Monday, 15 October 2012

Happy Birthday Boomer!  No party hats so just used sun hats.  Sienna was having no part of the hat so she missed out on the photo!  This from the girl who never dresses her dog up!!!  Can't believe he's nine years old today!  Seems like only yesterday Bill brought him home from the farm as a surprise 25th anniversary/Christmas gift!

Finally have my energy back today.  Got up and did my workout and it wasn't too bad considering I've been a couch potato in that department for the past week!  Puttered around here and "thought" about making apple pie!  Got the pastry made but it ended there.  Just too nice a day to be stuck inside so headed off to Nose Hill for a loop of the park! What a great day for a walk.

Forgot to tell you my funny story from yesterday.  We stopped at the Liquor Store to pick up some brandy for the Christmas Cakes.  I whipped in and said to the guy "I need a micky of your cheapest brandy."  He showed me where it was and I quickly grabbed it and took it up to the till.  He rang it through and asked if I would like a bag.  "No thanks" I said......"I'm going to drink it right now!"  Oh my goodness, you should have seen the look on his face!  One of those jokes where I thought I was being really funny but he sure didn't!  I quickly explained to him what I planned to use the brandy for and he gave a half hearted little snort.  Don't think he appreciated my sense of humour.  Maybe he has customers that actually do do that!  Gotta learn to gauge my audience a bit better when dispensing my humour I'm thinking.

Kelli showed me an facebook posting today that was absolutely heartbreaking.  Just when you think life has dealt you a crap hand you can always find a story out there that makes yours pale in comparison.  I'm going to attach it if I can.  I will warn you ahead of time it is very, very sad.  This young woman is a friend of one of Kelli's resident friends in Vancouver.

  • Hello Friends. Please take the time to read and share this post from one of my closest friends, Debra Karby, who finds herself in need of a live liver transplant.


    Hi everyone,

    This is the most difficult status update I’ve ever had to write (I apologize for the length!). As some of you may know, seven months ago I received the devastating news that I had a highly malignant cancer (Sarcoma) in my liver. The tumor was considered to be aggressive and h
    ad already grown to be too large to be surgically removed. Sarcomas as a rule are very difficult to treat and generally do not respond well to chemotherapy.

    That being said it was decided, at the time, that my best option was to treat it with a high dose of chemo in the hopes that the tumor could be shrunk and made eligible for resection. After 6 rounds I am brokenhearted to learn that the chemo was ineffective and that in fact the disease had progressed within my liver. My family and I have reached out to experts across the globe and explored any and all procedures and treatments that could help. Unfortunately, the summer was filled with a lot of bad news, a lot of disappointment and feelings of despair and desperation.

    Recently, the team of doctors in Toronto have given me new hope when they decided to revisit the option of a liver transplant. I am currently being evaluated by
    the transplant team at Toronto General Hospital. This is no small undertaking as you can imagine - it is a big operation and it comes with great risk. The biggest risk to me is that I will be put on auto-immune suppressants post-surgery for the rest of my life and that with a compromised immune system, the cancer may return quite aggressively.

    Unfortunately due to the extreme uniqueness of the type of tumour that I have, they really can't give me any odds. Their guess is as good as anyone's and they (the Toronto transplant team) would be taking this risk right along with me. The reality however is that this really is my only real hope to extend my life in any meaningful way, so I have come to accept this risk for myself.

    Due to the very unusual circumstances of my case, the Transplant Centre will only perform a live liver donor transplant. I do not qualify for a deceased liver and would probably not make it in any case as the list is extremely long in Canada. (As a side note I've learned that Canada has one of the lowest organ donation % in developed countries.) Toronto is at the forefront of performing live liver transplants - they pioneered the procedure and probably do the most in NA, so I am definitely in the right hands. However, this means that I am now creating risk for someone else, a proposition I do not take lightly.

    I now find myself in the position where I need to ask someone else to put themselves at risk by donating a portion of their liver in the hopes that it may save my life. So here I sit with a heavy heart, struggling with the physical, ethical and emotional questions such a big 'ask' inherently comes with. And so I need to remove myself a bit. I need to present the facts. What's required. Who can qualify. What the risks are. And then I need to say that the choice is in others hands. It is a huge decision. Unfortunately my immediate family members do not medically qualify and I know that this brings them great sadness. I do not want anyone to feel sad, guilty or otherwise whether you choose to be assessed or not, whether you qualify or not, no matter what outcome this procedure might have. I have faith that if this was meant to be, the right match will happen.

    So, here are the basics:
    My donor must be in premium health, must be between 18 and 60, must not have had cancer or suffer from any serious health ailments, must have type O blood (positive or negative).

    To consider becoming a donor, you must register with Toronto General Hospital. They have an extremely thorough process of working with donors that is very much removed from me and from the transplant team, to ensure that the decision is not biased by the needs of the recipient. There is an extensive health assessment done (on paper) by each volunteer. Should there be several volunteers, the team will then choose 1 or 2 candidates that they feel are the best fit. The candidate would need to go through further assessment inclusive of a CT Scan of their liver for compatibility and counseling on the risks of the operation and risk/benefits for the recipient.

    The surgery itself is a major surgery and comes with its own inherent risks to the donor. While Toronto General has not lost a live donor to date, they will explain to any volunteer all the risks that come with such an operation. During the surgery itself, the transplant surgeon (Dr. Ian McGilvray should you want to google him) would remove half of the donor's liver. The liver is a remarkable organ in that it will regenerate to 90% of its complete size within 3 months. The surgery would be in Toronto and would entail 5-7 days in hospital barring no complications and close to 6-8 weeks for a full recovery. While payment for an organ is illegal, we are currently investigating the legal parameters regarding coverage of out-of-pocket expenses and loss of income. We do not want anyone's decision to cause financial burden for them or their family. The Transplant Centre here in TO will provide us with more details in the coming week.

    If after very serious consideration you are inclined to take the next step, you can Once on the site you click on "Living Donor Donation" and then follow the instructions under "Becoming a Living Donor". Alternatively, you can contact the Living Donor Liver Transplant Office at: 416-340-4800 Ext. 6581 and tell them you would like to register for Debra Karby.

    It is with a deep sense of humility and gratitude that I ask you for your consideration. I know many of you may not qualify, and I respect each and everyone's decision to get tested or not. I do ask however, that whatever you decide, if you could please ‘share’ this post - it could mean helping in the most important step of this very difficult journey.

    With thanks and love.

No comments:

Post a Comment