Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Dr. Dread... that's the name I've been calling Dr. Robert Gish, the guru of hepatology, a Professor and the Director of Disease Management and Transplant Program at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. One of the 'Ones' that saved Mike's life and one of the 'Ones' that sits on the board that decides whether you get a chance at a new liver/ kidney or NOT. I used to look so forward to our coveted visits with him, we'd often wait an hour or more. (CPMC only does 50 liver transplants a year so getting a donor liver is so very rare and special) News is.. Mike's been taken off the Pegasys/Ribiviran treatment for his hepatitis since it hasn't cleared any virus from his blood and this being his 2nd round of treatment. There won't be any new drugs on the horizon for a couple of years. Soo then...the drug didn't work. ok..but did 'Dr. I-hate-to-be-the-bearer-of- bad-news' just have to reiterate that since Mike's immune system is just keeping his (95% chance of) recurring cancer suppressed, with a transplant, the needed immune suppressant drugs would allow the cancer to rage..and come back with a vengeance, therefor he wouldn't be able to "ever" get listed for a liver/ kidney transplant, again. Really? No liver? No Kidney? Never? Ever? Uhhmmm. Let's see here. He is in stage 4 kidney failure and stage 4 liver disease. What now? ..you say? You do the math. You'd think we'd be used to it by now, but you never get used to it. Bad news. Bad heath. But you always have hope... and of course we're talking about Mike here. He's been in for this fight of his life now for 3 years..starting when they needed to give him a heart by-pass so he could move on (in 4 weeks) to have this metastasized bile-duct cancerous tumor removed from his liver. After removing only 60% of his liver, he suffered with an subsequent abscess for months, which when they drained they punctured into his diaphragm .. the infection went to his lungs, collapsing one and locking the other. (I know.. Mal practice..no, no bad karma again) He went into multiple organ failure caused by septic shock. After multiple blood transfusions, dialysis, and weeks in ICU and only two more surgeries, we brought him home.. alive. The part of his liver that could grow back still has cirrhosis and hep C. (did you know livers will grow back within 8 weeks? neither did I. ) The thing is..we never gave up on him and he never gave up on himself. His strength showed 1/2 hour after his first surgery when still under sedation he gave us the thumbs up. And you know what the first thing Dr. Dread, said when Mike walked into his office on Wednesday? "..hello, Mr. miraculous recovery.......you know I've only known one of you in my entire medical career! ..." So, I'm thinking, a lot of things can happen from here to then..and I'm going to give Dr. Gish, a big break cause I know he's not the 'One' in charge and I hope to tell him ..never say ever.

3 comments:

Lover of Life said...

Dr. Gish has a gigantic ego! He is not the "man" in charge. MIke is the man in charge. Dr. Gish has his place, but that includes giving hope when that is all he has to give. What a jerk to not give Mike a thumbs up for what he has gone through.

Faithful said...

Yeah, you are right. Doctors should give you hope, too. There's no recovery without hope.

Trudy said...

Kay, I will continue to pray for Mike. I know who truly is in charge!
The lord is with Mike every day.
He continues the to make miracles happen with Mike. My hat is off to you both. You have been through so much and continue to chug along. Mike is a miracle man.
WE LOVE YOU MIKE!

Love,Trudy