Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Its for real people!!!

OK where do I begin. So today we got our first "back up" phone call to be a liver transplant recipient, from UCLA. What does that mean (asked my mom?)... Transplant 101 here we go. We had been informed at the beginning of this process that is very common to get 1-2 phone calls letting you know that you are the "back up recipient" for an organ that has become available. An organ became available this morning that was a match to Mark's blood type/tissue type/similar physical stature etc... but there was one candidate ahead of Mark on the UNOS list. So we were in "second position", stand by mode, back up, get the drift. WOW what an eye opening experience today has been. When Mark called me, I was so completely surprised when he informed me that UCLA just called and he is a "back up". So as you can imagine we spent the rest of the day pacing around my office burning holes in the carpet---waiting, waiting, waiting. It was an opportunity to discuss are we really prepared for this, can you really ever be prepared and of course the last minute chats and discussions you have when one of you is about to possibly go in for major surgery, be totally "out of it" in ICU for a few days, in the hospital for 1-2 weeks and then recovering at home for a few months... AHHHHHH!!! We haven't heard back again from UCLA. No news is no news, and this process from when a viable organ is recovered until its transplanted can take from 8 - 24 hours. Lisa had a co-worker at her hospital say in some cases 2 days. Its now 10p, we are officially wiped out from today's events. As the hours slip by I am assuming that our chances are getting slimmer... but more so this means like wow this is all for real, ... we really are on The List and that yes this really will happen. Brace for impact, I am!!!!! And I have to say I felt so loved and supported by the network of friends and family who are riding this roller coaster with us today and everyday... love you all.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Its getting closer!!!

Hi friends and family!!! Finally we have news and its solid and good news... We were moved up on The Transplant List to a 29. I know some of this info is repetitive but here is the scoop. Last year they were doing transplants when you were assigned a 29 in Points. BUT due to supply and demand its now a 31. UCLA informed us that we should expect to be upped to the coveted 31 Points at the end of this November or beginning of December. Once our score is a 31 that's when things begin to really heat up. And we will be on- call and truly waiting by the phone for a phone call from UCLA. Wow guys, I think this is really gonna happen! We are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel... If we squint our eyes, and hope and pray a lot, yep I am quite certain I do see the light we have been waiting for... Stay tuned folks, I think the plot is truly getting thicker!!!

Love you all,
Mark, Jenna and Jonathan

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

And the wait goes on...

Hi friends and family, its me again. Well the reason I didn't post anything lately is because there really hasn't been a darn thing to say. In April our scans came back good, still no tumors outside the liver. So we were supposed to get a bump in our points to a 29 (MELD Score) but we waited and waited and no word back from UCLA. After chasing them down at the beginning of June we got vague answers about how the board changed people, and we were denied. (denied more points or denied off the list!? They weren't clear and in some ways we wanna run from more bad news so we didn't press the point). Lots of confusion, no answers except a "don't worry it will all get worked out" (this was said by our UCLA transplant coordinator) so we left our hope in her words. And UCLA is re-submitting Mark's case, etc. Another point to my rambling story... you are supposed to be your own advocate, or maybe that's my job, but man I tell ya they wear you down. And you just pray the pieces fall into place because you are emotionally tapped. Shifting gears (again), technically we are supposed to have the usual quarterly round of scans very soon (like mid July) but haven't been assigned a due date. So all n' all you can tell we are confused. Our schedule and plan that they had laid out for us seems to have gotten all wishy washy in the past few months. So we started the "squeaky wheel gets the grease method"----- otherwise known as annoying them until we get answers.
But with all that said we are still totally confident we will get the plan back on track. Its just a lil' hiccup in the bureaucratic system. So once we get back on track we will be money. No worries. It will happen, patience is a virtue (lame cliche who the heck came up with that one?). So once we get that 29 finally assigned to us it will be on like donkey kong. And we will be waiting for the pager to blow up with hope! Bring it! We ready! Or as Tammy says "Do it!!!".

Love to you all,
Jenna xoxo

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, April 9, 2010

Mark's Scan

Mark just called me... He got scan results back just now.... And it showed nothing spreading beyond liver. We are so happy and relieved! So next is UCLA and UNOS need to schedule a meeting/conference call (will probably
happen in next 2-3 weeks), and at that point UNOS "should" assign us the MELD score of 29. I wanted to share the fantastic news!!!! I am so happy right now, big weight just lifted off of us. Ahhhh I can breathe again.....
Waiting for the scan result is so nerve racking. So next is waiting on UNOS to assign the 29!!!! Lots of love, Jenna.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


(Jenna of course logged on as Mark)... Its been haunting me that we have updated the blog in forever! Procrastinated so long that I got embarrassed and didnt even know what to say. Pushing that aside here is where we stand. January 2010 our scans came back good (all tumors still remaining in the liver only). At that point our MELD score was bumped up to a 27. A year ago they were doing transplants at a MELD score between 27 and 29. But as supply and demand changes so does that, and at this point they are transplanting between 29 and 32. End of March we have another round of scans. If all comes back as expected then we will be assigned a 29. And then the heat is on my friends. The clock will officially start to click loud in our heads and staring at the pager will become a bigger part of our lives. But we are ready (well as ready as one can be). With Jonathan being over 2 now I think in many ways he will be way easier for us to take care of for the 2 or so weeks that Marks in the hospital. But now at this age if Mark isn't around its "when daddy coming back" or vice versa when I am not home. So that part will make it rougher on everyone taking care of Jonathan since we haven't decided what we tell Jonathan about Mark's health stuff. Hmmmmm something to research which I have been meaning to do. Anyway otherwise we are doing really great. Enjoying our time as a family doing normal stuff that families do.... And after being in a holding pattern now for just over 2 yrs, trying to muster up the courage to go to the next level in this process is taking bigger hmmmmm can't think of the proper word... "bigger balls"than I have! Eeeeeks i will also need to research how I can get "bigger balls" HEHE!!! But really I have ZERO doubt that Mark, Jonathan and me are going to be more than okay. When I see my future I see them BOTH in it- so bring it on. I think we are more ready than we realize! A wise woman once said to me "DO IT!!!" And I think we are ready to march forward and do just that ....... "do it"!!!!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry