We made the distance!!

On Saturday, March 31, my wife JoAnn, and I along with my sister Sheri and her family, walked what was supposed to be a 5K walk for the American Liver Foundation’s Liver Life Walk. Due to some questionable signage (or just flat out mischief) our route was changed without notice and we ended up walking about twice that amount. It didn’t hurt us, but we were TIRED at the end. (over half the walkers at the event got suckered in to this trick)

At any rate, it was worth it. We raised, as a coalition, over $90K for the American Liver Foundation. My group exceeded our goal of $1500, thanks to my generous donors.

I will put a slide show up, as soon as I collect all the pictures, but in the meantime, here is the money shot!

The Finish line (finally!)

Better Week!

Today, I went to have my usual bloodletting ceremony, and while I was at the lab, I was allowed a look at some results that had not gone to the doctor, yet.

My Hep C viral load is “UNDETECTABLE”! I asked my PA what that meant (of course I know what it means, but I was playing dumb) She said it means “AWESOME…NEGATIVE VIRAL COUNT!” So I asked if that meant “winning” and she responded with “WINNING :-)”

So, The chemo is working and the discomfort is worth it. I will stay on the meds for at least 10 more months, just to be sure it’s all gone, but I should be able to donate organs and blood at some point within the next year!

God has blessed us with everything, including a great medical team.

Look out world. I’m BAACK! (and real happy)

Good week.

I am employed! (albeit part time). I am doing something with my time that interests me and pays a few bills. I start on Monday at St Luke’s Episcopal Hospital/Texas Heart Institute as a Research Sonographer.

I had my lab work drawn today to see if, in fact, the meds have continued to do their magic. In a week or so, we should get the results and are counting on receiving a negative number (that is, non detectable). The only real issue I have is an upper respiratory infection that I cannot seem to shake. Starting on some meds for that, tonight.

Yes… Life is GOOD!

Thank you, God.

WINNING!

It’s been a long, crooked, hard row I’ve been plowing, but as I just told my sister, I obtained an internal combustion powered tractor, and now that row is straightening out, and the plowing is getting easier and straighter!

What?!

A little history.  My Hepatitis C caused my liver disease, which inturn caused me to need a transplant.  I was never able to shed the HCV, so the new liver was infected almost immediately and in less than 1 year, it was at the early stages of cirrhosis. Everything that I have been through for the last 10 years has been to buy time for a new drug (in this case, Incivek – or teleprivir) to fight the virus. I started the treatments 3 weeks ago.  My viral load count was at 2,058, 000. (it’s NEVER been below 800,000) Our goal was to lower the count to 1000 by the end of 30 days, and if that was achieved, then the treatment was working and we would continue fo 11 months to assure complete remission.

Yesterday, I got my 15 day check results.  My count is 475. Period. It’s working! The chances are that this treatment will set me free from that nasty little bug.  If this is achieved, the liver damage STOPS and it can start to repair itself. Meaning I WILL get to see my grandson, and others, grow up!

God (my Creator), Jesus (my Savior), my family, my friends, my medical team, and the American Liver Foundation have everything to do with this success!

Please sponsor me in my efforts to raise funds for the American Liver Foundation Life Walk on March 31.  Go to this website to make a donation online.  

You may be saving the life of a family member, or one of your best friends! It is a worthwhile project and a good investment.

Thanks!

A little information…

Liver in body

The liver is a vital organ that performs a wide variety of critical life sustaining functions. Your liver processes everything you eat, drink, breathe, and absorb through your skin. It helps break food down into essential nutrients for energy and filters out harmful substances from your blood.

Unfortunately, 30 million Americans are personally affected by liver disease. Nearly 100 liver diseases affect men, women, and children of every age and ethnicity from every social and economic background.

Statistics on the prevalence of liver disease are startling–

  • Up to 5.4 million Americans have chronic hepatitis B or hepatitis C infection. About 65% and 75% of the infected populations are unaware that they are infected with HBV and HCV, respectively.
  • Up to 25% of Americans may have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition that can cause life-threatening liver damage.
  • Primary liver cancer is one of the few cancers on the rise in the United States.
  • Chronic liver disease/cirrhosis is the 12th leading cause of death in the United States. Liver disease is the 4th leading cause of death in the United States between the ages of 45 and 54 years.

Many liver diseases are preventable or reversible and nearly all are less expensive to treat if detected early. This is why education and awareness, provided by the American Liver Foundation®, are so important.

Because eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly help the liver to work well, the Liver Life Challenge endurance training program helps participants to improve their personal liver health. At the same time, the fundraising efforts of Liver Life Challenge team members enable the American Liver Foundation to provide life-saving research, education, support, and advocacy to those in need.

Week 3…

My medications are all at max levels, now, and so far… I’m tolerating it. Well, kind of.  My white cells are way down, so I now have to take Neupogen to cause my body to manufacture white blood cells (for immunity).  And now, the red cells are taking a dive, so we will have to start the procrit to stimulate red blood cell production (for oxygen transport, etc). I have been running a low grade temperature since Saturday, but that is just one of the normal noises around here, so I’m still on for a start date of March 5th for my new job, and I’m really looking forward to it.

I will be walking in the Liver Life Walk in Houston (March 31st) for the American Liver Foundation.  I need sponsors. If you are so inclined to donate, please visit this website to learn more and to make a donation. You will be helping a lot more people than just me ( because I hope to be Hep C free in 11 months!!)  If you want to walk with us… visit theteam page and click on the Join Team link above the member names.  Its not a marathon, but a nice walk through a beautiful park along Memorial Drive in Houston.

Ready to walk...

I'm ready to walk... How about YOU?