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!