Sunday, February 28, 2010



 Team Larry                                                 
Raising funds and awareness to live life then give it!
Please Give!! Your donations now... and your "recycled" parts in the distant future ;)
My name is Ricki, and I am in need of a liver transplant. Making me one of the 100,000 waiting to start living again. Please join my family and me on May 1st, to raise funds and awareness for Donate Life. Register to walk with us or show your support by donating any amount above. Did you know??? * There are over 100,000 people on the transplant waiting list. * Every 13 minutes, a name is added to the list. * 17 people die each day waiting for a life-saving transplant. Please help! Lets change the statistics! Make it possible by getting your donor dot and spreading the word! LIVE LIFE then GIVE LIFE!!
>>Click here<< To register to walk with Team Larry
The cost is $20.00

I am Tyler Durden...tehehehe

Did you know that "You can swallow a pint of blood before you get sick"?... I don't know if that is true but Edward Norton said it in Fight Club, so it could be. That could be the reason I have been even more nauseous then normal and that I seem to be a tad bit light headed all of the time. I also seem to be doing a lot more laundry and Shout does not always take the blood out. You guessed it... It has been another rough couple of weeks for me. Larry has been bugging me more and more, though it is usually just an annoyance, sometimes it causes me to "hunchback-it" over to the bed and tell Jason... "Momma needs her pill" tehehe. I have also probably traumatized my husband and son to some extent when they wake up to this picture. I know I have stumbled into the bathroom after a nap and have been startled by myself in the mirror. Ahh!! JESUS! It definitely looks worse then it is. So besides Larry hurting, being exhausted, still puking a few times a week, and the bleeding thing, my newest irritation is that most communication hurts my head. Though it makes me appreciate Jason's "quietness" -- the words "You never talk to me" have not come out of my mouth in a looong time. Most everyone else causes pain. One of the games that me and River play is "opposites" he says, Up, I say, Down.... etc. but lately after about 5 words my head begins to hurt, of course it doesn't help that he says words like Rain, and the only thing I can blurt out is... No...Rain? These answers do not satisfy him, and by the end of the game I just want to go to my room and cry myself to sleep. Defeated. Conversations are becoming to quick for me and I am irritated at my processing time. It is hard to be slow and know it. Familiar things are not familiar anymore and my short term memory is gone... My mom had asked me the other day why I always have so many glasses of water sitting around and I had to tell her... because not only do I forget I poured the water (and have been drinking it) but also where I sat it down after, and instead of looking for it, I would rather not hurt my brain and just pour a new one... otherwise I will walk in circles for a while trying to remember what I was looking for in the first place, and only remember once I realize again that I am thirsty. It's a vicious cycle (and it makes me dizzy) tehehehe, but I am sure it is just as irritating to watch.
Anyways, I guess what I am saying is I sure hope this isn't permanent because when I get my new liver I plan on being the social butterfly I once was (giggles) -- shut it, I was! Well, I always had a lot to say, I just never thought anyone wanted to hear it, but as it turns out... I don't only crack myself up, I'm actually kinda funny. And now, I have lost any vanity that I had holding me back!! tehehe. And I hope I still have some friends and family to share it with!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Team Larry

Alright, Alright!! I woke up for some reason at 2:00am thinking about Team Larry and couldn't go back to bed (which doesn't bother me anymore as long as I'm not pukin')! This will be the first of what I plan to be many walks and awareness events I plan to attend for Donate Life. I have to give back in any way possible for even giving me the opportunity to watch my family, my son... grow! Without this transplant, my options are slim (actually, probably nil). So please help... For Goodness sake, I need all the help I can get.
So what was I thinkin' about at 2:00? Amber!! (Oh la la, tehehe, not like that silly) She is extremely talented and for some reason has blessed me by being my friend <3 Anyway, she had offered to come up with a logo for me... and I was thinking, I want something really special, something I can keep as my logo when I go BIG! In otherwords, since my aunt has been enslaved to help me once I am healthy again and on my feet with a new liver, I plan on changing "Ricki's Medical Fund" into a charity. To do all we can to spread awareness, offer help, support, and even funds to those going through the transplant process. And ofcourse, one of the funnest parts for me - the birth of an idea, which always includes a name!!
So that is what popped in my head... and I was to scared to go back to sleep without writing it down... What do you think about as a theme for my art...
   Recycled Hope
Maybe have two little birds facing each other with a green ribbon in their beak, maybe a little recycling symbol in the shape of a heart somewhere...
Ok, I have to go back to bed though, I just caught my head nodding off... let me know what you guys think, any ideas for Amber?
OH, and most importantly... here is the site to either register to be a part of "Team Larry" or donate funds to "Donate Life California" Please join us for the walk if you can though! I plan on making someone plan a memorable time for our team. Lets make TEAM LARRY A HUUUGE SUCCESS... it's the wishes of a sick girl... (That'd be me! tehehe)


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lookin' up

I received a phone call from my nurse at USC yesterday and just thought that you guys would like to hear about my lil milestone. As you may know already (if you don't, then you haven't been listening to me whine) tehehe.... But one of my nemesis has been Ascites for quite a while, actually Christmas of 2008 I was close to 190lbs and vomiting every day (say bye-bye wedding rings for a while) Within these last few months, my medicine cocktail has been fine tuned and between the Lasix, Lactulose, Spironolactone, and a strict 2k mg sodium diet w/ vitamins, I have now stayed steady at about 119lbs (minus the week I did the salty colon prep for no reason and swelled pretty good - no, no lasting bitterness here) Even my lab results seem to be worsening slower these last few testings, where as before my MELD score almost jumped a point every other month, has now DROPPED 1 point... It doesn't mean to much, except that my hard work and having educated doctors are paying off!!
Also, Janelle called me. (the USC Donor nurse coordinator) She just wanted to let me know that she has received SEVERAL phone calls from people, and that she is still taking back-up donor applications (tehehe) However, since insurance will only cover testing for one possible donor at a time, no further tests will be done unless Nancy's liver flunks the tests. (tehehe, just kidding Nancy) No really though, there are some factors that could knock anyone out from being a donor... Their own health or the size and placement of their liver and hepatic veins. So I am extremely lucky to have more then one person willing to be tested.  Just amazing! It has been a long few years and some real tough months, but hopefully now we are on our way back up... slowly but surely.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The best gift ever!

My house was all a buzz today, and this exciting news is busting to come out! I can't hold it in anymore. I guess part of me was like a new mom, I didn't want to jinx it and tell everyone... ITS A NEW LIVER! and then it not work out, and have to explain to everyone that it must be for the best, and not to worry because it will happen in Gods time. I also didn't want anyone to feel like they were my only hope, and be obligated or guilted into being my donor... I know, the things that go through my mind. But anyway, like I said earlier, I can't contain it any longer. I received not one, not two but four different phone calls from nurses and coordinators today telling me all is ago! There was a lot of red tape, authorizations, board meetings (They really want to make sure that a new organ is for sure your only hope and that once you get it, you are going to take good care of it. This is a HUGE gift to receive and sadly there are people who die everyday waiting for it.) but it looks like I am going to be one of the lucky ones, and here is why...
This last Thanksgiving while up North visiting with family, Jason's cousin hesitated as she began slowly asking a few questions about my health as we sat together. I don't mind talking about it, I am a dork who finds it very interesting and actually gets slightly animated when I start to explain some things-- probably in too much detail. haha) but of course if you ask me, I have no problem with admitting... I am not scared of surgery, I am not scared of pain, I am actually (believe it or not) not scared of death itself, I am not scared about what will happen to me at all, only that I won't be here for my family. Will my son remember me? ...and will Jason remember to brush his teeth? And even though I didn't think much more about the conversation after, Nancy went back to her guest room and did. She then talked it over with her husband and family, and they decided they wanted to help. Now, I did let her know.. there will be a scar, there are always risks with surgery, and she will never be able to get rid of me after, but she still wanted to go through with it.
She got her blood type, filled out the paperwork and has her first USC appointment in a few weeks. She is an amazing woman, with an amazing family and even if all of the testing doesn't work out as planned now, or anything changes her mind, it doesn't matter. She will always be my hero. You will always be my hero Nancy! And Lynn and Christa and Mona and Annette and Lisa and Mandy (and anyone that I don't know about) for trying! It is not an easy thing to do and more than I would ever expect from anyone, but I am thankful. And you will all be in my heart forever. It really is surreal. I am going to live again.... really LIVE. Take River to the Park, run, play...
So, I got a call from my nurse at USC, excited and then warning - Be compliant, stay healthy so that we can get the new one in. Another call from coordinator at St. Jude... I sent out a letter today, she said, but I had to call and give you the news myself. Dr. Jamal's office, just telling me that they got a copy by fax today... SO EXCITING, she said, FINALLY, I'm Praying for you girl!! And finally, one from my financial coordinator letting me know that all will be covered for my donor -- which she just found out today by my nurse that I have one lined up! It makes me cry to see all of the people who are excited for me, excited for my family. This is really going to happen, I am going to get better, Larry is vacating the premises, and words cannot describe the love and gratitude I have for Nancy. I would be honored to accept a sliver of your liver, and even though River has named this new and improved one Sally, I have a feeling she is going to be difficult and want to be called by some other name like Alex (tehehe, I'll let you explain that one Nancy) Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I really must have done something right to be loved by so many amazing people! And thank God, because it is all happening in the nick of time.

It's my birfday!!

WOW! I don't know what to say... I am 29 today!! Not to shabby for someone who has been told miiiight not be around to long more than once! Mwuahahaha... And I can honestly say, this year has been the most bittersweet. I have learned so much about myself and the way I choose to live. We really should not take life for granted. Each day might not turn out the way I plan but at least it turned out, and I am blessed to try again tomorrow. It took me a long time to really appreciate that, despite my health, and each birthday is now a big fat slap in the face of that! tehehe. So I'm celebrating and shouting out today. It's my birthday!! Of course it doesn't hurt that I had the most amazing celebration of life on the 6Th. It also doesn't hurt to think... I have a chance of being a whole new person again soon!
The doctors say that even though this year was the first that I was actually unable to to work, Larry has been slowly sucking the life out of me for many years... And here I was about ready to give up, thinking I just couldn't keep up with LIFE. What a horrible failure I thought I was becoming... slowly starting to forget things, needing naps, (yet we never questioned a 20 year old taking lunch breaks in my car so that I could sleep - That's not odd) I really was in a dark place, and depression was always looked at as a weakness in my house as a teen so I pushed through it. Then when I got out on my own, I just figured... this must be normal, just push, push, push through it (with blood, sweat, pain, and many many tears) All along thinking... man, am I one weak person, is it supposed to be this hard (and painful)? And then finally told..."Ummmm, NO silly girl, it's not!" So now, I am just excited to think of what may come... I feel like a kid again, the world has opened up for me... my oyster (The oyster I can't eat though...promised the doctors. hehe) Energy, pain free days. Wow, who would've thunk it! Best birthday present ever. So yes, even though I am laying here at 4 am with my woobie on the couch because the bed hurts and because it is true, that the one who snores always falls asleep first. I have tissue stuffed up my nose that is partially blocking my view as I type, and Rivers potty chair is next to me. I really am smiling (partially because I think it is sad... and people wonder why I don't want to set up video chat) But mainly because......It's my birthday. DUH! tehehe and things are looking up! -Hey, don't give me to much credit, it's easy to look up from way down here. tehehe. Brighter days baby, brighter days!

My birthday wish: For everyone I know to become an organ donor and spread the word. lets make it so that no one has to wait (and maybe not make it) to start living again! Got your pink dot?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Just a Valentine for you.

Roses are Red,
As red as this heart for YOU
But don't send me one back...
Only LIVERS will do!
Ahahaha.... I crack myself up! (That's an original "Ricki" poem)Sorry, I had written it as my facebook status today, but thought it was so clever that I would share it with you. So seriously, Celebrate your loved ones today. I'm celebrating you!! I really, really am.

♥ ~*~ ♥ ~*~ ♥ HAPPY SAPPY DAY EVERYONE ♥ ~*~ ♥ ~*~ ♥

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Can't take... the... pressure...tehehehe

Besides this being the best weekend ever, it was also a bit of a wake up call for me... I received a few compliments on my lil blog by people I had no idea even knew I had a blog, and I just can't take that kind of pressure! SO I'M CLOSING MY SITE DOWN. HAHA, jk. I was thinking I better be a little more careful, but then I thought... naah! I'm just going to keep on pushing. Before I tell you all how amazing my weekend was, between the coolest, biggest-hearted, Harley riders (Oh... and I think 1 Victory rider, right?) And the best shin-dig ever (filled with more love then one room could contain) I figured I better get one more plug on WHY. I did give a little speech at my birthday party and it was meant to be just that... but I should have written it down, because by the time I stood up there, everything left my mind except for two words -- ORGAN DONATION, and as they came out of my mouth in front of 150 people, I thought, "Oh man, this is NOT what these people want to hear right now... I'm gonna loose 'em!" I don't remember much after that, I think I thanked everyone for coming and supporting us, I might have thanked everyone for their donations, I have no clue. What I wanted to do was thank my Aunt Bev!! The Highlands Inn, my aunt Shannon, Joe and Rhonda, Chris... There are so many Najera's, Navarro's, Albertoni's, Oh my! And I also wanted to let everyone know, embrace the big polka-dotted elephant in the room. Ricki is terminally ill, if I don't get a new liver soon, I will die. Right now, I have to sit on the sidelines and wait to start living, but I see so many other people here too, waiting for something to start living. I have to be here, but some of these people have yet to realize that they have chosen to be here. This is it man! We only get one chance at this life, and once I am able (And I have faith that I will) I am going to get back out there and live baby!! So many beautiful stories, people, and places to experience and see every single day with the right perspective. So lets go guys!!
But!! Saturday was like it should be -- amazing! I felt like a kid again, and even though I had so many of those "Oh, I'm going to regret this in the morning" thoughts and I truly am still recovering as I type 3 days later. I wouldn't trade it for anything!! Wow... I think this is going to be the first of a 3 part series now that I look at how long this post already is. Part two will be on the A.M. adventure, and the reason cars mean nothing to me anymore. tehehe. Jason has already agreed on our new rides post transplant... and I am holding him to it. I was going to talk about the fact that I was interviewed by Thunder Press Magazine and that H.O.G. will be holding the next Ride in my honor in my speech at the party, but I think I only blubbered that I got to ride on a bike (like 3 or 4 different times.) There is much to still say and visuals to go with them so bare with me. I want to give them the recognition they deserve... sorry, I am really not trying to rub it in and I just keep saying AMAZING, but it was for me. And to top it off as we left - though he stole it straight from Clearance, my brother-in-law said: "Remember- No Man is a Failure who has Friends" So thank you all for reminding me.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Ask away

It was like old times last night... We had some friends over, fired up the grill, had the kiddies playing in the background. (background, foreground, all over the ground!... man I wish I had the energy preschoolers) Anyways, I just thought I would share, because I was unaware of the preparation that went into my girlfriend seeing me for the first time since we found out...gulp, -Transplant. Though once I told her that I named Larry and explained that he had his very own blog, I think she relaxed a little. She handled me with kid gloves at first and I have to admit, if you are going to do it, I'll milk being waited on. tehehe suckas! (Just kidding, I really do appreciate all the help I get -- Any ONE thing that someone does for me is energy I get to use on something else, like River.)
Anyways, what I realized is that she had some tension about visiting me. What to say, how to act, what I was going to look like (everyone is always surprised at how freakin' good I look)Do they ask how I'm doing, or do they ignore the elephant in the room? And what the heck is End Stage Liver Disease anyways?
...What did she find out? Besides probably to much information on how cool the liver is, and specific instructions on how to be an organ donor (tehehe) She learned that I am still.... just me! And one thing I could always say about me, is that I goooo with the floooooooow... and I really do live by the motto that I can either laugh or cry about the things that happen... Laugh or cry - and crying really does give me a headache, and with cirrhosis I can't take anything for a headache. ahahaha.
--Oh yes, she also learned that I get very excited about things I know a lot about... and unfortunately, I do know a lot about the liver now... Hmm, I may not get many phone calls anymore. :)