Been a while…

Yes, it has. But I am still alive and kicking, albeit a little bit slower.
I had a RE-repair of an abdominal hernia, a little reminder of the liver transplant. The original mesh had ripped, allowing a possible strangulation of my small intestine. Dr Cicalese and his team arrived just in time to save it.
However, my system cannot tolerate the strain from major surgery, anymore. My liver and kidneys tried to fail, causing the hospitalization to last almost 2 weeks as opposed to 3 days.
God, prayers and my medical team pulled of the miracle one more time.
I guess I’m on my 8th life now, so I’ve got to navigate life more carefully.
But no worries! I’m alive, and somewhat healthy. I intend to spend even more time with friends and family…and my new buddies, Waylan and Murphy.

Thanks to all of you who continue to petition the Lord with prayer, on my behalf.

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Mid April…

Well, April has been busy so far, and shows no signs of slowing down. Yes, I get tired, but I pace myself as well as I can. It’s actually refreshing to be sort of “normal” again, after so long.

Weekend of 4/7-8, we had Lindsay’s and Seth’s baby shower for my grandson Waylan. It was a large turnout, the food and company were excellent and a good time was had by all. Sunday was Easter and we had our traditional crawfish boil (for Easter and for Joey’s birthday.) Rick and Kat Garcia were in attendance and brought Kat’s brother and his wife and daughter, and we really enjoyed getting to know them, as well as catching up with our good friends the Garcias. Oh, and the crawfish was to die for… it was Evan’s first time to purge, and he did a great job… no muddy taste in these bugs!

This weekend, it is actually Joey’s birthday (4/13) and we spent the day buying shrubs, flowers and vegetable plants. Then we planted then and fertilized and watered everything. The botanical efforts are really progressing! I grilled up some salmon burgers and corn on the cob for supper, and we had a nice quiet evening. Today has been a hodgepodge of activity, with most of my day spent researching the parts list I need to get my 1971 Triumph up and running. Time is of the essence! Tomorrow is the church cookout and games day (if we don’t get rained out).

So far, April is FUN. Oh, and I am still working 3 days a week… long hours, but it’s still a lot of fun for me. I like my job and the people I work with.

I hope everyone has a great week!

Here is a slideshow of pics from last weekend. Enjoy!

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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!