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A Kidney for Heather

Posted by C Shell 
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A Kidney for Heather
April 10, 2010 03:50PM
I'm going to start a blog here of my thoughts & experiences going into this journey. Read it if you're interested, but I won't be offended if you don'tBig Hug!

Heather Sterling and I are embarking on an adventure with, we think, Papa's nudge and blessing. Heather has Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD), a hereditary disorder that has her kidneys functioning, at this point, at about 10%. Weakness is her everyday physical life, while her spirit and her relationship with Papa are stronger than steel. Recently Heather posted that she has to look toward dialysis, and it was the nudge that I needed to offer her one of my kidneys. She accepted and we're now underway.

This is going to be a Loooooong process. It could be 8-9 months before our transplant could take place, and there are hurdles all along the way. The first hurdle is getting accepted as a donor by the hospital, which is in Seattle. They may find disqualifications in my application, such as the teeny tiny melanoma in situ I had 6 years ago, or the history of high blood pressure in my family, or my being 10-15 lb heavier than their limit. If any of these count me out, we'll be looking for another living donor whom Papa may nudge. But if I get the go-ahead, I'll start being tested.

Heather and I are placing this firmly in Papa's hands. He is able to make a way when we say, "No way!" We would appreciate so much, the support and prayers and input of you friends here at Papa's Home.

Love,
Shelley
Re: A Kidney for Heather
April 10, 2010 06:48PM
Wow! What a project!
You will both have my prayers and support. Shell, bless you for answering the voice of Papa, and Heather, bless you for receiving it. I pray that God will make a way for his will to be done in both of your lives, regardless of obstacles.
This is an amazing story...and an adventure...please do keep us posted. I want to pray with you both every step of the way! What an amazing God we serve and love!

W.I.P. (Work in Progress)
Learning to Live LOVED
Re: A Kidney for Heather
April 11, 2010 08:53AM
Just too awesome for words, what a testimony of the love of Papa! Shell and Heather, Papa is with you every step of the way, working the miraculous through the love of his body!

My prayers are with you both, and your families!

LuvLuvLuvLuvLuvLuvLuvLuvLuvLuvLuvLuv

Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.
- Lenny Bruce
Re: A Kidney for Heather
April 11, 2010 02:23PM
Phoebe and Onyx, thank you so much for the prayers and support. We will both need it very much. I'll keep you posted on the progress.
Re: A Kidney for Heather
April 11, 2010 04:34PM
Shell that's totally awesome. I worked with someone who donated a kidney to his brother, it will be quite a trip. Look forward to the updates.

Jon
Re: A Kidney for Heather
May 12, 2010 05:35PM
Update!!

A major hurdle was passed yesterday, when the hospital informed me that the melanoma in situ is NOT going to keep me out of consideration. I really thought that one was going to be the dead end so Heather and I are rejoicing.

I have to lose 15 pounds, that's the next hurdle. I have been trying really hard and the scale is not showing it. I had a few days of self-pity and "it's not FAIR", then Papa and I are movin on. adding more days of exercise and eliminating gluten to see if that makes the scale jump (or even creep! I would take creep!) downwards. I am learning a LOT of healthy habits that will be with me for the rest of my life, but....I have to demonstrate this in a measurable way or the hospital won't let me donate. If it occurs to you to think of me God-ward in this matter, I would be grateful.

Meanwhile, Heather has learned that the extreme fatigue and malaise she's been feeling for months is probably due to an overactive parathyroid, something that happens a lot with chronic kidney disease. Her body is severely lacking in Vitamin D. She's starting a new medicine, along with having to give herself injections for anemia. The kidney failure is taking its toll. All the more reason for me to lose this weight in short order. Please do pray for Heather's stamina, that she can hold on long enough without dialysis, for us to bring this donation about.
Re: A Kidney for Heather
May 13, 2010 01:41AM
For what it is worth, drinking a glass of water before eating a meal tends to help with weight loss, in that you feel fuller and eat less.

Eating off a smaller plate also works, as you tend to see how full it is, and internalise that you have had enough.

Serving yourself from your preparation dishes/pots that you leave in the kitchen and then carrying your plate to where you eat, sometimes helps, as you are less likely to get up and go back to the kitchen to have seconds.

Sugar is a HUGE weight-putter-onner. See how much you can eliminate.


/me is going to put some of these into action again herself
Re: A Kidney for Heather
May 13, 2010 12:19PM
Good tips, Wifey. I learned that after I donate a kidney and am living with just one, I will need to drink at least 2 liters of water a day. So I am practicing now. It's not so hard to do, it's just hard to remember. And that smaller plate or bowl tip, really does work, makes you focus on what you have, rather than what you have not. Right now all my sugar's coming from fruit. Strawberries are in season! Yay!
Re: A Kidney for Heather
May 13, 2010 01:56PM
Good for you, Shell...grace to you...and enjoy those yummy strawberries!

W.I.P. (Work in Progress)
Learning to Live LOVED
Re: A Kidney for Heather
May 13, 2010 11:16PM
Yup enjoy those strawberries Shell and can I join with the others in saying God bless you in putting yourself forward to donate a kidney. Applause

May Papa bless, keep and encourage you and yours as you journey through this new adventure.

Much love
Eric aka "Spurtle" (a small flat stick used by the Scots for "stirring" porridge) Cleaning closest emotican I could get to a "stirrer"
Re: A Kidney for Heather
May 14, 2010 03:04AM
AWWWWWWW!!! Look at this!!! Look at you all!!!! And what an amazing Shell we have here, huh?

I have missed you all, just haven't had any energy to go to any discussion forums of late. But something was nudging me here, and look what you are all up to.

It was interesting today, sitting with my girlfriends at lunch, and telling them all about this journey so far. We had all traveled to China about 3 years ago, and have been intentional friends. I realized how different my part of the conversation was today, when they were asking, "when is our next adventure"? One of them said, "We have to get Heather healthy". This time I didn't feel that "I'll never travel again" feeling, but I felt hope. Isn't that amazing?

Anyway, it's an amazing journey, and story, and as I was telling my friends today, you can't imagine what it's like to have someone offer you such a gift!!!!! There really aren't words to explain.

Thank you for joining in this journey with Shell and I, be blessed!!!!!

Love
Heather
Re: A Kidney for Heather
May 14, 2010 06:43AM
Will this do "Spurtle"?



Perhaps Onyx can add it to the mix?!
Re: A Kidney for Heather
May 14, 2010 07:28PM


I lost



a pound this week
Re: A Kidney for Heather
May 14, 2010 08:20PM
PERFECT!!!!!!!!! And see, with all that dancing, you have a head start for next week. And about the time that it gets cold and wintery we could head for Seattle and you could lose the weight of a kidney, lol!!!!! Slow and steady is the way to go, and it will stay off. You really ARE doing great Shelley. Happy DanceApplauseAngel HugGood Job
Re: A Kidney for Heather
May 14, 2010 10:10PM
Thanks sweetheart, you are such a good encourager.

I need for God to help me Move This Mountain! sooooo if dancing works, let me be like David!
Re: A Kidney for Heather
May 14, 2010 10:53PM
ApplauseGood Job Shelley!!! Rock on

Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.
- Lenny Bruce
Re: A Kidney for Heather
May 29, 2010 10:23PM
(((((((((Heather and C Shell))))))

My thoughts and prayers are with you too. Group Hug

I had a friend many years ago, he was a burn victim, one of the consequences of his body reaction was his kidneys were shutting down and failing. I understand how the body is so reliant on the kidneys and how the body reacts in sapping the energy from you. My friend spent some years on dialysis in a city far from home before he could get a machine at home. His wife was eventually recognized as being a strong possibility for a transplant. It was very successful and both now have a good quality of life.

God says "He will never leave you or forsake you" you can count on that.

LH
Re: A Kidney for Heather
May 29, 2010 11:56PM
Oh! thank you LH for that encouragement! It's so good to know about successful transplants. And I hear your heart on this, saying, go ahead on.

Re: A Kidney for Heather
May 30, 2010 04:37AM
How's the weight loss going, dear friend? I hope you are losing as much as I am putting on Blushing ... not getting enough exercise at the moment, and a very wet autumn means long days stuck indoors, getting tubby.

Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.
- Lenny Bruce
Re: A Kidney for Heather
May 30, 2010 02:24PM
Thanks for asking, Onyx...Weight loss is going not so good at the moment. Last week I didn't lose anything, and that's with a lot of effort -- exercising 7 days for 30-45 minutes, eating only moderate quantities of meat, veggies, fruit and nuts.

Conclusion is, I'm not doing well by myself, maybe I need to get some help. So next week I'm going to join Weight Watchers. I figure if I do everything they say and STILL don't lose, at least I'll have a person or two I can ask why.
Re: A Kidney for Heather
May 30, 2010 08:58PM
((((Shell)))) You've probably turned the corner towards replacing weight with muscle bulk. Rather than Weight Watchers, perhaps a personal trainer at the local gym would be able to help? They would be able to tell you the kind of exercises you need to do to continue losing water (the bulk of extra weight) and burning extra body fat from certain areas.

Blessings upon you mate! Luv

Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.
- Lenny Bruce
Re: A Kidney for Heather
May 31, 2010 12:34AM
Thanx for the blessings (this is me feeling blessed by Onyx)

Actually it was a personal trainer who told me to just eat meat, veggies, fruit & nuts. I don't know WHO to trust at this point. Everybody has an opinion. "eliminate grains and dairy" "eliminate meat" "do gymnastics" Gahhhh.

Weight Watchers has a longevity factor, seem to be balanced...So....I'm thinkin....I'll try em. Ya know, when I was younger, I could drop the weight in a flash. The metabolism is not as flexible these days! as well as other parts o'me; can't do this anymore
Re: A Kidney for Heather
June 10, 2010 01:08PM
Update on my first week at Weight Watchers: 2 pounds lost! Can ah get a hallelujah brothuhs and sistuhs! It seems WW is the way to go. It's very balanced and incorporates all the healthy elements I've picked up over the years -- and the other people at my meeting are all having good results as well. Now I have a total of 4 pounds lost and altho it's not heaps, perhaps it will show the hospital that I'm sincerely trying.
Re: A Kidney for Heather
June 11, 2010 07:23PM
Way to go Shell!!!!!!!! That is awesome! It's one more step to the goal of helping heather, isn't it? You sure have my Hallelujah! Agreeing with you in thanksgiving and praise!

W.I.P. (Work in Progress)
Learning to Live LOVED
Re: A Kidney for Heather
June 11, 2010 09:38PM
thumbs upHappy DanceGood Job Nice going Shelley, your dedication is an inspiration to us all!

Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.
- Lenny Bruce
Re: A Kidney for Heather
June 11, 2010 11:38PM
Oh man, this is so good. And the fact that the deterioration on my kidneys has slowed at the same time..... it's awesome. Really, I don't think any FASTER than my gal has been loosing weight would be better. It's JUST right. This has been quite an adventure.
Re: A Kidney for Heather
June 13, 2010 12:51PM
You are both in the loving hands and plans of Papa God. What a place to rest!!!

W.I.P. (Work in Progress)
Learning to Live LOVED
Re: A Kidney for Heather
June 27, 2010 11:09PM
Awsome news C Shell - (((((((Heather))))) Yes indeed Father knows what and when you need something, sometimes I think we could wish for an "apple tree effect" to pick the ones (blessings) we like most, then again not all of us are real good 'gardeners' eh!

Group Hug
Re: A Kidney for Heather
July 17, 2010 10:57PM
Update time!

I have now lost 10 pounds. I've qualified to begin the testing, and have done so. This week I did the blood tests, which involved about 15 vials of blood, 7 of which were Fedexed cross country to Seattle, Washington to be matched with Heather's blood. This is critical. If our antigens & antibodies don't match on a certain number of points (6 is the max), Heather can't receive my kidney 'cause it would be rejected. All would not be lost at that point, though. We would need to find another pair of donor/recipients and match up with them.

Hopefully they have done the test already, and we'll hear the results next week. I will surely let you all know!

Tests continue....tomorrow I do the 24-hour urine test, then another blood test, then chest xray, EKG and TB test.

During the waiting time, Heather and I have spent emailing, getting to know each other even better, loving each other, praying for each other, and stuff like that.

I didn't know Heather until I came to TGJ a year and a half ago. I read her posts, and was always impressed by how kind and positive she is. Now I know her better. I see the wondrous value of her life on this planet. So many people are better off, because she lives. I am determined to do all I can to help Papa keep her here, healthy, for as long a span as He has for her.
Re: A Kidney for Heather
July 18, 2010 04:17PM
Thanks for the update Shell, I'm glad things have moved to this stage. You're in my thoughts today.

Jon
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