Growing up in the 1960’s, I remember watching all of the NASA Space Flights. The most exciting part of the space flight was the lift-off, and what added to the anticipation was the countdown. “10 – 9 – 8 -7 – 6 – 5- 4 – 3 -2 -1! We have lift off!”
On my desk calendar, I have been writing a tiny number on each day’s upper corner since April 29th. That number was 50, representing 50 days until my kidney transplant operation. Now that number is 7 – seven more days! If all goes well (more on that), my lovely wife, Letty, will be giving me her left kidney in one week – 7 days!
To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it. They journey has been hard; much harder than I anticipated. Kidney disease sucks, it really does. Dialysis has been challenging. And I’ve made more trips to the hospital and labs over the past 6 months than I ever had in the rest of my 60 years of life. But I made it to this point and I had a lotof help getting here. I’m so thankful for my doctors, nurses, lab technicians, family, friends, church who helped me, supported me, encouraged me and prayed for me throughout this season. It took a village of people, literally hundreds of you from all over the world (special thanks to my brother, Gary’s, church in Frome, England who made me a prayer quilt that I just received), to get me through the last several weeks. I am so humbled and ever so grateful!
So here’s what’s left:
– Tuesday (tomorrow, June 12) is a crucial day. Both Letty and I will be doing our final lab workups for the surgery. We both need to pass in order to get final approval for surgery. My labs last Friday showed improvement in both my hemoglobin and protein levels. And my blood pressure has also improved to good levels. Letty is recovered from her cold (we think). We have no idea where her blood counts are, but praying that they are at acceptable levels.
– Friday (June 15) is when we get our specific surgery times for Monday at Loma Linda Hospital. Letty will most likely be scheduled in the morning, which means my surgery will be around noon-ish. Letty’s surgeon is Dr. Baldwin; my surgeon is Dr. Garnett. Please pray for them.
– Sunday (June 17) is prep day. Letty will have to fast all-day and drink a gallon of a special “lemonade” that will cleanse her. Fortunately for me, I don’t have to fast (happy Father’s Day!)
– Monday (June 18) is transplant day! Blast off! Pray that my new kidney responds quickly and that Letty heals well. We will be in the hospital for 3-4 days. Hopefully, we will both be home by the following weekend.
Thank you again for your prayers and support. If all goes well, I’ll be writing my next blog with a new kidney inside of me. My wife and sons kid me all the time in being the only non-Filipino in our family. But in a week, I’ll have a Filipino kidney! So I’ll be able to add that to my menagerie of ethnicity (Korean, Chinese, Japanese). Bring on the adobo and pancit!