Wednesday, June 6, 2012

One year ago...

Hello friends, family and prayer warriors!

I can hardly believe it is time for the "One Year Update"!  That's right... one year ago today 2 of Denver's 4 kidney transplant surgeons were simultaneously operating on my dad and I trying to give him a new lease on life.  IT WORKED!

This past year my dad has been dialysis free.  It was nice to have him in attendance of our last year of elementary school musicals, Christmas Programs, sporting events (Tanner's 8th grade basketball team went undefeated and won the championship this year under the guidance of his very capable coach Loren Otte!) as well as sporting events at Lutheran High School for Kelby.

This year was not without it's challenges and worries - but what year this side of heaven is?  My dad's body began doing what God made it to do - reject foreign objects - twice in this past year.  Both times the doctors were able to stop it right away and his new kidney suffered no damage... Praise God for that!  In fact, the doctors are pretty sure that they can keep this from happening so often just by tweaking the anti-rejection meds my dad is taking.  That is what we are working on currently.

There was a 4 day hospital stay for my dad as well.  As his immune system is being suppressed... he is open to all sorts of germs that his body won't fight off.  His hospital stay was for that reason.  He was told to stay out of big crowds on a consistent basis.  He and my mom have done a nice job with that order.

Speaking of my mom... this is a MUCH less stressful day for her than it was last year.  I remember the anticipation of having two very close family members in surgery at the same time causing terrible anxiety.  Thankfully it was all over and both of us were in recovery in just about 3 hours.  My mom continues to keep my dad pointed forward and moving in the right direction... She deserves a lot of credit here - it isn't always an easy job!

I am doing just fine.  I have found that the kidney surgery I had last year was much easier and less traumatic on my body than back surgery was six and a half years ago.  I still feel the effects of the back problems almost every day... not so with last year's surgery!  If I drink enough water each day... there are no effects - AT ALL.  There was one day I didn't drink enough water and I became a believer... it made me very sick the next day.  I won't be doing that again. :-)

I'll continue to post occasionally, but I want to say thank you to all of you who faithfully keep us in your prayers.  We need them and we don't want them to stop!



Monday, February 13, 2012

Prayers were answered! Thank you!

Hi friends and family,

I just wanted to post an update to my last blog to let you know how my dad is doing.  He had 3 days of infusions (strong steroids) last Wednesday - Friday.  Today when he went to have his creatinine levels checked they were lower and better.  They do not feel that he is in a rejection state anymore.  He will continue to take oral steroids and wean slowly off of them.  The doctors will be keeping a closer eye on him.

From what I can gather, we should prepare ourselves for some degree of rejection occasionally throughout the rest of his life.  They feel that this time it was a very mild rejection and they caught it early.  I'm so thankful that it was something fixable!

My family is thankful to all of you faithful prayer warriors who send up prayers on our behalf.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!  Keep up the great work! :-)

I will continue to keep you posted.

On another subject for you to keep in prayer... our son Kelby found out today that he has a stress fracture on his L5 (spine).  He will be going in for an MRI sometime very soon and we will find out then what the treatment plan for that will entail.  For now though... no more sports until we get the doctor's okay.  He is in a lot of pain.  Please pray that we can get this managed very soon.

Blessings on the rest of your week!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

8 months - yesterday... don't stop praying!

Hello friends and family!

I felt it was time for an update since my dad and I have reached the "8 months since the surgery" mark.

There has been somewhat of a "glitch" in our progress.  I debated on whether or not to post this but I want you to keep praying ... but not worry (at least that is what I am trying to do!)

My dad had a biopsy done on his kidney yesterday because when he went in last week his creatinine levels were off.  The biopsy showed that his body is going through a mild rejection of his new kidney.  While this is news that can freak an entire family out in one fell swoop... the doctors and transplant experts assure us that more than 70% of kidney transplant recipients go through some type of rejection during the first year after the surgery.

My family and I think this might have been worth mentioning in all of the preparation and thought that went into this transplant surgery.  We also agree that if they had told us everything involved... maybe we wouldn't have chosen this path.  We may never know.  The important thing to know and remember here is that THIS IS FIXABLE! The doctors are not worried and they have a treatment plan that will start tomorrow.  It will involve some infusion of various medications and some tweaking of the meds that my dad already takes.

I try to rest in the knowledge that God is totally in control here and He knows what He is doing... and that none of this is up to me... and I have no say.  This is hard for teachers to swallow as we, as a collective group, like to have control and have a say.

As for myself... I have learned that the transplant people know what they are doing and that drinking enough water each day is VITAL.  I only had to learn that one the hard way once.  It will not happen again.  Our bodies are such an amazing creation... I marvel every day that for the most part... almost every day - I feel no different than I did when I had 2 kidneys.  I also thank God for that!

Thank you for your continued support and prayers!

Specific Prayer Requests:

-  Successful treatment of my dad's kidney and body so they start working together and   not against each other.

-  Both Rod and Monica need to continue to drink MUCH water every day (and pray that Rod starts to actually LIKE drinking water!)

-  Please pray that worry is set aside and confidence is given to the doctors who are treating Rod.

I think that is it for now... thanks for sticking with my dad and I on this wild adventure. We both value the prayers offered up on our behalf!