Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Emailing Friends and Family

My family and I are blessed with the most loving, caring, kind and generous group of friends and relatives in the world. Without them, we couldn't have survived our struggle. To keep the gang informed, we sent emails before, during and after my transplant. My husband, Gene – bless him – was Chief Communicator during my prolonged hospital stay. And my sister, Dene, printed out the emails and gave them to me once I was home, which helped me piece together what happened during and after my transplant. Here is the first of the transplant emails, which I sent to our friends Dec. 1, 2006 – less than 24 hours before we received THE CALL.

Dear Family and Friends - It's official! Weds., Nov. 29, my name was placed on the liver transplant list. After months of screens and tests, meetings, doctors' appointments, medicine, red tape, side effects and lots of WAITING, I'm excited and anxious to finally reach this milestone.

Along with this good news, we learned that my blood work results show that my liver functions are deteriorating at a pretty rapid pace. Here's the scoop - a MELD (Model for End-stage Liver Disease) score is used to prioritize transplant patients; three components of a blood test are used to calculate the score. For the past five months or so my MELD score has been 20 (which is fairly elevated); but in the past four weeks the score has jumped to 24. While this is disconcerting, it significantly increases my priority for transplant.

So... it looks like Santa will bring me the gift I want for Christmas: A new liver! At least, it is my hope that the operation will occur very soon. Gene will become the official communicator for a while and will keep you posted about the transplant.

Thanks so much for all of your good wishes and prayers, which I can use now more than ever. And thanks also for spreading the word about becoming an organ donor and donating blood. It surely means a lot to me and other people who need organs, blood, etc.

Have a great holiday season! We'll be in touch. xo - Jay & Gene

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