Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
One gal in particular contacted me through the blog when Geoff and I were in Seattle. Her name is Kristina. Oh, and don't worry she totally gave me permission to talk about her as long as I didn't mention how drunk she got the first time we met. Totally kidding.
Anyhow, she was recently diagnosed with PSC and found my blog. One of the cool things about this whole story is that she lives in Dallas and has 2 young kids. So, we e-mailed a couple of times and decided that we should totally get together for dinner.
We met last week and it was an absolute blast! I kind of felt like I was going on a blind date...with a girl. I was nervous. I even called a friend of mine and said "okay, if I disappear I was last seen at Mi Cocina". The really cool part about this entire thing is that we had so much in common, so there was no need to worry that she might try and kidnap me.
- She's 5'10-me too!
- Her daugther's name is Ava-me too!
- She had a super cute outfit on-me too!
- She loves Nordstrom Rack-me too!
- She had the exact same necklace on that I got for Christmas! Weird!
I know this is all completely useless information to all of you, but remember this was a complete stranger up until a week ago.
Most importantly though, I hope that I was able to share with her that there is life after transplant (not that I've had one or anything...but you get the point) and if you have a great support system you can get through anything.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
2008 was a fun/shitty/happy/exciting/trying/overwhelming year.
Back to my reflection.
So, 2008 was not a bad year (entirely). We were blessed with a miracle and now were just waiting on another. There's not like a 1-miracle-per-family maximum, right? Or maybe it's like a flex-spending account where it just starts all over the next year? Either way, we were blessed this year.
Besides the birth of Conner being a huge highlight we also survived another year with mini-me (aka Ava). This year more than ever Geoff and I realized how much she is like me. Yikes. This girl will have no problem holding her own in Kindergarten. I have to say, I'm pretty proud.
And now...this is the girl who will be teaching your daughter how to sneak of the house out at night.
That's enough reflection for now. I'll be back.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Very, very in to it.
I totally gave up on the wrapping and just started putting bows on everything. I even resorted to wrapping Geoff's gifts in one big J Crew bag.
Conner was up first!
The calm before the storm.
This was me following Ava around going "do you like it, do you like it"? I wanted HUGE reactions...
The $10 Hannah Montana make-up set which turned out to be the biggest hit!
And here's Grandma!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Now, about the winner part. This was a recent submission for the liver naming game. It's definitely a winner in my books. Big thanks to Erik S.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
You've got to be kidding me.
Anyone who knows me KNOWS I will only post good pictures of myself. Why would I want you to picture me any other way? My secret is out.
This picture was taken by Geoff one morning when he thought it would be funny to have the kids and the dog wake me up. Somehow I'm not laughing right now.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Wednesday: Geoff's work party. I'll get the let's-not-have-too-much-to-drink-in-front-of-my-boss talk before we go. I'll nod my head and then go about my merry way. I promise it won't be like the year I accidently tried to break in to the valet guy's car.
Thursday: My work Christmas party. I'll behave there.
Friday: 3rd or 4th Annual (?) Christmas Lights Dinner with the Bettencourts. The first year the girls were just 5 months old and the guys drove us to a bar after dinner. We ran inside, did a shot of tequila, and ran back out to the car. It's not like we were going to take our babies in the bar with us.
Saturday: My 3rd Annual Cookie Exchange with the neighborood gals. This ain't your momma's cookie exchange. This year were all fired up because last year half the party was pregnant.....and that spells b-o-r-i-n-g.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
I have two barking seals also known as Ava and Conner. Geoff is walking around the house with a hospital mask on like we are on the brink of a SARS epidemic and I am praying that I don't get sick because I have 3 Christmas parties this week (that I would like to drink at).
Thursday, December 11, 2008
- Yes, they would accept his case
- They do not think the board will grant additional points
- They are going to write of letter of inquiry to the review board just to make sure
- If the letter fails, we are still going to get listed here with the MELD of 14 just to have a back-up
- After looking at his liver yesterday they do feel that a re-transplant is necessary (his upper bile ducts are deteriorating significantly, BUT his tube has done an excellent job of keeping the blood flow going).
That's it. We are headed to the airport in 30 minutes. So long Seattle-maybe we'll see you soon.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
- At least we can check the box on this one. No regrets.
- We will get a second opinion. Nothing wrong with that. Looking back maybe it was something we should have done anyways.
- Our thoughts this morning: maybe it's not a bad thing to get listed her regardless of the low MELD. What happens if Geoff's "natural" MELD shoots up to a 19 in the next two months and he still hasn't been transplanted in Dallas? At least our bases will be covered and UW could still come through.
- The flip-side to that thought: maybe this is all God's way of telling us to go back home because there is a better plan for us in Dallas.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Well.....the day was an interesting one.
We got to the hospital bright and early. FYI-still freakin cold here. We pretty much met with a set of doctors for an 1 1/2 hours or so. We went through Geoff's past, present, and future (medically speaking). They were all really great (and ALL women...interesting, huh?).
The main concern is that Geoff's MELD would not be a 20 in this region therefore not making him anywhere near the top of the list (like we had hoped). His MELD would most likely be a 14 here, which is pretty much non-existent in the transplant world. It's not for sure, but they wanted to be honest with us. Remember, Geoff is an automatic 20 MELD in Dallas because of his biliary tube. We thought that was a standard throughout the country-apparently not.
Next steps: tomorrow morning Geoff is going in for a procedure to get a good look at his liver/bile ducts. We pushed for this because at the very least we would like a second opinion. Secondly, tomorrow @ 12:30PM they will be presenting his case to the committee @ UW to see if they will agree to take on his case (which they said that was pretty much a given) BUT to also get the doctors feelings on how the "all mighty regional committee" will feel about granting the additional points for his tube.
They are going to call us tomorrow afternoon and give us the results from all. Keep your fingers crossed.
Much love. We miss Dallas.
Anyway, this is the text she sent me to update all of you fellow blog stalkers:
"Seattle is still a crap shoot...Geoff probably would not be the same meld score here therefore it probably would not be worth it to list him here. BUT is case is going to presented to committee tomorrow and they are going to look closely at his liver to give us a second opinion."
They are disappointed but hopeful that tomorrow will answer some more questions for them....as to how sick his liver is at this point, etc.
As I know you all do, please pray for them tonight and throughout the day tomorrow. For answers, for good news and for the Lord to surround them with his love.
Until next time,
Here comes the irony.
Last week there were 7 people in FW with Geoff's blood type waiting for a liver (he was in the #2 spot) and there were 9 people in Dallas with Geoff's blood type (he was in the #3 spot). And just for pure torture I like to look up UW. There was 1 person in Geoff's blood group.
This week there are 9 people waiting in FW and 10 waiting in Dallas. Ready? There are ZERO people waiting at UW in Geoff's blood category.
Off to get some great Seattle coffee and head to the hospital.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Um...did some forget to remind me that I was going to be RIGHT next to the flagship Nordstrom store? And if that's not good enough how about right down the street from the 4-story Nordstrom Rack? H-E-A-V-E-N
Geoff and I did a ton of walking. I told him he needed to prepare his body for the evaluations tomorrow, especially if he was going to see a cardiologist.
Some observations so far:
- Lots of trees! Who said that there was a shortage?
- Lots of skinny people
- A little grunge...or I've really become a little "Dallas". I'm hope my big silver earrings aren't too much with my huge red purse?
- Hills!!! Can't wait to start walking...Geoff is cringing.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
It went well today. Geoff's numbers were stable-kidneys a little elevated, but nothing out of the "norm". The doctor commented on Geoff going to Seattle. It was a blessing of sorts. He said that UW is a great program. Thanks for the vote of confidence.
My grandma (GiGi to Ava and Conner) is coming into town today from California. We are all very excited. Welcome, GiGi!
Yay for Friday.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Geoff: I'm just sayin
Geoff: I just thought you had more.
Geoff: Hahahaha (nervous laughter).
Me: Are you mental?
Geoff: I was uh just uh saying...um that I thought....you know?
Me: Um, I don't know and you are an idiot.
Just a normal Tuesday night discussion. I think this falls into the category of a dust buster for Christmas and when he bought me a scale when I was 5 weeks pregnant (because he thought for sure that I would want to keep track of my weight gain).
Monday, December 1, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
UW called on Wed. night and said that they had secured us "an urgent" slot. We have an appt. The appt. is set for Dec. 9th @ 7:45AM. It is an all day appt. We booked our tickets this weekend.
Potential Problem #1-of course we are sooooo close here in Dallas. There is a chance that Geoff could be called for a transplant here and then we would be in Seattle of all places. How much would that suck? So, were going to get a hold of the transplant team here in Dallas (hopefully tomorrow) and get their "advice", but we had to book our flights considering it's only 10 days away.
Were not freaking out. Were excited. We need to feel like there is progress in all areas in order to remain sane, but there are the typical worries: work, kids, dogs, and the unknowns.
Wish us luck! And, if you're in Washington, let's meet up!
Friday, November 28, 2008
It's 11:41AM the day after Thanksgiving and I just got home from my Black Friday shopping extravanganza. I officially shopped for 12 hours, which included a "nap" from 2:30AM-4:30AM. This is how it began....
10:42PM-Geoff and I (yes, Geoff) picked up my friends Lori, Kim, and Colleen to head to our local outlet malls.
11:10PM-arrived at Allen Outlets
2:15AM-left Allen Outlets after shopping (aka pushing/shoving crazy moms) at Gymboree, Banana Republic, Gap, and Gap Kids.
2:30AM-went to sleep
4:30AM-alarm goes off
5:00AM-arrive at Wal-Mart with my mom (C-R-A-Z-Y-not mom, but Wal-Mart)
5:36AM-leave Wal-Mart and head to Target
5:49AM-arrive at Target and wait in line for doors to open
6:00AM-Doors open and I am RUNNING with my friend, Lori (shopping partner for the last three years) to the toy dept. while my mom and Lori's mom run to the electronic dept.
6:45AM-head to Starbucks
7:01-arrive at mall heading directly to the Disney Store
10:44AM-leave mall (shopped at Gymboree, Libby Lu, Macy's, etc. etc.)
So, what did I buy? I believe I got FABULOUS deals:
Banana Republic Jeans (women) $30
Banana Sweater (women) $26
Banana Cords (men) $22
Banana Sweater (men) $18.50
Banana boxers (men) $5.00
Gymboree pajamas 5 pairs @ $5.99 each
Gymboree hat (boy) $4.50
Gymboree outfit (boy) $11.99
Gymboree dress $12.00
Gymboree fleece jacket and pant both for $15.00
Gymboree shoes (boy) $9.88
Fisher-Price Walk-n-go $10
Hannah Montana Make-up kit $10
Crayola Art Set $8
Sleep Beauty DVD $11.88
101 Dalmations DVD $11.88
Enchanted DVD $11.88
Happy Feet $3.98
Leapster game Pet Pals $15
Playdoh Kit $8
Baby Cinderella Doll $7.99
I WOULD DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN! I was able to get everything I wanted, but most importantly, I really feel like I saved a lot of $$$. Do you hear that Geoff?
Who's going with me next year?
Thursday, November 27, 2008
I "met" Dawn when I became an avid blog stalker. I was googling "liver transplants blogs" and stumbled upon Carl and Dawn. They have been such a huge support for our family, always there to cheer us along.
Anyhow, Dawn is a freelance journalist in her "real" life. She started a blog, 71 Days of Christmas to chronicle her journey through the holiday season. When she started this blog she asked me if I would be interested in doing a guest post. I was thrilled to help contribute! So, enjoy!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
- Nordstrom Rack
- the gym
- Geoff (like I said, in no particular order)
- good haircut/hi-lights
- clearance racks
- my mom's group
- my house
- long distance friends
- my Dyson vacuum
- my health
- fiber one bars
- Ava and Conner's health
- my marriage
Monday, November 24, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
I e-mailed her. Yesterday. At 5:45AM. Just casually asking her why IT HAS BEEN A WEEK AND NO CALL. I promise, I was very polite about the whole thing.
She e-mailed me back immediately assuring me that this was "very, very typical". Also reminding me that although Geoff is #1 at Fort Worth there are still other #1s at the other transplant hospitals in the region.
She's on my radar now, and I SO appreciate her.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
- Feelin fine in 09'
- LiverTime 09'
- Liver's Mine in 09'
- LiverFind 09'
- Celebrate the Good Times-A liver for Geoff in 09'
- LiverLine 09'-no cutting in line bleep bleep bleep (nice one Rhonda)
On the UW front...I will be calling today to follow-up but we received word on Friday that all paperwork had been received (I can't remember if I posted that or not).
Monday, November 17, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I'll look for you when I'm there. I'll be the one nervously looking around wondering how many people are going to try and shake my hand. That's okay though, I (we) am ready to embrace it.
I hope you're not busy though because we really need to talk. Oh, and I hope you don't mind if we leave our cell phones on...were expecting a call.
Friday, November 14, 2008
This is when we would want the transplant to happen......
They did a transplant last night-someone with a MELD of 24 or 25....the coordinator was going to check and see if that would affect Geoff's status.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Hello???? We need a new name-Liver Wait 08' will no longer do.
I need some ideas. Start thinking. I want t-shirts made up.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
#5 in Dallas
- Tube check on Thursday
- Bloodwork on Thursday (this set of bloodwork will be submitted to UNOS-the organ Gods. In some sick twisted way we are hoping his levels will be elevated so that his MELD score can be increased).
- Washington Update: getting paperwork completed so that we can fly out there and meet with the team (and hopefully to be put on the list sometime before Christmas....probably a stretch, but still shooting for it)
Totally random, but do any of you out there watch Prison Break? You know how they are always talking about the "Company" and how no one can get to them and they seem unbeatable? That's who I'm beginning to think the "committee" is, the committee that makes all these crappy-ass decisions. So, from now on they are the "Company" in my world. Anyone following this? It makes perfect sense to me.
Friday, October 31, 2008
We went to liver clinic today. A successful clinic in my mind. The great Dr. S was wonderful, as usual. He basically said that in order for Geoff to get transplanted any quicker he would have to get sicker. This is no news to us. They have petitioned twice for additional points and we have been denied. They are going to try a 'phone poll', which is where the doctors actually have a conference call with the committee and a request/decision is made. I guess it's the step above the petition to the petition. Again, a pretty slim chance, but it just shows us how much they are fighting for Geoff.
We discussed our listing for Washington and he was very supportive. He flat out said, "It's human nature. I would be doing everything that I could if it was me".
So, with that said, we are moving forward. In the next two weeks we should know when our appt. is so that we can start booking flights, etc. (I KNOW! TWO WEEKS??? Everything is a process....).
Happy Halloween! The Dunkles are having a Halloween Open House tonight with 70 of our friends and neighbors. Crazy much?
1. I will NEVER wear a pair of high heels even though I would love to. Being 5'10 there is no way you would ever catch me in a pair, which is why I am a much better dresser in the Spring/Summer because flip-flops are my favorite.
3. Shopping is my second "career". The bargains continue to call my name on a weekly basis. I hunt, I find, I buy. Bargain shopping. That is why you will never find me on Oprah confessing to Geoff that we have $50,000 in credit card debt because I couldn't stay out of the Coach store. Think Dollar General.
4. I can pick up just about anything with my toes. I believe it's a true talent.
5. In High School, I probably had about 10 part-time jobs (all at different times, of course). The bagel shop, the flower shop, two dry cleaners, an Italian restaurant, and a few others that I can't quite remember. If they didn't give me the time off for something like a football game or cheerleading try-outs then I had to quit. Their loss.
6. I LOVE Mexican food. I could eat it all day, everyday. Sometimes I wonder if I was secretly born in Tijuana...maybe that's where it all began?
7. I believe that my birthday should be a national holiday. Birthdays are meant to be celebrated for at least a week or more whether you're turning 12 or 60, especially mine. So for everyone reading this don't forget my 30th is coming up (you have a year to start planning).
Thursday, October 30, 2008
So, Dr. Reyes basically asks "what can I do for you and your husband"? I explain the situation and he simply says that getting a second opinion isn't a bad idea and he thinks that they (UW) can help us. That our time would not be wasted coming out there for the initial evaluation. End call. All in all, Geoff and I felt good about the call. At least they weren't trying to stop us, right?
Fast forward to 7:00PM
Dr. Chinna Chinna (not real name, just can't pronounce it or spell it) calls Geoff. Again, very exciting to receive a call from one of these "Gods". He was very sympathic. Told Geoff that it was not a bad idea to try and go get listed at another region BUT to be very selective on where we go (making reference to the fact that he wouldn't just send Geoff to any transplant center). He also wanted us to make sure that the waiting time would really be signifactly less at UW. He gave us a couple of questions to ask the UW team (before we head out there). All very wise information. Geoff made sure to tell Dr. Chinna Chinna how much we are devoted to Baylor, reminded him that they saved his life, how grateful we are, that if possible he would marry Chinna Chinna (not really), etc. Hopefully the point was made that we didn't want Baylor to get the impression that we have given up on them.
We have a lot of decisions to make. Do we head out there? Take the risk? The appt. at UW could take weeks to get. We meet with the team here in Dallas tomorrow-I'm sure it will be discussed a little bit more.
To be continued...
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
The surgeons discussed this (meaning Geoff's request from Friday) in their meeting this morning. Dr. Chinnakotla will be making the call to Washington. Hopefully he will get this done today.
So, I guess we have their blessing. Not sure what the next steps will be, but I assume flying to Washington will be one of them. Let's see how quickly the appts. get set-up.