michelle and Miss M in your prayers. Michelle just passed the 6 month mark post-transplant, she's definitely on her way!


*Keep your eye out for Michelle and Miss M in a future Reader's Digest! I will let you know when it's available!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Making It "Work"

Michelle is doing pretty great! Starting back to work at 6 months post-op is such a big feat, and she's genuinely excited about it. The Ways are working hard to keep themselves afloat and be independent. They will be forever grateful for all of your help this past year, but are now hoping to adjust to their new life and make it on their own. Thank you friends!

Miss M. is also doing well, but unfortunately is not entitled to the same financial support in her return to work program. Apparently employment insurance here in BC only gives you 15weeks coverage, even if you've given up half your liver. Miss M. has made a valiant effort to return to work full-time, but has thus far been unable to tolerate this schedule. She has had to cut back her hours until she is stronger. Miss M. has given our Michelle an amazing, self-less gift. We are now turning to you dear friends to help us help her in her recovery. We are collecting donations, and considering a fundraiser to help top-up Miss M. until she can return to work full-time. Donations will be accepted through our paypal account or via cheque to the Michelle Way Trust. Please quote Miss M. in the memo of your cheque or on your paypal donation so that any funds coming in will be directed to the appropriate recipient.

We know times are tight, but we wouldn't ask if we didn't feel it was for a good cause.

Thank you for all the continued support!


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I Can Wear High Heels

Wow! Now that I've come back to life I see that there's a lot to this living business! How did I fit it all in before? There's so many people to love and relish and so much laundry and cleaning and driving and working and cooking to do! I take my hat off to all of you who do it so beautifully. I have suddenly found myself facing all these tasks with delight and surprise. It is a wonderful discovery to find myself a mother, homemaker, employee, friend and daughter, niece and cousin and all the titles I hold so dear. I didn't realize how small my life had become- how narrow my focus. I am forgetting my tired and scarred self to rediscover the new life that is pumping through me.

I can hold my son. I can ride my bike. I can wear high heels. I can eat first, second and thirds. I can sleep on my stomach and dance with joy. I can cook for my family and get to wipe up the floor when something spills. I'm going to work in a cubicle again. I'm going to earn a paycheck 2 weeks from August 4th. I'm ALIVE! Time is allowing the memories to fade.

My docs have described my test results and gorgeous and beautiful. My body is absorbing this gift of life with delight and exuberance. I am treating it with reverence- as my dearest friend. Thank you dear Meghan. I pray for continued grace and good fortune for us both. My soul was restored to witness your strength and vitality. I pray that our bodies continue to mend as the impact of this trauma fades to allow the beautiful vision of our futures. I cannot wait to behold the next chapter on your wedding day.

To all of you who have held me in your hearts and prayers. I will always know that it was the strength of your intentions and the sincerity of your prayers and hearts that kept me here, that has allowed me to pass through this immense ordeal without having succumbed to it. Every day is an answered prayer. Thank you.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

And Then There Were Three

Michelle and family continue to slowly try to put the pieces of thier new life back together. Mama bear is heading back to California after many months at her daughter's side. It has been a long time since the Ways haven't had someone in their home to assist with keeping the house up and helping with Tater tot. It will be different. New challenges, but also a time for the family to reconnect on a new level. Tater tot will continue to be in daycare a few days a week to allow Michelle much needed rest time. Michelle is also using massage therapy, chiropractics, and acupuncture to help manage her pain. Unfortunately surgery hasn't been a cure-all, but Michelle knew this going in. It HAS provided hope for a better future. Michelle is only 3 months post-op, and her doctors suspect 1-2years for a better idea of what her recovery will look like. Her body continues to embrace her new little liver, her rejection scores are good.

I see Michelle getting stronger all the time and it's wonderful! Praying for her comfort and continuous healing.

We'll miss you Jer!


Friday, May 21, 2010

The End and Once Upon a Time all at once

The sun streams in through the window after a wash of spring downfall. The air is fresh with the new soil and flowers of hopeful gardeners. I've just pounded the last of the little fragile sprigs into the ground. Those little saplings are of kindred spirit with me. We are both going to hope our new life digs deep and solid roots that will sustain us. This will depend on a little bit of luck, careful care and a lot of love. Love is what sustained me through this then and now.

Speaking of love, my mama is returning home after being with us for 6 months. Jack arrived last night to drive her home in a few days.

My mama is gram-ma-ma to the Tot. So, for all of us, it is the end of an era, and a new beginning. I will miss hearing her happy voice that accompanies the Tot's giggles. I will miss our long chats and the friendship we share. Thank you mama for wrapping your heart and arms around my little guy when I couldn't be there. Thank you for standing by me and never holding your sacrifices over or against me. Thank you for your timeless and unconditional love. I love you with all my heart.

I hope you will set yourself free now. You have crawled through the trenches and faced death with me and welcomed our new life. This has been an endurance marathon and I have tagged you out. It's your turn to live your own life now. I have to run the rest of the race without you by my side so that I can find my own abilities again and discover new strength.

Thank you mama and Jack for putting your lives on hold to help save mine. I love you both.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Putting it all together again

Here I am again. It's dark, quiet and all the rooms are filled with the rise and fall of sleep. The veins in my thin hands shine up at me from the keyboard. The only light that fills the space is the glow of my monitor. I am here tonight because my mind is wakeful. I cannot seem to find the sweet spot of peace.

My lifetime so far has been freckled with joy, adventure, extremeties of trauma and privledge and everything in between. The constant has been my ability to fall in love with life despite it's circumstance. This February, for the first time, I fell out of love with life and it almost killed me.

In the week that followed my liver transplant; my body was in screaming amounts of pain, I couldn't eat, my skin smelled from the toxic drugs and I vomited through the incision that spread from my breast to my hips. I was dehydrated and my veins were drying up so they couldn't adminster IV. I would need another hose in my neck to mainline fluids. The overwhelm and the pain came out of my mouth as I told the surgeon I needed to give up. He yelled as I hung for life on the edge of my bed and gasped through the pain, "you fought harder then anyone ever has to get this surgery. We do not give these to everyone. You owe it to your donor, the people who never got one and to the people who will die waiting to FIGHT now."

I felt the sting of shame and knew, at the same time, I did not posess the strength to fight. I thought, "Can't he see we have reached the point of no return?" However, given the lack of options he was presenting, I assured him I would re-engage the fight.

As I listened to his footsteps fade down the ward, I assessed my energy to make good on my promise. It was negative 200 and falling fast. I felt failure was a guarantee. At least I should warn my family. I did. They did not take the news well. They called for help and it came in the form of an acupuncturist who was willing to come to the hospital. He took down the cards that lined the windowsill and removed all my pictures. He took everything off my side tables except my water. Everything was too big, life was too demanding, the love I felt for the people in my life was incompacitating. He told me to focus on the very small. Eventually we narrowed life down to my son's fingernail. He told me to focus on that to keep the ember of life alive within me. It was important to keep my spirit and mind alive while I could not control anything physically. A fingernail I truly loved was truly all I could handle.

For 3 days I visualized my baby boy's fingernail, then finger, then simply his beautiful hand. I repeated "mind over matter" under my gasping breath for 3 nights and 3 days. I yelled at myself as I vomitted up my lifesaving drugs. Finally, on the 3rd morning I believed myself and held down my medications. I announced my new resolve to my family and the doctors who were overjoyed. 2 hours later, my blood work returned and I learned that my liver was in rejection. Here was the true test. But the 3 days of hardwork had paid off and my resolve was solid.

My committment to life hasn't wavered since then but the experience still affects me now. I see pictures of myself before I was sick and there is a lightness to my smile, a joy of spirit. My spirit still suffers from the prolonged illness and the shock of surgery. I miss the girl I was. I hope she's just hiding and not truly and forever changed. I don't want to be so tired, so easily overwhelmed, so inept at the simple things. Life will always be a gift that was given to me- forever. My heartbeat is a gift. Every word I say may never have been. That very fact continues to humble me, amaze me and bring me to my knees. Is there a normal in my new reality?

With gratitude and always love,


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Update and A Big Thanks!

Michelle had clinic today. Things are going pretty good. Her rejection score has improved quite a bit since her last visit, so this is fantastic. The struggles at this point are still related to Small For Size Syndrome, and splenic pain. It is uncertain if her spleen will ever recover. Only time will tell. As for her last banding session, no esophageal varices were found at that time. Yea!

A huge thank you is due to the Fraternal Order of Eagles Maple Ridge Aerie #2831. This group took Michelle's family on as one of their charities this past fiscal year, and the Way's were recently honored with a cheque for nearly $1200!!! Awesome! Thank You!


Friday, April 9, 2010


I just wanted to drop in and say hello and thank you for seeing Miss M and me through this life saving and life altering process. The enormous support, interest and amount of love and prayers has amazed and humbled us both.

I saw Miss M this week-end and we compared our matching owies and celebrated the return of mobility and semblance of strength.

We want to write our stories in more detail but they are still unfolding. We are still mopping the sweat from our brows as we recover and climb this giant mountain with regular life at the apex. For now we both hope our loved ones will understand our relative silence and the box of unwritten thank you cards we both carry around with us. They will be sent, we are eternally grateful and could not have survived without you.

I have been enjoying a 3 week break from the transplant clinic which has given me a chance to feel, heal and spend time with my Tot and family. It has taken awhile for the trauma of seeing things a 2 year old should never have to see to soothe and fade. The Tot can mostly sleep through the night without crying for me, looking to make sure I haven't gone back "to the doctor's house". I can't offer any promises but only to reassure that I AM HERE! We've had so many joyful moments. The haircut with the giggles, the morning whisper chats, photo shoots, bike rides, wheelchair races and many many others. I am so happy to be here, be alive and so thankful to you, my family and, of course, the warrior that made it possible.... my dear friend, Miss M. xoxxoxoxoxoxoxoxxo Much love.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Michelle is going for banding today. Just when she thought that part of her life was over. During an abdominal ultrasound they found some varices on her new liver. This could be related to the suspected small for size syndrome. Hopefully they will not find any varices in her esophagus today. She could definitely use some prayers!


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thursday Clinic

Michelle got her drain out today! Her bloodwork continues to look good. Here's hoping the new medication will help drain off some of that extra fluid. Her new liver showed growth on ultrasound! They are still concerned about small for size syndrome, but not panicking at this time. She is home and recovering from the trauma of the drain. Such a warrior!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Little Liver That Could

From great to mini crisis. I guess this is the life of a newly transplanted patient. Michelle got to come home yesterday. She has a drain insitu to help reduce the accumulating fluid in her abdomen. The team is not quite sure what is causing the problem or what they will do about it yet. They are running a bunch of tests, and Michelle is to go into clinic tomorrow and hopefully they will have a plan of attack. Her blood counts continue to look good, thus the liver is doing what it needs to from that aspect. It may be that there is just a heavy load for this little liver, and that over time things will catch up. Hopefully providing a release of the excess fluids will relieve some of the stress. The fluid, and now the placement of the drain are causing Michelle considerable pain. I know everyone is keeping her in their thoughts and prayers, thank you!


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bump In the Road

Michelle has had some painful distension of her adbomen. It got increasingly bigger and more painful, and of course the team is concerned. Today she is at VGH. She underwent an ultrasound, and they have now put in a drain. Jarvie says they are going to test the fluid. Likely to see where it is coming from and whether there is any infection. Michelle may have to be readmitted to the hospital today. Please pray this is not the case, and that whatever is causing the fluid and pain is easy to repair. Tater tot has struggled with his mama's recent hospitalization, and Michelle worries greatly about how he would handle a readmission. Please pray for a terrific outcome!


Thursday, March 11, 2010

No News Is Good News

Michelle is doing great! Originally they wanted to see her in clinic twice a week for awhile, but after today's appt they have decided to stretch her to once every two weeks! Do not be mistaken, she is still dealing with intense surgical pain, and has to be gentle on her stomach in terms of nutrition, and get a ton of rest. The team is impressed with her progress, but have said she is not out of the woods yet.

Thank you for your continued prayers, I know Michelle feels them. If anything new comes up I'll try to keep everyone informed.


Monday, March 8, 2010


Michelle had her first clinic appt today, and they're so impressed with her progress! Her blood levels are slowly improving, her kidneys are working fine, her incision is now uncovered where only a few days ago there was a bag to contain all the drainage! So many blessings!

Miss M is feeling like there is still some fluid in her lungs, especially when she lies down. Please pray for this to resolve.


Sunday, March 7, 2010

No Place Like Home

Michelle is doing great at home, surrounded by her loved ones! She looks really good, but very thin. They have told her it could take months for her body to hold onto any weight. For now the focus is on staying healthy and getting stronger. Her pain has changed, and seems more manageable than pre-transplant. She came home draining away from her incision, to wake up this morning and only need one small dressing! She looks rested, and has a great glow about her. Home was a great choice : )


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Here's the Great News!

Michelle was discharged home last night! She only told Jarvie at home, so was going to just show up and surprise her mama, Jack, and Tater Tot! Here is a note from Michelle's mama that sums up the last couple of days really well. Thank you prayer warriors!

From Jer last night:
Today showed a decrease in Michelle's liver counts, which means things are improving. This is the second day in a row this has happened. Also, they saw that her new liver is growing very well!

Rachel Kuhn has done an amazing and exemplary job of serving Michelle, with lots of love and massages and laying on of hands, and helping her in every way possible, putting in long hours at the hospital. We could not have done it this week without her. Thank you Rachel.

This evening, Michelle was told she could be released from the hospital tonight and go home!!!!!!!!!!! Rachel was with her and was so excited she was running back and forth six blocks several times with personal belongings to put in the car! They said they trust her to read the signs in her body, and to return to the hospital if any of the warning signs are observed. They feel she will heal better at home, and be able to eat the foods that will nurture her back to health! And it will be healing to be reunited with her son. So she came home.

Please continue to pray for her body's acceptance of the grafting of her liver and for the liver's continued improvement in function. Also that her digestive and eliminative system be restored to optimum health, with all fluids and gases dissipating as part of the healing process, allowing all her organs to function normally. As her health improves, may there be a gradual and easeful relinquishment of all pain medications.

Thank you for all your prayers and support.


Friday, March 5, 2010


Big news this evening. I don't want to ruin any surprises, so you all will have to wait until tomorrow! *wink*


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Special Day : )

Three years ago today, in the wee hours of the morning, sweet Nater Tater came into the world.

This little guy was so wanted by his parents. Michelle had a difficult labor, due to her Wilson's disease she was permitted very little intervention in terms of pain control. Jarvie called her his hero. I never saw a mother so proud as she showed off her new little bundle. Sienna caught a first glimpse of her new buddy.

Tater tot is a charmer, and everyday he shows he is brilliant and strong like his mama.

We love you little dude, Happy 3rd Birthday!

xoxo tracey, craig, and sienna

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Who You Calling Small?

Small For Size Syndrome. This is what they suspect Michelle might be dealing with. They took a look yesterday and decided they didn't need to add a shunt after all. The doctors are really impressed with how Michelle is doing, it's just those darn liver enzymes that are elevated. They are actually talking discharge, hopefully soon! Michelle has been granted a day pass for little man's birthday this weekend! All steps in the right direction. Praying Michelle's new liver will grow quickly and put an end to this issue. Michelle has such a great energy about her, if anyone can make an organ grow it will be her!

Miss M was discharged from hospital today! She is doing so well, it looks like she will be able to go back to the island sooner than originally thought. Hurray!


Monday, March 1, 2010

Another Procedure

Michelle is going to get a shunt today, to help with drainage of bile that has been accumulating around the liver. Hopefully this will help reduce irritation to the liver and maybe reverse whatever is causing her recent troubles. She continues to feel pretty good considering. The procedure is scheduled to be done under conscious sedation. Please pray that the procedure is flawless, and that it will actually help improve the function and engraftment of Michelle's new liver.


Sunday, February 28, 2010

Grow Liver Grow!

Yesterday Michelle's kidney's were functioning at about 1/3 of their ability. Today there was improvement, which is terrific! They switched her to a new anti-rejection med, hoping it would be easier on her kidneys, and it seems to be doing the trick. Her liver enzymes are still elevated. The biopsy results showed the possibility of a few issues. One being the liver piece might just be too small to handle the load. This is the least favorable option at this time. The other has to do with rejection. They are going to mega dose her with steroids over the next few days to see if they can combat rejection if this is indeed the case. Michelle is feeling stronger, eating more, sounds brighter, and has better pain control and less nausea. This definitaly counts for something! We will pray that she will overcome whatever is going on smoothly and quickly. Grow liver, grow!

Michelle feels so blessed to have you all, as we are to have her : ). She has a dear friend coming in from the San Fransisco area this week, which I'm sure will be wonderful for her morale!


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Awsome Article!

Miss M makes the news, and does a fantastic job with her interview! Check out the story in the Parksville Qualicum Beach News:


On Top Of Her Game

Michelle may have discovered the reason for her rejection symptoms! She realized that the anti-rejection medication they have been giving her the last little while may have been a lower dose than it was supposed to be! How great would it be if all she has to do is bump up the meds for a bit and get back on track! Praying for a great outcome!

Friday, February 26, 2010

A Few Steps Forward, One Step Back...

Miss M is doing awesome! There may even be some talk about discharge early next week! Fantastic!

Michelle's day started off great. She had a big breakfast, had some reprieve from the pain, and even the team was gushing about her progress. She settled in and had a long nap...and woke up to staff looking over her with concern. Some of her bloodwork showed signs that could potentially mean the start of rejection. She was sent down for an ultrasound and emergency liver biopsy. The first surgeon was too afraid to do the biopsy herself. How unsettling for Michelle. Luckily the next guy who came in was oozing with confidence and got the job done on his first try. Hopefully the results will come quickly, like in the next 24hrs, and show that everything is fine. If this is early rejection, there are still treatment options to save the liver. We will not despair! Michelle will get through this and get back on the path to full recovery! Praying for you chikadee, always in my thoughts.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

A New Approach

Michelle sounded so much brighter tonight, and she reported she is taking a new approach. Michelle is usually very positive, but I guess the last few days have really taken their toll on her. She has decided she needs to be more positive, as this is the best option for her to thrive. Right now she is fighting to eat and drink, but knows she needs to do this. She will survive this!!! Please continue to pray for her pain and nausea relief, that her blood work will stabilize, and that she can hold onto all the positive thoughts that will help get her over this hurdle.

Apparently Miss M is off all IVs and drains, but still struggling with pain. Please pray that she will heal, have relief of her pain, and get back home to her family soon!


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

8 Days Post-Op

Many thanks for the flowers and well wishes! Michelle is sorry she cannot contact you all and thank you herself. She is feeling SO SICK. Like feeling REALLY sick. Not all of this was unexpected, but some things are concerning. Some of her blood levels are a bit unfavorable, and they are looking into this tonight.

Everyone has been doing such a great job praying, sending positive thoughts and healing vibes. Thank you! I am so looking forward to when I can post some awesome news again. Soon!



Miss M. might be getting her lung drain out today, a praise!
Michelle is still struggling. The team will hopefully take a new approach to treating her nausea and pain, as thus far they have been unsuccessful.

Michelle clarified the flower situation for me yesterday, but it slipped my mind, sorry! Both girls can have cut flowers. Michelle cannot have flowers/plants in soil. There is a risk of mold spores growing in soil, thus creating a health risk for Michelle in her immunocompromised state. Maybe choose an arrangement that isn't too overpowering either, as both girls are apparently sensitive to smells! The address for VGH is a few posts down. Thanks!


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Our Fighter

Michelle's kidneys may be struggling with the medications. The doctors are worried about her overall status. Please pray for her health, and that she receives the best care possible.

Struggles, Prayer Needed

I haven't seen Michelle personally for a few days(another story). She phoned me this afternoon, I was so excited! I am sorrowed to report she is struggling with nausea and subsequent dehydration, and her pain has been a struggle to control. She had all her IV's removed, but could not maintain her own hydration. Her kidneys are suffering. She has been put back on IV fluids today.

Her surgical site is having copious amounts of drainage. They swabbed her incision today to check for infection. Michelle sounds so down. She could really use our prayers; for pain relief, for her nausea to subside, for her incision to heal, for the health of her kidneys.

Miss M is reportedly doing better today in terms of pain control, she has also been struggling with pain. Neither of our girls is doing well with eating. Please keep Miss M in your prayers also.


Such a Rascal!

Michelle had a nice little visit with Tater Tot on sunday, the first one since before her surgery. I'm sure it was wonderful for both of them to be reunited.

As part of the live-donor program it is strongly recommended that donor and recipient not see each other while in hospital. It can be too emotional, and imagine the heartache one might feel if they saw the other suffering. To facilitate this further, donor and recipient are not even kept on the same floor of the hospital. Well wouldn't you know, on sunday, you-know-who bolts(probably being generous with that word choice!) for the elevator and scoots up to the 9th floor! Understandabley, she wanted to see for herself that Miss M was okay. What a rascal, that girl of ours! Michelle is obviously doing well with her mobility!

I have been asked re: flowers, Jarvie told me yesterday that neither girl is apparently allowed flowers. Not sure what the protocal is at VGH. I do know there are a lot of scent-free zones, so maybe flowers are too allergenic? I think cards should be fine for both girls. The hospital address is:
899 west 12th ave
vancouver, BC
V5Z 1M9

or alternatively you can send to the trust address on right blog panel, or to the family's home if you have their address.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Post-Op Day 4

Both girls are still doing well for post-op!

Michelle is doing little walks to the bathroom now! Her blood work is looking good! They are trying to switch Michelle over to all oral meds so she can get off her IV. She is hoping to feel well enough tomorrow for Tater Tot to come see her for the first time since surgery.

Miss M was found to have some fluid in her lung, so now has a drainage tube there. The doctor has assured Michelle that Miss M will be fine.

Praying for Michelle's grafting and healing. Praying for Miss M's healing and for the fluid in her lung to resolve quickly.


Friday, February 19, 2010

We Have Activity!

Michelle is sitting in a chair!
She may try to increase her diet today as well, thus far has been clear fluids.
Go girl go!


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lookin' Good!

I saw both ladies today and they looked awesome! Miss M. was up walking 3 times today! Pain is still an issue, But she's lookin' great!

Michelle is out of ICU and onto the transplant unit as of tonight. She's scheduled to get up tomorrow with the physiotherapist! WooHoo! Nothing but progress friends! Again, pain is still an issue for Michelle too, but they're working on it.

I'm so excited for these two to get well, they are definitely on their way!


Complete with Fireworks!

Michelle and Miss M. were doing great last night in terms of post op. Both are having some issues with pain, that hopefully will be resolved soon. Michelle seemed more comfortable when I left her last night.

Michelle looks healthier already! Her new liver has even brought up her platelets already! She was drowsy from the medication, but could carry a conversation. We were giddy as we discussed all the things that will be different for her now that she has her brand spankin' new liver! No zinc, no more nausea, no more banding, heck she can probably even drink tap water now!

The staff kept commenting on how well she was doing. The surgeon popped by and said things were going well, but she's not out of the woods yet. He said they had a great organ to work with. Way to go Miss M.!

I sat with Michelle, gave her sips of water and fed her ice chips, it was sweet : ). We even got to watch the olympic fireworks. Well I did, and half the staff, cause Michelle had the best view in the house. She snoozed through it ; )

Hopefully Michelle will be getting a few more tubes out today, and she may even get transferred to the transplant ward. She would really like to normalize enough to see Tater tot, and she's also eager to see Miss M.

Praying for pain relief, healing for both; and of course for Michelle's new liver to graft and love it's new home!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Please Hold Off...

I have been asked to request no flowers, cards, etc while Michelle is in ICU. She will have more space once she is moved to her own room.



Miss M. looked good when Jarvie saw her last night. Cracking jokes, watching, tv. They were trying to get her pain under control when Jarvie Left. Apparently the donor can have more pain issues that the recipient. After all, Michelle was dealing with pain for years, Miss M. went into surgery healthy with no pain. She said she felt like she was hit by a bus!

Michelle was alert when Jarvie got to see her last night. She was struggling with the ventilator. The ventilator was removed this morning, earlier than usual. Apparently Michelle breathed on her own during much of the surgery. That's the Michelle we all know!!!

Michelle is still in the ICU. At this time she needs as much rest as possible. The family has requested no visits or phone calls at this time. They will let us know when she has moved to the transplant floor and is up for socializing. Thanks!


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Transplant is Complete!

Michelle is in the Recovery Room! The surgeon says the surgery went as perfect as it could have gone! We could not ask for better news than this! To say I am elated is an understatement!!!

Michelle will likely move to the ICU after recovery until she is more stable. She may not be awake right away. Miss M. is awake and Jarv is just on his way up to see her!

Such a day of blessings! Michelle and Miss M. are so strong and brave!

Please pray that both women will heal without complications, and that Michelle will not have any rejection.

Today is a glorious day : )


Miss. M. Update

Text from Jarvie: Miss M is now officially out of surgery. She is in recovery and they are just waiting to be able to see her! Hurray!


Miss M. Still In Surgery Afterall

Just got a text from Jarvie, he said there was a misunderstanding. Miss M was understood to be out of OR earlier, but turns out she is still in surgery, should be out soon. Things are still going well for her! Michelle will be in for quite a while longer I suspect.


Into The OR

Michelle has just gone in! She was feeling ready this morning and the doctors are in great spirits. The sun is shining, it's a glorious day here in Vancouver!

Your gonna shine my chikadee!


Monday, February 15, 2010


Tomorrow is surgery day. Miss M. will be going into the OR at approx 7am, with Michelle to follow around 10am. Please pray; that both women will respond well to the anesthesia, that the surgeon's will be at the top of their game's with their skills and wisdom, that both women will come out of surgery having done fantastically! I am very confident they will both do well. Michelle will recover and go on to do awesome things with her life. Tater tot will have his mama back in full gear.

Please understand that this is an insurmountably difficult night for Michelle. Please check in with family before making phone calls or visits to the hospital.

Please let this surgery by smooth and flawless. Please provide comfort and assurance for Michelle tonight as she tries to rest before her big day.

My heart is with you my chikadee.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

3 More Days

Today a doctor told Michelle that she was instrumental in getting some other people their surgery dates too! How fantastic is that!!! Vancouver MLA Adrian Dix was in to visit Michelle in her hospital room. He was very supportive and talked to us about how many surgeries are on hold. He said people were asking him about Michelle at Olympic events yesterday, as they had seen her story on the CTV news broadcast. I love how our community comes together when there is need. Thank you Mr. Dix for your humanity and political support.

Michelle remains without a feeding tube. They have decided since her surgery is so soon they will try to wait it out. In the meantime she is getting some fluids via IV. I tried to tempt her with her fave DQ banana milk shake today, but it just wouldn't go down.

It is extremely understandable that Michelle is very nervous right now. Her surgery is a risky one, no doubt. She really needs to feel our prayers and positive thoughts right now.

Always Thankful,

Friday, February 12, 2010

Woo Hoo!

Talked to Miss. M, she has heard from the transplant team themselves. It's a go!!! I am doing a happy dance with my 3yr old right now!!!

A Huge Blessing!

The director of media relations for Vancouver Coastal Health visited Michelle in her hospital room today. He asked her to stop the media. He said she will be getting her life saving surgery...this coming Tuesday!!! This has not come from the transplant team or her doctor yet, but we will hold him to his word!!! This is a wonderful day : )

May this be another pathway to improve healthcare access to all who need it here in our province.

With much excitement and optimism,

Needing Rest

Michelle spiked a fever last night that has the doctors concerned. She has had many fevers in the past, so I'm not sure if this one is different, or if they are more worried because she is so worn down now.

The family is limiting visitors at this time, as Michelle is exhausted and feeling so unwell. If you'd like to visit, please check in with Jarvie or Michelle's mama first, and they can let you know what Michelle is feeling up to.

A dear friend and committee member lent Michelle an internet stick, but she couldn't get a good connection from her hospital room. Maybe when she gets moved to another floor she will have better internet access.

Will keep you updated.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Making Headlines!

Poor Michelle was in rough shape today, suffering with pain and nausea. Her dear nurse was doing all he could to help her find comfort. She has not had anything to eat in over 24hrs. They have yet to start the tube feeds, but hopefully tonight. Michelle had some exciting visitors today, a couple of reporters from The Province newspaper! They waited so patiently while Michelle hunched over in agony and waited for her IV meds to bring her some relief from the spasms and nausea. Tater tot showed up a bit later with Michelle's mama and J. He came toting his little suitcase of toys he had packed last night. So sweet! They had a nice cuddle and chat. He is doing as well as a little boy can do in such a situation. Please continue to pray for the family.

Don't forget to check out Michelle's story in The Province newspaper tomorrow!


Michelle's In The News!

For anyone who didn't get to see Michelle on the news last night, here's an article CTV put up on their website. Check it out and pass it around. Let's get people talking!

Praying for my sweet friend who was admitted to hospital last night.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Thank You CTV!

Michelle's story will air tonight on CTV at 11:30pm.

Thank you CTV for seeing the urgency in this case and sending out a crew right away!


Michelle Needs Your Help!

As you all know, Michelle has been approved for live-donor surgery. An unfortunate side of things is this:
Due to reduced surgical bookings during the Olympics, and already high competition for OR spaces, her surgeons cannot give her a surgery date nor guarantee she will get one in time. Michelle's health is extremely compromised at this time. Because of her pain and nausea, Michelle has been unable to maintain her weight or meet her nutritional needs. I am sad to report that today she will be admitted into the hospital for tube feedings unless her doctor agrees she is stable enough to do this at home with home care.
We need to get the word out that Michelle could die if she doesn't get a new liver soon. The government needs to work with the hospitals to provide more Operating Room time! If anyone has any media contacts or ideas on how we can help Michelle get her surgery, please contact us! way-to-live@hotmail.com


Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Verdict

Michelle has talked with the team.

Seems the meeting ran long today, as she called me at 9:17am and hadn't heard from them yet.

Nerve-wracking, cause if you don't hear from them right away your mind starts to run wild.

The final verdict:

Michelle has been unanimously approved for live-donor surgery!

If a suitable cadavar comes up in the meantime, she will get that, but otherwise they are looking at booking an OR for her ASAP. The news of her recently diagnosed heart condition made the decision clear for everyone. No more bandaids. Michelle needs a new liver.

This is amazing news! Finally! She has been assured there are no take-backs this time, she will be getting a surgery. We will be partying it up BIG. And by big I mean probably low key like a round of Dairy Queen with the girls : ). But our hearts are swelling big right now with joy, and we'll do it up right when Michelle is feeling better.

Thank you everyone for all your prayers. Please continue to pray for Michelle and Miss M while they wait for their surgeries, that the doctors will perform with excellence, and that Michelle will be healed of this suffering.


from Michelle.... twas the night before Thursday....

Well here I sit at 1:09am. It's officially Thursday now. The doc's will be meeting in less then 6 hours. My specialist asked to see me today. He wants to be prepared for today's meeting and tells me that the shortness of breath I have been having is indeed related to my liver failure. I have now developed a cardiac condition related to my liver. Okay now we have liver, gallbladder (RIP), spleen, kidney's and heart all involved. Help!!!

I talked to Miss M. several times over the past few days as you may imagine. She is still waiting to get married, have children etc even as she stretches near the middle of child bearing age. She melts me. After hearing the dismal stats shared by the surgeon (46% of their list died last year, they have the worst STATS in North America for numbers of completed transplants).... we are losing hope of a cadaver liver materializing in time. Meghan writes another letter urging the team to schedule surgery for March (the next available slot). She wants to move all our lives along to the recovery and baby making side of the equation! Amen sister!!!!!!!!

Well this week I have had a lot of chance to lie in bed and therefore think of my lot in life. I have been so blessed throughout my life and even now. I have so much real love in my life. It is the only thing sustaining me now. I cannot eat. Food makes me nauseaus and in pain. It`s not worth it. I just economize. Yes... banana milk shakes (Dairy Queen are best) still make me smile.

Thank you to Bob and De Lollis family. You have always shown me your true hearts, shared the richness of the blood the flows through your family with me. I have sat on your laps, jiggled your chin and smelled your sweet perfume. I have laughed and heard your stories and seen your babies grow. Thank you for filling my childhood with the vibrance of your family and the strength of your characters. You all got together and bought me a laptop computer so that I can stay in touch while I am in bed. Thank you so very much. I love you all.

And there`s my work who remembers me after all these years now and gifts me to make sure I can celebrate Christmas. Thank you!!!! Your thoughtfullness and generosity is uplifting and brought me so much joy. I love you all.

My mom and her husband are living with us now. They have 2 rooms upstairs running as their office and bedrooms. The Tot has gotten used to finding available hands, hearts and love in the rooms upstairs. Between the 4 of us he has someone to play with, eat with, cuddle with or talk to. It`s nice to see him growing with the strength and numbers of family around him. I don`t worry as much now when the wear of going up and down the stairs necessitates a cat nap. I can easily pass him to my mama for awhile til I catch my breath and catch a few z`s. If it wasn`t for my constant pain I might say life is okay for now. But, it`s not. I`m not doing anything for myself anymore despite herculean efforts every day. No amount of effort succeeds in getting me past the prison of disease in my body. This is a huge departure from ME. Thank you mama and Jack for being me when I am not.

Oh my docs, please hear me and listen to your hearts. Please feel confidence in the skill behind your eyes and in your hands. You can do this for us. You can set us free to get back to our lives and live to the fullest. You won`t be sorry. You will affirm life. I PROMISE. Please bring me joy at 9am tomorrow. Please please please god. Please Lord. I beg you. Please. Set us free to live again. Thank you for all that you have offered me and my family. I ask you for this one more gift of life.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Staying Hopeful

Michelle walked into an appointment today and was met with an overwhelming "you look fantastic" from one of the surgeons. Say What??? And to top it off, when Michelle said Tater tot was in daycare outside of the home because he struggled with seeing her so sick, the same man replied that it was normal for mothers to want time to themselves when they had children this age. OH MY GOODNESS. He does not know our Michelle!!! She stood her ground and had her husband, mama, and Mr.J by her side.

That being said, there were some positives(for lack of better term) to come out of today's appointments, ie: recognition of her pain, increased MELD score, a suspicious lesion on the liver that needs an MRI ASAP, kidney enlargement, weight loss... And for those who don't know, Michelle has had a broken pager from the transplant team for months, they told her there was no urgency to replace it. Well she left that office today with a shiny, brand new, blinged out pager!

So it could go either way at this point, whether they will increase her priority for transplant. The team will meet on Thursday and hash out their thoughts and educated opinions. Please everyone pray for this team to have the wisdom and heart to guide them in the best direction for Michelle. Her best chance is with a whole cadaver liver. We need to will this pager to go off! Live donor surgery is not off the table yet, but the team has had reservations about this thus far.

So that's my second hand summary on the current situation. Please be in prayer for Michelle and for her family. And although we don't always understand how decisions are made, or why things are said, please be in prayer for the transplant team. The job they do is hard, they work with very sick people and very few organs. I believe they do care about Michelle.


“If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

We'll Let You Know

Michelle's team does their assessments on monday, has rounds thursday, then get back to the clients after that. She will likely not know the plan until after thursday. Please respect the family's wishes for quiet and rest, they are trying to limit phone calls at this time. Not that they don't love you all! But they are very exhausted right now. As soon as there is news, they will get the word out. Thanks!


Assessment Day

Michelle's ER visit would not be one I would describe as successful. In attempts to treat her pain she ended up with only a little relief and a lot of nausea. The doc not wanting to call in a liver specialist, or do much more himself that night...back home she went. Today is her appointment with the transplant team. Please hold her in your thoughts, and pray that the team will decide to prioritize her transplant.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Too Much

Michelle is in Emergency tonight. Her pain has been just terrible, despite her and her doctor's best efforts to control it at home.

The last few weeks have been mostly spent in bed. Her abdominal pain is unmanageable, her vomiting frequent, she has had muscle spasms that take over her face, numbness and pain in her arms... Her liver damaged and cirrhotic, a blood clot blocking it's major blood vessel. Her heart showing signs of wear and tear and her kidneys enlarged as they try to keep up with the portal hypertension. Her spleen grossly enlarged, complete with an aneurysm. Some new startling symptoms suggest possible spinal nerve compression from her oversized organs. Varices popping out of her abdomen. She needs our prayers. There is an appointment scheduled for this coming monday, Michelle's 3 month check-in with the transplant team. Please Lord will they now have enough evidence to prioritize her on the transplant list.