Judi & I thought we'd be heading home by now - that was based on info from the Mayo Clinic...if everything went to plan. Of course, almost nothing has gone to plan for Judi since arriving, and the acceptance into the transplant program and start of radiation treatment has been delayed time and again. However, she has improved enough in the 6 weeks we have been here that her doctor took her case to the board for approval this week, and it agreed - she is a viable candidate for a liver transplant! We got the news while enjoying downtown Rochester's Thursday's on First and Third. Judi flashed me a thumbs up as she talked to her coordinator on the phone. And then we were up doing the happy dance!
The wait for a deceased liver donor could be a year or more, but the liver is the only organ that can regenerate, so live donors who would donate a portion of the liver are also an option. In fact, a live donor is the better option. Volunteers will be vigorously screened, but if a viable live donor emerges, the transplant could go forward much sooner. Amazingly, 5 people have already come forward as interested in being a donor. Whether or not any will be a good match is yet to be seen, so anyone who may be so moved who is blood type o, no older than 55 and around 5'8" may e-mail me and I'll pass your information along.
While Judi does have medical insurance that will pay for a lot of her procedures, treatments and the actual transplant, as you can imagine the out of pocket expenses have been mounting as well as the added housing and transportation expenses while in Rochester. A friend back in her hometown of Hood River, OR has set up a website page with a little more information about Judi and where donations may be made to a fund to help defray some of these expenses:
So our 6 week adventure has been extended. Depending on how soon she gets going on the radiation treatments, it looks like we'll be here into October. We're just hoping we don't have to send home for our parkas, that we are home before the snow flies. We've been promised a break of at least 3 to 6 weeks (depending on which doctor we ask) before having to return for the transplant. We'll be grateful for the chance to go home for awhile.
Shortly after arriving here in Rochester, I'd spotted a beautiful designer necklace in the window of Lasker's Jeweler, what I was sure was a designer one easily worth $500. It was a coppery bronze coil strung on a chain, something so me that I just knew I would wear it often. I couldn't get my mind off it and decided I didn't care what it cost, I was going to buy it. I've done this sort of thing two other times - spent money I didn't have to buy something I didn't need while in the midst of an emotionally charged time. It is as if I need something totally positive and special to counter the unexpected negative, so I have something good to come out of a bad time. Not a souvenir or something to remember the experience by. No, something that is unrelated to the event, almost a bit of rebellion against the negative thing I am living through. When I went home for my mother's funeral, it was a pair of engraved silver earrings made from silver mined locally. When I lost a tooth during a routine procedure, it was a very expensive Reed & Barton silver Christmas Cross. Now I found myself wanting to do this again, and that necklace looked to be the purchase to give me the good thing from this difficult experience.
And so on the day I determined to spend way too much money on a necklace, we paused once more to view that necklace in the window, then perused the many vendors set up along 2 blocks of the Thursdays on First and Third. Almost to the end of that second block, I was drawn into the booth of Crazy for Wire. Beautiful cabochon stones wired into pendants and dream catchers with tree images. Oh be still my heart! My favorite image to work with rendered in a medium I would never use, coupled with beautiful stones. And very affordable. But no. I must stay focused on that designer necklace back at Lasker's...
So all the way back we trekked. I tried on the beautiful $500 necklace that was so me. And I did not like the way it looked or hung. I checked with Judi and she shook her head no. It went back in the window and Judi asked what I wanted to do next. I want to go back and get one of those pendants, I answered, and we trekked the 2 blocks back to the affordable booth (did I mention it was in the 90's and I was pushing Judi in a wheelchair?). I must have tried half a dozen different pendents but settled on this one attached to a chain with additional beads. My teal green, a beautiful stone. My tree image rendered in copper wire. And a message so apropos to my reason for being here. A tree of life for my friend, fighting for her life. A beautiful piece of art to inspire and uplift.