Thursday, March 25, 2010

Poppy Gail has arrived!

Our wonderful daughter has finally arrived.  She was born this past Sunday, Mar 21, 2010 at 7:42pm weighing 7lb 5oz.

Here's the pics:

Mommy and baby are both very healthy.  And the miracle-man (Brian) couldn't be more thrilled.

I'm so so soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo glad my dad is here to see his first grandchild.  Frig - was it ever worth it.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Reality Check

Yikes - its been a while since I last posted.  Not gonna lie - I've been avoiding posting because... well.... this blog has become a reminder to me of a harsh reality I've got to live with.  I suppose we all have to live with it, but it feels more real in my case.  My dad's time on earth is limited.  He won't always be here.  We've known from day one that a transplant would only prolong his life by 15-20 years.  I feel like posting here is digging up the past a bit... picking at an old scab...

Things have been going great for dad.  He's in amazing spirits.  He's up and around.  He's having a difficult time putting on weight.... he really wants to beef up.

He had his one year assessment in February.  That appointment was a difficult one.  Word is that dad's Hep-C (the disease that damaged my dad's liver in the first place) is pretty agressive and has already put my dad's new liver in stage 1 cirrhosis.  The damage is VERY mild.  And stage 2 can last years.  Stage 3-4-5 become a bit scary.  Given the rate of cirrhosis, my dad has 5-15 years before his new liver fails.

However - there's a second option.  They could treat my dad with a very intense dose of medicine that has the potential to CURE his Hep-C.  This is a medication my dad has tried in the past (with his own liver) and it did not work.  Also, the quality of life on this medication is greatly diminished.  Furthermore, it's likely that if the drug doesn't work, my dad life expectancy will drop my 5-9 years.

The last I talked to my parents about this was last month.  Mom said, 'we'll need to discuss this as a family in a few months'.  In a few months, the doctors will test my dad's liver again to confirm that the Hep-C is as aggressive as they fear.


K - Enough of that.  Can't handle it right now.  So glad dad is better.  I'd rather just go on living life as it were before, cherishing every moment I have with dad.

On a lighter note...

My wife is going to pop ANY moment now.  The newest Bloomfield is on HER way!   And we can't wait to share our moments with you guys.  I'll try to keep this blog as up-to-date as I can over the coming weeks with the baby coming.  Hoping I can post to the blog from the blackberry.

Also - I was watching some talk show a few days ago.  U.S. talk show.  There was a dude in the crowd who needed  a DOUBLE lung transplant.  He was trying to raise money for the transplant.  Get this - he needs $1 MILLION DOLLARS before he can even get on the transplant list!  Isn't that insane?  Dude needs to move to Canada.  But seeing as that is not likely, be generous -  Do it in honor of your dad who could just as easily be in Chuck or Brian's position.

Not sure how I feel about our health care in Canada... on one hand, my dad's alive.  On the other, he was on his death bed.  Could it have been done faster?  Its really hard for me to rag on the health care system when, for the most part, it seemed to work out for us.

Pray for the safe, healthy arrival of our baby girl.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

First good report

For the first time in, well, I can't remember... Dad got a great report back from Toronto.  Typically, its "Mr Bloomfield, your liver enzymes are through the roof." or "Mr Bloomfield, your potassium is at lethal levels... we may need to see you again..."

Dad called me yesterday and said in a nervous tone, "Josh - your not going to believe what Toronto just said."  I was soooo scared... I thought it was going to be, "Mr Bloomfield, it looks like we put your liver in backwards."

Thankfully, it was, "Mr Bloomfield, we're pleased to report that all your blood levels are either normal or very close to normal.  Every level is on its way to being back the way it was supposed to be."  Keep in mind that my dad's liver levels haven't been normal is 10-20 years, because of the hep-c.  This is a first for dad.

I'm thinking that a few more weeks of these great levels, some exercise, and some great family time, dad will be  ... well, I was going to say back to his old self, but that's not true.  He'll be on a whole new level of awesomeness with his new liver.

So, all is well!  Looks like we've weathered the worst of the storm.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

False Alarms at Home

Dads finally home and doing great.  He recovers so much better when he's at home with his family.  He hadn't eaten in 3-4 weeks.  He was getting really weak and discouraged.  But now that he's home, all of that has changed.  So glad he's home.

Had a bit of a scare last night.  Dad gets his blood work done a few times a week.  Yesterday morning, he did just that... but then got a call in the evening from Toronto warning dad that he HAD to get to the ER immediately.  His potassium levels were through the roof - higher then ever before.  6.8 is lethal.  Dads was... wait for it... 7.4. The doctor on the phone said he could drop dead at any moment.  So, I had to pick dad up and take him to ER.   But by that time, dad's potassium had dropped to 6.2.  Dad has to keep a closer eye on his diet, I guess.

Anyhow, other then that, all is well.  I've got some MRI images to show you all as well.  I'll see if I can through a video together and post it.  Life is well for Chelsea and I... in the middle of some home renos, getting ready for the baby, and the business is crazy.  Its a season of madness... but I'm so glad I'm alive to be in a season of madness... and that dad can share in it all with me.

Friday, November 6, 2009

On his way home!?!?!

I'm a bit surprised - but dad's on his way home today.  The doc's are sure that he's good to come home.  All my dad's blood work is back to normal for the first time since the weeks after his transplant.  There was one liver enzyme count that was over 3700 a few weeks ago... the doctors seriously couldnt' figure out how dad was alive.  Its now down to 200 (very close to normal - which I think is 150)!

He's still pretty weak - but we're hoping that this is it... that dad is finally home for good...  Pray that it is!  We've had enough of this!!!!!  He says he feels great.  But part of me wonders if he's saying that just so he can come home - not that I'd blame him... doesn't matter how nice the hospital is... a hospital is a hospital.

Monday, November 2, 2009

ANOTHER Operation

Holy Moses! Dad's seriously going through some hell. He called my on Saturday and said that he'd had ANOTHER operation.

So, in total:

Operation 1 - 10hr insane operation to fix his liver with his colon tissue 
Operation 2 - 10hr operation to fix internal bleeding and clean him out 
Operation 3 - 4hr operation to clean (this past weekend)  

I said to Chel's parents yesterday - imagine dad's medical bill in the US right now... we'd be bankrupt before the transplant - let alone the transplant and all the subsequent care, medication and operations. CANADA ROCKS!  

Dad's doing good. They're saying he might come home at the end of the week. He's pretty independent at the hospital - he gets around on his own... he's doing well. One thing thats really bugging him is the pain in his abdomen. Imagine having your insides pulled out THREE TIMES in three weeks. Apparently its very painful. Keep that in prayer.  

Thanks for checking up on dad.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Doing great!

Dad's doing really great!  I've talked to him a few times this week and he just keeps getting better.  Yesterday, he had his big arterial IV removed from his neck and had a shower... so he seems to be up and about.  He's a bit lonely, but we'll be fixing that tomorrow.

Thank you all so much for your prayers, love and support.  Lets hope this is the end of the complications for dad.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Another Surgery

Hi Everyone,

Josh has been really busy and sick the past few days, so he asked me to quickly post an update for you guys.  Brian had to have another surgery yesterday, he was bleediing internally-one of the main concerns they had.  It's done now and he's doing well.  He called this morning and is hallucinating a bit (he doesn't remember that Linda was there yesterday to surprise him when he got out of surgery)  but he's still alive and fighting the good fight (Josh's words).
We'll be sure to update this week once we know more.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

No updates

I know as much as all of you, FYI.  Still no updates.

Marc is dad's nurse.  Not sure if you guys remember Marc... but he was my nurse on the 10th floor.  The dude is awesome!

I had called mom a few hours ago to let her know that Chel and I are expecting a GIRL!!! (We're pregnant for those of you who don't already know).  I told her to tell Marc to tell dad... hoping it would lift dad's spirits.  Never heard back.

Yeah - Chel and I are expecting a girl.  I'm going to be some girl's dad... that doesn't seem right to me... but I'm SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited.  So will dad.  Chel and I just keep talking about how this is the PERFECT ending to this transplant story... dad lives to be a GRANDPA!!  That was his dream.

Anyhow, I'll keep you all posted on dad.

Rough Surgery

I got a call last night around 9pm - Dad was finally out of surgery.  My aunt Patti and grandmother (both on my mom's side) have been in Toronto by dad's side all day and have been in the waiting room being the Bloomfield liaison.

The surgeon met with Patti and told her that the operation got really really difficult.  He stressed how important it was to get it right the first time as a second operation to fix mistakes from this operation may not fair well.  The surgeon seemed pleased with what he had to accomplish and that he got it done right the first time.

Dad was in recovery last night around 10pm.  They said he'd be transfered to the 10th floor (critcal care unit) around 3-4am.  He should only be there for 2-3 days max.

I hope to hear from my aunt Gail today who is going to spend the day with dad.

PATTI/GRANDMA/GAIL - Thank you all so so so much for being there for dad when the rest of us can't be.