Thursday, November 19, 2009

Good Things Come in "Threes"

You're getting a real treat today! In this instance, three is not a crowd. Three is a very good number.

Pictured above are our two transplant friends who, along with their spouses, join us for lunch on Wednesdays. We were quite a sight walking down the street yesterday. (The three of them looked like a walking infirmary with their private-duty caregivers following closely behind!) All three are doing remarkably well. We're adjourning our lunch meetings until after Thanksgiving.

We went to our clinic appointment this morning and all Gil's numbers are excellent. (This was the first bit of good news for the day.) The staff remarked on how good Gil looked for Day 43! His skin is a bit pigmented due to latent side effects of the chemotherapy and people who don't know his situation were wondering where he had been on vacation to get such a rich and glorious tan!

As we were waiting for the clinic appointment this morning, I was reading my USA Today newspaper and discovered on page 7D that Gil's colleague, Kavitha Chinnaiyan, MD, had been interviewed by the press and featured (and quoted) in an article touting their recently completed study on the cost and time benefits of cardiac CT in evaluating patients with chest pain in ER settings. The results had been presented at the national AHA Meetings held in Orlando this past week. (Gil had served as the Principle Investigator until he got sick this summer and had to turn over the reins to others in his department.)

The research results were widely distributed to over 300 news organizations and outlets. Check it out for yourself. Go to: for November 18, 2009 and select News and then Health and look for Cardiac CT. (This was the second bit of good news for the day.)

After the clinic appointment, and after getting my H1N1 flu shot, we headed over to Beaumont Hospital for a short visit and a couple of meetings. Gil has missed his colleagues and has been hopeful that he can begin to work from home part-time as his condition improves and as soon as his doctors approve. (They had said it would be okay to return to work soon and in a limited capacity if Gil is feeling up to it.)

He cannot work full-time and he cannot have any patient contact for a period of time -- usually about six months after getting the transplant -- to be determined during his recovery period.

You can imagine how difficult it was to leave a profession and career so unexpectedly (June 15, 2009) not knowing when, if ever, you would be able to resume your responsibilities.

He is beginning to cautiously lay the groundwork for re-entering the work force. He's hoping to have a presence (not a physical presence at the hospital but a remote presence through the magic of the internet) sometime before the end of the year. Fingers crossed. (This was the third bit of good news.)

The team of Beaumont physicians and staff (you know who you are) which has administered the cardiac CT and MRI areas in Gil's absence has enabled Gil to focus his energy on a complete and total recovery. They are handling all the daily challenges, writing and submitting manuscripts, presenting research results at national meetings and keeping everyone on the team motivated and productive. We are grateful!

Family news is as follows:

Marika is seeing the premiere showing of New Moon with all the Kappas in Santa Barbara tonight and got her ticket over a month ago!

Evan finished his six weeks of pulmonary study at school and started his next six weeks on the endocrine system. (He is an expert in phlegm!)

Adam is chipping away diligently on his PhD research with the intention of having his doctoral degree conferred -- along with the academic hooding ceremony -- in May 2010.

And as for me, well, I'm just about the nicest, most capable, patient, prettiest chauffer a transplant patient could ever hope for.


Driving around town.
Avoiding rush hour traffic.
Getting home safely.

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