Chopped Liver - A Community for Live Organ Donors and Recipients

Monday, March 27, 2006

In praise of Magic

To answer the burning question: Joe is doing GREAT! He has been having weekly labs done to gather data on things like white blood cells and billyrubin (hey, isn't that the kid I went to my 5th grade winter dance with?) and for the first time since forever before the surgery, 100 percent of the measurements came back normal. He expects to try returning to work in May.

While I'm here, I'm adding this link to an inspiring story from my hometown paper, called to my attention by McNarney. A young woman dies but lives on through the five people who received her organs.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Namaste, Terry

I'm on pins and needles awaiting word from Terry, who donated her liver to her sister, Dolly, yesterday at Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Mass. Some of you may recognize Terry's name from her comments sprinkled throughout Chopped Liver; she wrote to me after discovering my blog in a search about live donor liver transplants during her own pre-donation preparations. We were strangers before; I still would not know her face if I ran right into her on the street. But through the community of the Web we have found each other, and I'm sending every positive vibe I have toward her, Dolly, and all their family.

Namaste, Terry. I bow to the divine in you.

"I honor the place in you where lies your love, your light, your truth and your beauty. I honor the place in you where... if you are in that place in you... and I am in that place in me... then there is only one of us." - Leo Buscaglia

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Fois gras, anyone?

Amanda and I got dolled up in fancy dresses and spent the evening as Curtis Nelson's guests tonight at Flavors of Minnesota, an annual Twin Cities fundraising event for the American Liver Foundation. A couple hundred well-dressed doctors, scientists, medical engineers, and others with liver-community credentials joined Fergie Frederiksen -- former lead singer of Toto and Hepatitis C survivor-turned-activist -- for a well-choreographed evening of fine food and paired wine. About 20 chefs from the Cities' fine restaurants each hosted a table, where they cooked tableside a unique five-course meal of their own invention. We were lucky to nab the territory of David Fhima, of Saint Paul's Fhima's, who not only charmed us with his gregarious, talkative nature and French accent, but also treated us to a divine feast -- lobster bisque muffin with buttery filet mignon, daikon salad over a smoky mushroomy broth, perfect seared halibut over purple asian sweet potato mash, and, for dessert, playful espresso milkshakes with freshly fried cinnamon donut holes.

I giggled when a cocktail waitress offered me a dollop of paté from the appetizer tray during the early reception. It's poetic, I suppose, to serve liver at a liver foundation event. But then, the bar was hosted, the raffle tickets were full champagne glasses with numbers on the base, and the five wines were free-flowing during dinner, so the hors d'oeuvres weren't the only ironic elements! Yours truly had about a glass worth of various wines, sweet nectar all, but otherwise I was a bastion of will power.

Although Hepatitis is unrelated to Joe's health condition, the issues behind tonight's events certainly hit very close to home, and it was a delight to be there among people who are generously supporting the American Liver Foundation. The group promotes liver health and disease preventions, and has done much to inform people of the 17,000 Americans currently on waiting lists for the live-saving organs they need. Curtis, himself a Hepatitis C survivor, is a tireless supporter of these same causes. For that, and for the seat at his fine table tonight, I am grateful.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Chopped what?

Unbelievable, but true: As of Monday, the saga is over. I'll be back at home, back at work full-time, back in school, and back to overall life as normal. You'd have no idea any of this took place by looking at me, unless you're one of the rare people I'll bare my belly for. Yesterday, I ran half a mile, and although I had to stop because the incision hurt, I had plenty of energy and wind to keep going.

The ongoing question is, what will the long-term effects of this be on me, as a whole? Will I think differently about problems, about work, about myself? Stay tuned. It will never be like nothing ever happened.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Green eggs and heroes

"We give comfort and recieve comfort, sometimes at the same time." I've been thinking a lot about that line, which I first encountered years ago on a Borealis blank-inside greeting card that I liked enough to frame for my bookshelf. Replace "comfort" with "inspiration," "hope," "faith," or "courage" and it's just as true. I'm living proof.

Among the more inspiring things that happened to me this week was a phone conversation I had with Maura, my nine-year-old parrot sitter. I had just told her father, Mark, that I didn't know how to repay the family for taking Owen for so long and giving him such good care. "Actually," Mark said, "there is something you can do." Then Maura got on the line and said her fourth-grade class is having a heroes breakfast, to which the students each invite a hero. "I'm wondering if you would come as my hero," she said. I don't think I've ever been so honored! I told her so, and she replied simply, "Well, I'm honored that you'll come." Inspiration given, inspiration gained.

Considering that just Monday I attended a Green Eggs and Ham breakfast with my niece Katherine and the rest of her first-grade class, it appears I'm becoming somewhat of a regular on the grade school event breakfast circuit. I'll save a Go-gurt for ya.

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