Monday, March 10, 2008
Friday, March 07, 2008
A new living donor joins our community
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
The agony of the wait
Megan, who's in her mid 20s now, was diagnosed with Hepatitis C in her late teens -- the result of blood transfusions she had as a very young child over a decade earlier. Since then she has suffered from cirrhosis, Crohn's disease, and diabetes. In October, when Cindy first wrote to me, Megan had level-4 liver disease, with AFP levels through the roof; her physicians were certain it was liver cancer. Enter Matt, her brother, who was cleared to be her donor in February. Great news! But on the same day he was approved, Megan's AFP levels mysteriously dropped severely, and her perplexed docs decided not to schedule surgery, at least for now. What kind of news is that?!? For Cindy, Matt, and Megan, it's difficult news -- and I can understand why. On one hand it's a possible miracle that Megan's body is healing itself. On the other hand, it's just another speed bump that causes a longer wait for the transplant she'll ultimate need. She is still incredibly sick, and Matt is ready for the surgery, but everything is stuck in a holding pattern. Any of us who have had to wait a single day for surgery once we know it's going to happen can attest to how difficult this must be for all of them.
There are no easy answers for why life throws us these curves. All we can do is stay strong and hope things are unfolding the way they do for some sort of reason. But as Cindy wrote to me, "It is so encouraging that living donation is giving us hope." If you have stories of your own wait or can relate, I'd welcome your comments. And if anyone out there has ever heard of AFP levels suddenly plummeting after several weeks of elevation, please let me know!