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On the Road Again
Personal story of lung transplant
by Lance Woodard

I was first approached about the possibility of a lung transplant by my Pulmonologist at Vanderbilt University in 1999. The subject was brought up again when I changed Pulmonologists at Vanderbilt to Dr. Dale Loyd in 2000. At this time I was still in doubt about it and thought it might be a future option. As most know, I was able to participate in the Forte study at the University of Pittsburg under the supervision of Dr. Frank Sciurba during the latter part of 2001 and the majority of 2002. During this study Dr. Scuirba also recommended that I consider a lung transplant, as according to him I was not a good candidate for LVRS. But he thought I would be excellent for a transplant. At the time of this discussion with Dr. Scuirba, Dr. Cooper from Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis was also there and he was in agreement with Dr. Sciurba. This seemed to be a pretty complete consensus from some of the best pulmonary people I knew of so shortly after completing the Forte study I decided to go for the evaluation for a transplant, and started my story of "On the Road Again". A story with an uncertain ending that I am going to continue with as long as I can and that I hope is of interest and help to all who are even considering a major life changing event such as a transplant. And just like Tony Hamel and oh so many others, yes I would do it all over again with no hesitation.

On the Road Again - part 1
Ok Folks I am going to attempt to keep you all informed as to what is going on with me and my trip toward a new lung. On October 8, 2002 I had my scheduled 6-month appointment with my pulmonary Dr.. At this time I told him I was ready to go forward with listing for a transplant.

The next 2 weeks were spent getting approval from the insurance company and getting my confidence built up enough to really decide I was going to do this.

On Friday Oct. 25 I had some blood testing done along with an EKG and Echocardiogram as the first of the many tests to be done. On Monday Oct. 28 I picked up a schedule of testing and related matters, along with the materials for a 48 hour urine specimen. Yes 48 hrs! Tuesday Oct. 29 was a follow up with the Cardiologist regarding the Echo and EKG. At this time I was also set up for left and right cardiac catheterization to be done on Friday Nov.1, 2002 at 7:30 a.m.. This is where I will leave you all for now. To be continued.

On the Road Again - part 2
The next part of the trip. Friday Nov. 1, 2002 I arrived at the cardiac catheterization lab at 7:05a.m., only to be told that it was closed and I would have my catheterization at the hospital instead. So off to the hospital we went. Got there at 7:30a.m., waited until 8:00a.m. to be taken to a cubicle, given a backless gown, told to undress down to my socks and put the gown on. Once this was done they put a needle in my vein for later use, gave me a shave and an aspirin, and said they would be back shortly.(heard this before ). At 11:00a.m. the nurse came back and gave me a Valium and said it would not be long now(another heard this before). Finally at 1:00p.m they took me down the hall to the Catheterization lab (now we were making some progress!). A little Versed to take the edge off and then the catheters were in and going good. Finished up in the lab by 2:00p.m. and back to the cubicle for 4 hrs of recovery. At 4:00p.m. they finally asked if I felt like eating something, (didn't they know I had not had anything to eat or drink since midnight?) When I said yes I would like something to eat they brought me 2 little packets (1/2 oz.) of peanut butter and 4 crackers, I did get them to double the order though. Then at 6:00p.m. they brought me a ham sandwich and a glass of water, but before I could get that eaten they insisted on me getting up and walking down the hall and back. After the walk they said it was time to get dressed. I said I would get dressed after I ate my sandwich. After I finished my sandwich and got dressed I was told it was time to leave so after hearing all the things I can't do this weekend I was homeward bound with orders to take it easy all day Saturday, not to climb stairs if possible, not to lift over 10 pounds, not to go shopping, etc. Just did not mention that I was planning on going to a football game today. Now it is Saturday and my testing schedule is calling for me to do a 48 hour urine specimen so this will be ongoing until Monday morning when I go back to Vanderbilt for more testing and a continuation of this trip.

On The Road Again - part 3
Monday November 4, 2002
Off to the Pulmonary department at Vanderbilt with a 7:30a.m. check in time. Checked in and picked up necessary paperwork for the lab work, then upstairs to the lab. Turned in my 48 hr urine specimen, the 3 fecal test strips, then had an ungodly amount of blood drawn for the needed blood workups. Then back to the Pulmonary department for an ABG and skin test. Off again for a comprehensive Pulmonary Function test with Plethysmogaphic testing included. All done with that it was off to the Dayani center for the 6 minute walk test. Covered 787 feet in 6 minutes with saturation only dropping to 82% with a pulse rate of 115. Finished that and was done for the day. Time to go home eat and rest up for the next day of testing which will be Wednesday so will continue this narrative at that time.

On The Road Again - part 4
Wednesday November 6, 2002
Well this is the start of a long day; visit with the social work person scheduled at 9:00a.m. He arrived at 9:30. After a little over an hour of inquisition we finished that one, the wife went off to work and I went to the Vanderbilt Clinic Radiology dept. to begin the rest of my day. First thing was to go from the clinic to the hospital radiology department (2 blocks away) for a bone density test, then was told I had to go back to the clinic for the maxilla and mandible X-Rays as the equipment was broken in The hospital radiology section. Got back to the clinic and then was told I had to go to the oral surgery dept., just down the hall about 300 yards. They were working on the equipment there so after about an hour they finally got me in and the procedure took all of 5 minutes. Then back to the hospital radiology department for a VQ scan. A time to lay down and relax a little, the test was fairly simple- breathed a little radioactive gas for 5 minutes then they took pictures of my lungs to show the air movement, finished that, then I got a little radioactive stuff in my vein and after a few minutes they took more pictures showing the blood circulation in my lungs and chest. Then it was back to the clinic radiology department for the usual set of chest X-Rays, and now comes my favorite part of the day, I was told I could have about 30 minutes for lunch and was then to go back to the hospital radiology department for a CT scan, and I would be done for the day. A quick trip to McDonalds and then off to radiology I went. The CT took just a little over an hour and it was the first time I have ever had them include scans with me laying on my stomach. Then it was off to the house I went to rest up for tomorrow when I have an appointment at 8:30 and no idea what is to be done so stay tuned and I shall return to continue the story.

On the road Again - part 5
Thursday November 7, 2002
Today started off with me fighting rush hour traffic to be at the Vanderbilt clinic at 8:30 a.m. to have my scheduled consult with the thoracic surgeon. Got there at approximately 8:20, then sat in the office till 9:45, at which time I was called in to the examining room and the nurse reviewed my past medical history (again), took my vital signs, and said the doctor would be in shortly, at 11:15 one of the other nurses came in and called up my CT scan on the computer and again told me the Dr would be in shortly. At 11:45 the Dr. finally arrived to talk with me about the pros and cons of lung transplantation, including the facts that the average survival time is still 5 years post transplant, the compromising of my immune system due to the drug regimen I would be on for the rest of my life and how important it is to avoid crowds, ill people, and any situation where it is possible to get an infection. Also was told that I would be tied fairly close to the hospital for several months after transplant, which I already knew. He also said that I seemed a lot better informed as to the good and bad sides of transplantation compared to most that he sees. I told him I had learned a lot both pro and con from the information available in our online support group. I also found out he has been the surgeon in over 100 transplants and the survival rate in his patients has been over 90% for 5 years post transplant. He then told me that now it goes to the transplant committee who ultimately make the decision. The consult ended at 12:30 and it was off to lunch and home till tomorrow when I have one more meeting with the transplant co-coordinator with my wife and other support people involved. So till tomorrow when I will continue my journey.

On the road Again - part 6
Monday November 11, 2002
Well here it is Monday, I had a nice weekend at home except for the storms, which thankfully missed my part of Tennessee, had my meeting with the transplant coordinator cancelled last Friday and saw her briefly this morning. There is a question about an area of my CT and they want me to go on antibiotics for 7 days just in case it is an infection, with a follow-up CT on the 25th of November. I took her the copies of the CT's I had done during the FORTE study (December, June, and September) which all referenced a haemoangianoma on my left kidney and old granulomas on the lower left lobe of my lung, the coordinator thought that it was very possible that it was the granuloma which the doctor was seeing, but better to be safe than something serious. So I am now going to go into a passive mode until November 25, then take the weekend following to go to my fathers 90th birthday party then meet with the coordinator on Dec. 5th., and from there I should go to the TX committee on Dec. 6

On the Road Again - part 7
Well now it is Tuesday November 12, and things have changed again. Now the CT scan on the 25th has been cancelled and I have a PET scan scheduled for Wednesday the 13th. at 2:30 in the afternoon. Instructed that I could not have any thing to eat or drink for 6 hours prior to the PET scan so There goes my plans for taking Charlie Thompson to the Pulmonary rehab potluck lunch and then to the dog trials, it also means that folks in rehab will have to get along without my FANTASTIC fresh pineapple pie. At this time I have not let Charlie know about the change in plans but will probably go to the dogs on Wednesday, (the dog trials that is). It probably also means I will miss the birthday party, but I do persevere as the transplant support group has a potluck dinner on the last Tuesday of the month, so at that time I will treat them to my FANTASTIC Fresh pineapple pie. I also want to give a big THANK YOU to Charles Thompson for his loan of his Qtie scooter during the past several days. This was a godsend in regards to all the walking it saved me during the evaluation process. It was such a big help that it persuaded my wife to find one for me on E-Bay at an affordable price. So Thanks Charlie for being so kind, and thanks to my wife for purchasing me a scooter. Love you both.

On the Road Again - part 8
Wednesday November 13
I went to the Radiology department at Vanderbilt at 2:00 for my 2:30 PET scan, got signed in and was given directions to the PET area, so down the hall and to the right and about a block away. After I had gotten there and waited about 45 minutes when they took me into a small room, took a little blood for a glucose test, then they injected me with a radioactive tracer, told me they would be back in 45 minutes and to just sit back and relax, and to not read or work my crossword puzzle, just to relax. That sounds easy till, you consider that a PET scan is usually called for when the Dr suspects a malignancy. So about 45 minutes later the nurse comes in and asks me if I am ready for my scan. What was I going to do, say No? So we start off down the hall and she asks if I need to make a stop at the restroom because they want me to make sure my bladder is empty. Now remember my instructions were no food or drink after 8:00AM, so I don't think my bladder was near full, but I did make the mandatory pit stop. Then it was back through the hospital then outside and across the front of the ER section to a semi-trailer with the PET scan inside. Got inside and laid down as the nurse technician explained the procedure to me. She had me take off my belt and remove all metal from my pockets, and laid my HELiOS between my knees, last step was a strap to help support my arms on the narrow table. Then the table moved me into the tunnel of the PET scanner and after a short wait it started taking its scans, after approximately 10 minutes it moved me downward in the tunnel, took more scans for another ten minutes, then did this 2 or 3 more times. When this first set of scans was completed, I got the Technicians attention and asked if my HELiOS was laying on its front or back side as I was not getting any oxygen. It was laying on its front and had frozen up, so I got the technician to lay it on its back and then she started the second set of scans, which were a repeat of the first series. By the time this was done I was getting oxygen again and was also feeling better. When she finished I explained to her that the HELiOS unit was like a baby in that it did not take kindly to being laid on its stomach or with its head down, she laughed but then admitted that it was the first HELiOS unit she had seen but that she would also let the other nurse technician know about the baby and how to handle it. Then the Radiologist came in and told me that my scan looked good and that Dr. Loyd (my pulmonologist) would probably be getting in touch with me tomorrow regarding the PET scan. Then it was off to the house I go, with a detour for a bite to eat, a stop at the grocery store (needed some carrots for vegetable soup I started yesterday). Got home, put carrots in the soup added some cabbage, started it simmering, then went to bed for a nap, but wife arrived home in the next 20 minutes so no nap. Now it is 10:30 and off to bed I go.

On the Road Again - part 9
Tuesday November 19, 2002.
Met with Haley yesterday, for final meeting re: TX got any and all questions taken care of, Pet scan was ok, and was told I was now going to the committee. Got the script for Pre-TX drugs, Pulmonary rehab, and was done for the day. This morning they called and said that they are working out the details with my insurance company and as soon as that is done I will be listed. I guess now all I can do is go to the monthly meeting of the support group, work on my pulmonary rehab, and see the TX doctors every three months until I get the Call. So for right now the trip is on a temporary (and I hope) short pause. But I will be back as soon as I resume my trip so stay tuned.

On the Road Again - part 10
Wednesday November 20, 2002.
I went to the Transplant support groups Thanksgiving dinner today (actually an excuse to make my FANTASTIC fresh pineapple pie). At the dinner I met several of the post transplant people, and some of the others on the waiting list. Had a delicious meal and got all kinds of comments on the FANTASTIC fresh pineapple pie, and all 12 of the recipe slips I took were gone and so was the pie when it was time to leave. Met one of the post transplant who was 12 years out, she was the 4th lung that Vanderbilt had done and she is doing great, also several ranging from 3 months to several years out. Now I think my next post will be one to give you some of the costs associated with the listing. This will be from the charges to my insurer so if you want an idea of the cost involved stay tuned for the next one folks.

On the Road Again - part 11
Well here it is Thursday November 28, 2002, Thanksgiving Day. I want to say that I hope all of you are having a wonderful day and have plenty to be thankful for today. I know I have an awfully lot to be thankful for. Lets see now: I am thankful for all the wonderful people I have met here in the support group, I am thankful for my wonderful wife who has put up with me for over 40 years, Thankful for 3 fantastic kids and 8 grandkids, thankful for my health even though it could be better I am still blessed by being in a lot better condition than a lot of others, being short of breath and tiring easily is a lot better than some I know. I have a cousin with Parkinsons disease that just underwent an implant of an electronic stimulator in his brain to control his tremors, so I am thankful that it is not me doing that, I also have a cousins son who recently lost both feet due to blood clots and he is now on dialysis and a vent, again I am thankful it is not I. And I am thankful that on Monday November 25, 2002 I officially was listed for a lung transplant. So hope you all can see that regardless of how bad we think we are there is always some one you know that is a little worse. Just remember those worse than you when you give thanks today folks, and wishing you all the best.

On the Road Again - part 12
December 31, 2002
Golleee gee whiz have I ever got some catching up to do for all of you interested in my trip toward a transplant. Most important date in my life (even more than my wedding anniversary) is Friday the 13th of December 2002. At 9:00 am on that date I received a phone call telling me to stay near the phone, as there might be a lung available. No panic I just went back to bed for a short nap then got up and told the boss I was going to take a bath and shave. Got the bath done and the phone rang again. Said they had a lung on the way and for me to go to the hospital admitting office and be admitted ASAP. My first comment to the wife was "I am not ready for this." What I meant was that I had only been in Pre tx rehab for 2 days and did not think my physical strength was near what it should be. But never mind off we went. Grabbed my HELiOS unit with a stop enroute to the car to fill it for the last time. Got to the admissions office and noticed that in my haste I had not noticed the HELiOS had been venting all the way to the hospital. So here I was to be admitted for a new lung and no supplemental oxygen with saturation dropping into the upper 70's. Croaked to the lady in admissions that I needed Oxygen NOW In a matter of minutes a fellow showed up with an E Cylinder, no regulator, no cannula, no cart. Looked at my HELiOS and said we can't fill that.

I said go get me a regulator and a cannula and get your Ass back here. He went and got a regulator but no cannula and then he said I will have to go back as your cannula won't work on this unit I then said it sure will give it here. I simply hooked one of the dual lines up so I was getting O2 thru one nare. By this time I had been waiting approximately 50 minutes for admission and had been told again there was no room ready. At this point I called my transplant coordinator, and was on my way to a room in less than 10 minutes after the call. Spent about an hour there before being moved to pre op, where they introduced me to some of the OR folks like the anesthesiologist and some of the techs, I was also asked which lung I was getting.. It may sound silly but I had no idea until a tech came in and started shaving the right side of my chest and I said, "It looks like I am going to get a right lung". Good guess on my part! At a little after 4 my lung had arrived from Chattanooga and I was in the OR and out like a light in a power failure. 5 hrs later I was in recovery and my youngest son was the first to see me and he told the boss that I looked better than I had in years When she saw me she agreed. I woke up about 5 or 5:30 And still on the vent but believe me folks James Browns theme "I Feel Good", can not be near as descriptive of him as it was for me even with the vent because "I FELT REAL GOOD". Vent was removed about 7AM and was transferred to SICSAU for several hours. Saturday evening I walked 350 feet with 2 liters of O2 and maintained a saturation of 95%. Transferred to 9 north which is the pulmocardiac care area prior to general hospital care. Sunday December 15th I actually walked 700 feet nonstop and with no O2 and saturation stayed above 95% the whole distance. Monday December 16th I overdid the sitting in a chair and had a reaction to pain meds and don't remember much of the day except that the way I felt on Tuesday I must have really had a good time as I had the hangover to prove it. Tuesday December16th thru Tuesday Dec 24th was all about the same routine; drugs at 6:00AM, 9:00AM, Noon, 9:00PM Blood work and vitals about every two hours, walking in the hall with no O2 and increasing distance daily until I was walking over 2 miles a day.
December 24th, Christmas Eve, going home.

On the Road Again - part 13
Well I was home for Christmas but on Friday Dec. 27th, I noticed I had a 5 degree fever so off to the ER we went, had a small infectious flare-up and was readmitted for a day and a half then home on home infusion of some powerful antibiotics for a week or so. It is now New Years Eve December 31, 2002 and had a follow up visit at the pulmo clinic today and they all say I am doing great and yes "I FEEL GOOD". Love to all my fans and a BIG thanks for all the prayer and support you have so lovingly given.

On the Road Again - part 14
January 14th 2003
Well not much has changed since the last time I updated my travelogue, Just the usual blood tests and drug regimen changes with a couple of minor glitches that have been successfully overcome, had an abnormally high Potassium level got it under control in 4 days, still adjusting the Cyclosporin level , had my first PFT since the TX today. Boy what a difference a month and a new lung makes. On 11-4-02 my FEV1 was 18% predicted, on Jan 14th 2003 my FEV1 was 73% predicted. FVC went from 56% to 84% in the same time. Will update again after next Tuesday when I am rescheduled for the Bronchoscopy.

On the Road Again - part 15
February 3, 2003 - Update time again.
Had another small setback over the weekend of 1-11 to 1-12 noticed that whenever I coughed my lung was ballooning through the intercostal spaces of my right ribs. Contacted and talked to my Pulmo Dr. on Saturday and Sunday we both agreed that I could get through the weekend by using an Ace Bandage wrap to hold everything in place with a consult on Monday Jan. 13th. Part of the reason for this was that we were trying to get an additional 1-2 inches of snow on top of the 6-8 we had on Thursday and Friday. It had already resulted in major shut downs in the area. Had to send the wife out for 2 - 4 inch ace bandages at 2 in the morning when it was all of 2 above Zero, with a wind chill of about -10. Again, thanks for a wonderful caregiver. Ace bandages sure helped over the weekend, but on Sunday Evening the Pulmo Dr. called me and wanted me to go NPO (nothing By Mouth) and then come to the clinic at 8a.m. Monday for a follow up Bronchoscopy. Monday morning went to clinic at 8:00a.m. Met with Pulmo and Thoracic Surgeon. Had X rays taken. No Bronchoscopy though. Was admitted to the hospital at 2:00p.m. Monday, Still NPO. At 6:00p.m., they fed me a 1/2 cup of GREEN Jello and some chicken Broth then moved me to 8 North at 6:30p.m., again with an NPO(SURELY THEY JEST!)

Tuesday 11:00a.m., DR. came in to say they were considering several options to repair the intercostal hernias which were caused by the Prednisone and other drugs reacting with the temporary sutures that were used to hold the intercostal areas in place. The drugs had caused the temporary sutures to be absorbed about 10-20 days early. (Still NPO and about beyond hunger now)

At 3:30 was off to pre-op for an Epidural and the bronchoscopy, (I thought). 2 1/2 hrs later was in recovery found out they did not do the bronchoscopy but did repair the hernias. They actually deflated the new lung then did a water seal test to check for leaks, used permanent sutures in the intercostal areas and simply tucked the new lung back in place. About like repairing a tube type tire sounds like to me... This procedure did result in a lot of crepitus (air trapped in the tissue) Also commonly called rice crispies because of the way it sounds and feels, that is it does snap, crackle and pop.

Wednesday, 8:00a.m., was told I would get the jello and broth breakfast special (wonder if I can get 4 or 5 of them? After all it has only been about 62 hrs since I had any thing solid to eat). Now awaiting the Dr. to see when I can get some real food. Saw the Dr.s. They said I would get the jello and broth for lunch and if I had no problems would be back on regular diet for supper. At 4:00p.m. I had my caregiver, bless her heart, get a pepperoni pizza, ate one slice and waited about 15-20 minutes felt fine so ate another slice, followed immediately by me eating 3/4s of a 12 inch Pizza. Best pizza I had eaten in years! 6:30 they brought me supper you guessed it Broth and jello. I immediately started hollering that I was supposed to get REAL food, so they did bring me another tray with a pork chop, dressing green beans and a salad, which I also devoured. Was kept in the hospital until Monday January 20th, at which time I was discharged and am now due for my 30 day Bronchoscopy on Feb. 4th., so that will be the next update.

On the Road Again - part 16
February 7 2003
Dr. Millstone (TX Head Surgeon) called and said my bronchoscopy was normal and everything looked good, so I guess I am still on the right road to recovery, had the sequence of events wrong for the 5th though was lab work then the Bronch, then X-rays and finished at 2:30p.m., so no rehab that day. Now I just have an appointment with my regular Pulmonologist (Dr. Loyd) on Feb. 13th and with my thoracic surgeon (Dr.Ninan) on Feb. 14th, both at 9:30a.m. and probably with blood work for at least the one on the 13th. This blood work results in changes in my Neoril (cyclosporin) dosage about half the time so I guess it is a necessary evil, even if I am starting to feel like a pin cushion.

On The Road Again - part 17
March 8, 2003
I was admitted to VUMC on March 4th, when upon awakening my PAO2 was at 67% and was having severe pain across my diaphragm and right chest area.

This was after approximately a week to ten days of treatment for a possible infection. I had been through a 10-day course of Keflex, and had started on Levaquin, on February 26th. Then was prescribed Tessalon Perles for cough. This was done on February 24th(Monday). On Friday February 28th I played phone tag with Haley (TX Coordinator/Nurse) from 8:30 until 6:30, then went to the Emergency room at VUMC. Spent 4 hrs in ER waiting on x-rays and blood draw. After about 2 hrs a Dr. came in and asked if they had brought the lab results back and I told her they had not even drawn the sample yet. After they got the blood drawn and sitting around some more they finally prescribed the Tessalon Perles and sent me home.

After a real lousy weekend it was back to the real world. Monday was the first sunny day after 17 days of gloom and no sunshine, but I was still noticing my blood pressure staying elevated, but did feel a little better.

Tuesday, March 4th
When I woke up this morning I was in trouble, had severe SOB, pain across diaphragm, and right chest, checked saturation level and PAO2 was at 67% Blood Pressure was at 147/75, so I immediately called the TX office and was told to go to the VUMC ER and get checked in and they would see me there. Got to the ER at 9:00 (Wife drove through and dropped me off on her way to work). At 10:00 they did a set of chest X-Rays followed by a CT scan and a bronchoscopy (they can be efficient sometimes). I was told I would be admitted to the hospital after the Bronchoscopy for at least overnight.

While I was getting prepped for the Bronchoscopy I was asked if I minded them taping it for inclusion in a show to be ran on The Learning Channel sometime in September. (Young Meds on The Learning Channel a show about residents) Now it is time for me to go to my room, call the boss lady, and tell her what I need to bring for a day or two stay here. And wait on the results of the tests that have been done today.

Well its tomorrow, and I had a decent breakfast and saw the first group of Drs, residents, and interns. Then off for another set of x-rays, back to the room, and a shouted conversation with Dr.Loyd (my main Pulmonologist). It was a shouted conversation because he has a bug and stayed in the hallway. After Dr. Loyd had left the infectious disease team stopped by and told me about the same as Dr. Loyd had. That is that my symptoms, or lack of, pretty much ruled out any bacterial or viral problems, but that I did have fluid around my lung and they would correct that this afternoon. Afternoon, down to x-ray where they used a sonogram to locate the fluid in my lung then using a process called Thoracentesis, they inserted a syringe into my right side and drew out the fluid (700cc) about a pint and a half.

Back to my room and wait on the Dr. to stop by. When Dr. Loyd came by he said it was an acute rejection episode but very treatable, they had noticed an inflamed area on the Bronchoscopy and the leukocyte count was up in the fluid they had taken from my chest. Treatment starts out with 500mg of Solumedrol (Prednisone), IV every 12 hrs for 2 days.

Now it is Friday and after the 4 doses of prednisone the Dr. informed me they have also found fungi in the culture from my lung fluid so they are going to start the anti-fungal routine. Not bad enough to have 1 fungus but I have 2 showing up Aspergillus and Mucormycosis, but the good thing is that the Aspergillis is the colonized type rather than invasive.

Now its Saturday and time to go home and play the waiting game until next time folks. See we all know it is not a stroll in the park to get a new lung but I have to take the bad days with the good ones and that is part of the game called life.

On The Road Again part 18

Now it is Thursday March 13, and off to the lab and radiology for follow up testing, with a consult with Haley to follow.  Finished consult session with Haley at about 12:00 noon just a long wait this time.  I was informed that my Cyclosporin levels were excellent at the reduced dosage due the affect of the VFend.  Was also told to return at 3:30 for a CT scan and possible thoracentesis if needed.  Took my chauffeur to lunch, went home napped and returned to Vandy for CT scan at 3:30 got there at 3:15 they started the scan at 4:25, no results given so home to wait till morning and then contact Haley. 

Friday March 14,  its been 3 months folks,  and I just contacted Haley and was informed there was not enough fluid to be concerned about and to check back in on Monday and to have a nice weekend, so that is my plan for now.  Only thing scheduled soon is the Dr. visit and Bronchoscopy on the 25th unless something else pops up.

Late in the evening of November 15th, 2003, Lance peacefully left us.  We have lost another truly caring person - a person who quietly, with no fanfare, went about helping all that he could. Online, you would find him hosting a chat room, or offering advice and knowledge to newcomers. I have always heard stories about his having called people, and even driven to their homes to offer comfort and support.

To the newcomer he was kind, thoughtful, giving, a teacher, and yes even funny.

It is a great loss to the COPD community and to his family and friends. I said in my closing thoughts for our newsletter that the "COPD community is a poorer place today, for the loss of Lance." Yes, that is true, but, the community is also a richer place, having had the opportunity to know and learn from him.

He taught all of the importance of life. He taught us that no matter what the risks it was worth giving life a chance, and that to go for your dreams was worth everything.

He taught us all to always look to the future and to seek happiness.

His writings about the road to transplant will no doubt help many in their decisions about receiving a transplant. He will be beside them in sprit, no matter what their choice.

Rest well, my friend - you have set a fine example for us all.


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