Friday, January 29, 2010

Another little angel returns home.

It is such a sad day on earth, when He takes his children home... And though I truly believe that Heaven rejoices, and it is where we will all be some day, I can't even begin to imagine the emptiness a mother must feel at the loss of a child. I agree that everything happens for a reason, and that death is not the "end", but for us living here... Well, we are selfish creatures, and I for one know that if it was not for my son, I would not be fighting as hard as I am to stay.
Recently, I have had more than just a few people in my prayers that have suffered this loss. Whether they had ever seen their lil angel or not does NOT matter to a grieving family - and I say this with the utmost sincerity (and in no way comparison) , when I say, that every time someone loses their baby, it brings back the hurt of me losing my chance. I feel like even though the rest of my family was only in theory... it was still there. I lost my chance of baby Maddy Jaymes or Ethan James; but I have my miracles, River James and Jason! And obviously, Jesus knew that it was enough motivation to keep me going (without killing me in the process... hehe - more then one River right now....GULP) ...So don't feel toooo bad for me, I know my limitations. lol.
Now, I felt the need to write this for a few reasons. One, to remind myself of my blessings. Two, to remind others of the same (and maybe for some -- perspective). and most importantly Three, which.... I sadly say will just be lost in Internet space... but to my mom, who still can't bring herself to read my writings, and to my extended family who has any (and every) other excuse for not reading (listen... if you are reading, I'm obviously not talking about you...) I can only imagine the fear and anger in your heart to be faced with being told that you may lose your child. Although, this is not the first time she has been told this (I doubt you ever get used to it) Her and Lee have made it through together, hopefully gaining strength each time. The people who have helped me through though, sadly my mom does not have. I have adopted my family...Lee's family, Jason's family, and my friends - I swear, they were all strategically placed by God just to help me through, because they have!
...But I digress. I guess what I am trying to say is, I wish I could somehow help to heal the pain you must be feeling; but all I can do is say to MY mom at least, that I don't believe this is my time, not yet. And I hope that like me, you have found people who give you strength and help you through this battle. I will do all I can. to remind you that we all return to Heaven (well, hopefully) but not to worry, because I plan on being here for awhile. River will have an earthbound mother stalker... not one from above. hehe. So like I mentioned before, we would all take our own problems back from the pile... me included, because I wouldn't want to be my mom, jeez or my kid... or my sister, friend or anything, awe man... I suck. hehehe
This tattoo was done just after River was born by Jeremy Swan of Broken Art Tattoo (plug) It is the tree of life with 3 stars. 1 for Jason, River, and me. It also has 2 fallen feathers for our babies that never were.

Yaeh Lasix

Well, it is a great morning for me so far! (Ricki is doin' the "O' Happy Day" Dance) Why so happy at 7sh in the morning? Well upon weighing myself this morning - And no, trust me... this is not a vanity issue. Because of my ascites, I must weigh myself regularly (it's supposed to be daily, but so far I haven't found the need for that, says Dr. Ricki) So I say regularly... (Don't judge me! tehehe) Anyway, I am happy to say that it has taken about 2 weeks to lose that 5 lbs that I swear was making me sicker! When I went in for the colonoscopy that never was, the prep really did a lasting number on me, but any evidence of that has now been "flushed" so to speak...tehehe. Thanks to the newest drug on my resume - Lasix!! It seems to really be doing the trick.
But wait... that's not all!
These last few days have also been extremely tough because of this extreme tiredness. I joke about my many nemeses, but sleepiness is my greatest one, and this week -- it kicked my butt. Yesterday alone, I slept about 18 hours... and I used to complain that the HE (ammonia build-up) symptom of day and night reversal was irritating, (yup, that is a real symptom MANY cirrhotics suffer from)but I learned very quickly that I would rather have day and night reversed, then my body forgetting about day time all together! hehe. Seriously! But, I woke up with some strength in these bones today. This morning, I opened my eyes without puking or crying at the thought of getting up, and that is a nice feeling.
But wait... there is still more!
It is Friday... and even though I don't work right now, Fridays are still Fridays! And I know everyone is probably sick of it, but it is just 1 more week until my birthday party!! I can't help it, birthdays have never really been celebrated in our house... and this year, this year I think it's time to CELEBRATE!
So even though I know one of these days I am going to wake up sick and tired again, I will also wake up on a day after that feeling like I do today! I just have to take it one day at a time... Without rain, there would be no rainbows! eh?

Sunday, January 24, 2010


****YUP THIS IS THE RIGHT PLACE ALL YOU PROCRASTINATORS WHO HAVEN'T BOUGHT YOUR TICKETS YET**** ...Make me think you weren't comin' to my birfday benefit - but, s'ok - you're here now, yes you found it. Thank you so much. This truly is going to be an amazing night, with a whole lot of awesome people that are making my journey possible!! So click below... and if you are in Salas (That's Salinas, CA) Please come join Ricki's Little River Run the same day at 9.00 - Bring your Hog...tehehe It's a Bike Run (we are diverse people :)) ...Or come join me see them off to the River Inn... A ride to the river to pay for my liver!! Love it!! Thank you all again sooooo much!!

**2/1/2010 --- If you missed out on buying your tickets to the dinner, you can still come show your support and join us for dancing, silent auction, and snacks.
Details: Time - 8:30pm, Price - $25.00
Click Buy Now button below - it will default to $25.00 :)
Hope to see you there!!
And thank you so much for the 140 amazing people already coming out to share support and prayers with my family. A HUGE thank you to everyone (and there are quite a few of you out there) who donated anything to make this night a magical one. AMAZING!

Names of Attending
Line 2

Friday, January 22, 2010

Skip to my lu!

Larry was not to fond of it, but the other day River and I skipped to our next destination and I have to admit, it was fun. Over these last few months, my health has gotten worse but I have also been given some amazing gifts along the way.
In movies, I always watched the couples washing dinner dishes together and thought... "Wow, what a great relationship, wish Jason helped me with SOME house work!" Well, let me say, a few nights back, I was unloading dishes from the washer and Jason stepped in and started helping, and I smiled and thought to myself, WOW -- Be careful what you wish for ladies!! hehehe
I am also now blessed to know who is really here for me (and what a real Dad does) The relationships that were meant to be, grew stronger and the others.... I was able to just let go peacefully.

My self-esteem has sky-rocketed, because I know that ONLY someone pretty awesome would be surrounded by sooo many amazing people...

--Now soon, I'll be able to take all of this great stuff (Priceless knowledge at 28 -- suckas!) and enjoy it. And THAT to is going to be because of someone that knows me and thinks.... I deserve more time, more time with my Husband, my SON, my family, and they are willing to help make that possible by giving me life! Life is good! ...May I suggest to my readers, you may look like a nut - but skip somewhere today (If I can do it, you can do it -- and see if you get into it as much as me, where you even get your eyebrows in the rhythm) hahaha. Ooh, and by the way, incase you do not know --->
You can by tickets to my birthday benefit right over there, yes there, --> It really is going to be freakin' fun!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010

USC Selection Committee

I got the call today that my case is finally going to the selection committee, and I feel like a little kid again playing organized sports. Although when I said to Kaylee (My nurse) that I sure hope they pick me, she did a little giggle and said I don't think you will have a problem! So I have made it through all of the red tape and in the medical opinions (of a lot of board committee members) my life will GREATLY IMPROVE and I will be less sick (I'm aiming low... but hoping for no sickness at all) if I have this procedure done!! They believe a new liver will make most of my problems go away... and I have been deemed worthy. YES!! It couldn't have been at a better time either, because my "crankiness" with being in pain has reached an all time high (innocent giggles) and even my precious kitty is getting the evil eye when he tries to plop himself up on my achin' body -- and if you know me, you know my Kaya can usually do no wrong. hehehe, well... I will keep you posted, I've got "clinic" on Tuesday, where I will whine and then apologize for it repeatedly. Since this ascites is still "pressuring" me, they will do another ultrasound and of course some routine blood work... I also have another CT scan coming up (Yup it has been 3 months already) and since my tumor marker levels have yet to drop below the 300 range, I still sweat this test alittle. -- on a side note though, I am soooo looking forward to my party in February!! We can really use the funds I know and appreciate.... but really, I just can't resist a party, 'specially for lil' o' meeee! <3

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Asites for sore eyes.

Just a quick update.... These past few days have been uncomfortable to say the least, and these extra few pounds have plum tuckered me out! In the words of Bob... 'Da belly full, but we HUNGRY! I did visit the doctor yesterday, and though he said I definitely have fluid in the belly... and (just to toot my own horn) he agreed that it probably wasn't a coincidence that I drank 4 (ok 2) liters of salt water last Tuesday night, and have gained 4 pounds since. However, until I look like the Octomom just before delivery... there is noooo point in me going back in, unless of course there is fever, which could mean that a fluid infection, because otherwise, it is to risky to tap. (yup, lots to remember) Oh, I also now know the sound of an Ascites filled tummy... I am like a sponge. hehe... suckin' up knowledge and fluids. hehehe.
He also did a little scolding on my talking with USC.... "What's you coordinators name--fast?" "You should have her number on speed dial and chatting with her regularly!" He also said that just because I am a doctor (uh huh... he's funny) I still need to go see him every 3 months, because USC will pretty much only be calling when it is time for my new liver. "Someone besides yourself needs to be looking after YOUR health with you." hahaha... I do need someone to run things by. I just don't like going in to the hospital (There is a bunch of sick people there and lot of people don't leave alive) hehehe.... If it comes down to being in pain but at home and being drugged up in there, I'll take home EVERY TIME.
So what is my game plan? Just keep on keepin' on! Keep taking my medicine and vitamins, keep the salt intake under 2000mg, eat, and stay positive while I wait. (sounds easy enough, eh?)

He also left me with a little info on one of his patients, who received the best Christmas present ever! He had to wait 9 months, but on Christmas eve, he received a new liver, and today his wife called Dr. Jamal and said he was resting at home now. whoo hoo...TOTALLY DOABLE! JUST GOTTA KEEP THE FAITH. It doesn't hurt that I have some great incentives either.
--BTW, was not talking about my birfday bash as the incentive (I was talking about family and friends)... but now that you mentioned it... I am so excited about this year!! I sure hope that if you are in the Carmel area on February 6th and you want to have an awesome time, with great food, music, prizes, and people, COME JOIN US!! Get the word out on organ donation, And you would be helping me and my family out too. Hope to see you there. <3

Thursday, January 7, 2010

No one violated here!!

You will be happy to know that I was not probed as scheduled... However, it was the prep I dreaded to begin with, and that I experienced... again. Jason took the day off of work to drive me down to USC... I was still vomiting all the way there due to all of the lovely salty prep I drank the day before... and (now has caused an ascites flare up... thanks docs) I was wheeled into admitting, paraded around the floors with my head shoved into my little purple waste basket and washcloth around my neck. They got me into the room, IV started and then the doctor came in, took one look at me, asked "How old are you again" and said, no way would he do this to his daughter at my age. He then explained the reasoning for the colonoscopy (and let me tell you, I do recommend them for you if you are over the age of 50) I have had one before and let me say... Suck it up, it isn't that bad and could save you from much more invasive procedures later on! Now back to my story. He ran it past his colleagues and this became my second USC visit for not. So, it was canceled and I was kept on IV fluids and nausea meds for a little while longer. Another $7.50 for parking (Jason and I have decided that the $7.50 is due just for entering their parking because we have never paid anything less then that in the ($5.00 max all day parking structure) hehe. I was glad that they didn't have to do another procedure that I have to pay for out of pocket, but man.... this sucks. I left trying to look on the bright side... "Well, at least my butt don't hurt" but lets be honest.... your butt doesn't hurt after that anyway. It really is the prep that is tough. Golytely.... psshh.... You go -- trust me, you go! but it ain't lightly.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Foods worst nightmare!!

I would love to find a 24 hour Little Caesars and bury my face in a warm cheesy pizza pie right now. *nom*nom*nom...mmmmm. Or Chomps Eel Explosion and crunchy shrimp rolls... Oh man, come to momma. Why my sudden interest in food? I haven't eaten in over 24 hours... and I am all juiced up on Vitamin waters and 4 FREAKIN' LITERS of "draino" (Ok, maybe I technically only got 2 liters down) of the stuff called GoLytely... and let me tell you, "Go" fits -- "lightly" or anything resembling -- should NOT be near this word. hehehe, definitely false advertising on that name, definitely! ...And that's all I am going to say about that. ;) So anywho, last night, upon a "Professional" suggestion I weighed myself at 119 pounds; but today (after the colonoscopy of course) I plan on eating my way back to 122 and then, maybe even 125. Sorry, got food on the brain. I admit that even Rivers story last night kept drifting back to the subjects of restaurants or food-filled events, and a few times I was interrupted with a "Moooom, not that story! The one about River and Lightning McQueen" but he did finally fall asleep... and later today, when he goes to eat his fruit cup for snack, he will find that all of the peach flavored water has been sucked out of the cup already. hehehe (it's ok, I don't like him getting all sticky anyway) ...Besides, he doesn't mind at all. Well, it has been a few foodless and poop-filled days for me over here (I'm speaking literally - not complaining) hehe, and speaking of poop -- A new friend of mine, (a now 2-time LIVEr!! haha... I'm so clever. Yes, he recently had a liver transplant) Anyways, he sent me over his full case of unopened lactulose from his pre-transplant days... happy to be rid of it I am sure. And I was happy to receive. This box would have cost me almost $200.00 at the pharmacy! That's a few months of medicine just GIVEN to me. Angels I tell you, angels! (Although on Jan 19th I have a follow-up appointment where I DO plan on discussing a vitamin plan that just might reduce my ammonia levels, ummm without reducing my body type anymore to that of a wet cat.) I know the doctors say I need it, but there has to be something less draining on my body (hehehe) So wish me luck today, it is another fun-filled day in the life of a cirrhotic... hehehe ((Dramatics)) As far as I know, this is the LAST of my scheduled tests before I am officially accepted as a transplant patient at USC hospital. It may be strange how excited I seem -- but I have spoken to people now who have been handed the same diagnosis as me, but not the same options -- Doctors have found them to "risky" to have a transplant, (not enough spares to go around)... but, they have chosen me!! As long as these tests come back good (and they will!) I will be put on a list with over 17,000 other Americans. Waiting to start living again -- outside of a 50 foot range of my toilet and a pillow (and without a pre-stamped expiration date) that is. And I don't want to speak to soon (I don't want anyone pressured or guilted into it) but God has truly blessed me with some AMAZING friends and family that are willing to see if they are a match for me!! I will have patience though, and trust that God will know the exact time for everything to fall into place. -- I do know that I am exchanging one set of risks and problems for another. I am sure that there will be a constant fear of rejection or fear that my Hep C will come back with a vengeance... but it is a risk I am willing to take to live longer and fuller, if given the opportunity... And I know deep down that if I could, I would do it for anyone of them... and you (ya, YOU) but since no one is going to want any of my bits n' pieces, I promise to do all that I can, the only way I can! I will try to help as many people as possible by spreading the word... getting people to realize that sooo many people are needlessly suffering (THIS IS SOMETHING WE CAN CHANGE!!) just by simply spreading the word! Getting the facts out there! Giving it a face! I have read stories about parents who watch their kids strain to breathe because they need new lungs, or tethered to machines, just waiting. Human beings that can be given new life, just from the act of you saying "YES!! RECYCLE ME!" Who wouldn't want to do that? Live on as a hero to so many people forever... Score a few brownie points with Jesus on your way over... It's a win/win situation... Now, the million dollar question. How do I get people to be aware, let alone care enough to donate their organs? ...And even harder, the organs of a deceased person in their loved ones darkest hours?? ...To much to think about, I have POOPED myself out... and the thought of Dutch Apple Pie is dancing around so strongly in my head right now that I can't focus on much more... except to say, Be warned food -- be warned! ... because tonight, you are MINE. muwahahahaha.

Friday, January 1, 2010

My new year wisdom

Happy New Year!!! I woke up thankful today. I have decompensated Cirrhosis-yes, but!! A year ago today I was still waking up on a daily basis wondering what was wrong with me? Was this ever going to end? Sickness has always been like a splinter for me. It hurts just enough to piss me off and I can never find where it is. But not anymore... We've got that sucker in our sights and now just need to yank it out (metaphorically speaking) I know it is a little (ok, a lot) more complicated than that, but at least now, I know what and where the monster is and with a crapload of help, meds, and prayers... (oh yes, and a liver -- another key ingredient)I have faith that it will be fixed... I can be healthy and pain-free. I am no longer dreading the new year because I know it will be filled with tiredness, weakness, and sickness. I am excited for the unknown possibilities.

I was reminded today of an old saying,
"If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone elses, we would take ours back."
For some reason that is the thought I want to leave my 14 readers with... hehe. and trust me when I say, I believe it! May we all be reminded of what a gift life is, and be able to enjoy it. <3