My Damn Kidneys or My Failing Kidneys Diary.

28 10 2008

New to this Blog ?  Please Read the ** ABOUT ME ” Page 1st.  Link on Right under “Pages”.

This is my thinking out loud / education process on KIDNEY DISEASE, ( PKD ).   This is just my take on things !   If You Comment, tell me if it’s to be kept PRIVATE !

Pink Posts are from My Wonderful Wife.

 EVERYONE  PLEASE  ! ! !      Sign your Organ Donor Cards ( if you have that program in your Province or State ) and Discuss your wishes with your Family so They are not Left to Decide what to do,   should you be involved in a Fatal Accident.  You could turn Tragedy into Several Life Changing Gifts,  A legacy that would live on .  Just have the talk ! 

ps.  I won’t be needing an Organ from you  ( as  I have been Blessed with a Living Donor transplant shortly )  but there are people waiting up to 9 years for a kidney as you read this.  Note : my family and I have had this discussion years ago, while we where all healthy. I just makes sense.
Thanks for considering being a Donor and Giving the Gift of LIFE, should the worst happen. 

2 years post transplant.

9 09 2011

a quick update,

I had the transplant 2 years ago & things are going well.

Energy level is good, no more dead tired after work.  No leg cramps, bowels settled down fairly well ( Cellcepte, anti regection  drug can be tough, no complaints, especially considering I’d be on Dialisys now if it were not for my brother in laws gift od a kiddney.

for a full update you can check out the post transplant blog,

see yah,


Retrospective, Jan. 2010

7 01 2010

Well its a new decade, It’s been a crazy last year to say the least.

Looking back ,  with a new Kidney Giving me new life and energy, really puts a different perspective on things.  Just a Heads up if you’re reading this for the 1st time.  You’ll encounter some posts  that are quite whiney and self defeating.  I can get to self absorbed at times, but that is how I was feeling at the time and I’ll leave the posts in even though I’d like to delete a few.  It was part of my ride.  Thats it, Read on if interested.   AL

New Blog for My New Kidney

17 07 2009

I felt it only fitting to make a more positive blog to track my New Kidney Journey.   I realize, in hindsite, I have been to much of a  of a Drama King at times. I Must Change that !!

My New Kidney New Blog Address


2 weeks to go

13 07 2009

Final Cross match blood tests were done today (just to be sure there were no sudden changes). Allan also did a final 24 hour urine collection.  Two weeks from today, the boys will be in surgery and Randeen and I will be anxiously awaiting.

 Allan has been careful to watch his potassium intake (no cherries………….but he is so tempted when he has to drive by a cherry orchard every day to get home. Just yesterday he said “Oh I want to stop and buy a big bag of cherries”. I told him I will bring him cherries in the hospital right after the surgery.)

Allan’s eyes have been very yellow the past week.  I would bet that his function has dropped again. ( I seem to able to tell by looking at him, what % function he is at. I haven’t been wrong yet, once blood tests confirm my thoughts.


JULY 7th update

7 07 2009

Only 20 days until the transplant. Time will fly by as we get ready and sqeeze all the Summer activities we want to do, into the next 2 weeks.

 Allan will be going to Vancouver on July 23rd, and checking into the hospital on the 24th for a pre-transplant clinic. He is told to spend a relaxing, stress free, and healthy weekend in Vancouver before the trasnplant.

Leon will be checking in at 6:30 am on the morning of the transplant. They get Leon all prepped for surgery 1st, then Allan comes in at 8am, and they send Al into surgery after Leon is almost finished in the O.R.  It will be a long wait until Allan is out of surgery and back on the Renal ward (6th floor – St Pauls Hospital)

 We found a tiny, but oh so cute, condo to rent from July 23rd to the end of Sept. It is 7 blocks from the hospital, on the 20th floor of a new highrise across the water from Granville Island. There is a park and seawall across the street, so when Allan is feeling better, he can go watch the sailboats and go take a water taxi across to Granville Island. There is a gym, and pool, and even a beach volleyball pit.

Randeen and family will be staying at our house once Leon is discharged. They will look after Dane & Stitches, (and our boat).  When they leave, my friend , Michele is coming to spend a couple weeks here.

On the business side, I have my Saskatoon partner coming to Kelowna the middle of Aug. to help get us caught up on head office jobs, so that I dont have to rush back to Kelowna. Carleigh is coming from Saskatoon, to work at the store for 3 weeks, as I have some staff on holidays at that time.

Once school is back in, I will have to spend the majority of my time in Kelowna, and perhaps Dane and I will go see Allan on weekends. We hope by Oct, he can start coming home for weekends.

In some ways, it seems like it was such a long road, but on the other hand, I can’t believe how quickly this all came together, and I am so thankful that Allan gets his transplant before his health is really bad, and before dialysis. We are  blessed!!! There really are not words to express our gratitude and feelings.The following sentence just isn’t sufficient………………….Thank-you Leon.


Transplant Date – July 27th

27 06 2009

The match was confirmed and the transplant will take place July 27th at St Pauls Hospital, Vancouver ,for both Leon and Allan.

 They are giving a gift to an unknown person, who was having trouble finding a suitable donor. These boys are heros!!!

They could have just gone ahead with the transplant seeing as Leon IS a suitable donor for Allan, but they wanted to help others by going into the Paired Exchange Registry, where other people suffering from Kidney failure, have a donor, but they are not suitable. They were able to match Leon to one of these people, and use thier donor for Al. (amazing that they both matched)It is not likely that we will ever know who these people are, but now there is more than 1 person out there thanking God for Leon’s generousity!!! Also thanking Allan for not just thinking of himself and using his own donor. He was willing to pass this gift along to benefit another sick person. It really is a Win, Win situation.

This is rarely seen. Ussually the Paired Exchange has people in it who can NOT find a suitable donor. They do not get people like Al and Leon who are a match, but enter the program  to benefit others.

Allan needs to be at the hospital on July 23rd for a pre-transplant work-up. (We are going to Vancouver July 2 – 5 to look for an apartment near the hospital.) We have an appointment at the hospital to sign all neccesary forms and get some instructions.

Just having a date is a relief to many people (Al’s boss included)

We have our amazing support system in place. Randeen and Leon will arrive in Kelowna before Al has to go to Vancouver and stay with Dane until Leon is needed (the day before surgery).

They will come back to Kelowna where Leon can recover floating on our boat, and Randeen will look after Dane, the dog and the house for us. They will head back to Saskatoon around Aug 22, and my BFF Michele will arrive from Winnipeg to spend the last week of August and 1st week of Sept in Kelowna.

We are extremeley thankful for this gift. I am over-joyed that we have a transplant before Allan needed to start dialysis (as it was fast approaching) Thanks to our Pro-active support people in our lives (Durette’s you know who you are) we were able to make this happen.

Al’s mood has been uplifted since we got the news. We are so thankful!!!

We pray that the transplant goes well, and that Al’s body will accept the new kidney with happy anticipation, and he will be back to healthy Al soon.

Thank-you to our friends and family who have been so caring and understanding through this journey. We are truely blessed to have such an awesome support system.


AL Here.  From Now on we will be posting Updates on the New Blog.

” My New ( Transplanted ) Kidney Journey ”  a more positive Blog.

  See ya there.    AL

Paired Exchange Article from Thurs. 25th Globe and Mail

27 06 2009




‘Kidney swap’ a first for Canadian doctors

Three Canadian hospitals

Successful procedure saw four people in three time zones receive new organs from live donors.

Marina Jimenez

From Thursday’s Globe and Mail Last updated on Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009 10:47AM EDT

In a Canadian medical first, four people with severe kidney failure received new organs from living donors in simultaneous “kidney swap” operations in Vancouver, Edmonton and Toronto.

This innovative and logistically complex “domino” transplant began at exactly 10:30 a.m. (ET) in three time zones. That’s when the donors, who all travelled from out of province, were anesthetized in two operating rooms in Toronto General Hospital, one in Edmonton’s University of Alberta Hospital, and another at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver.

Despite the novel nature of the multicity, multiorgan procedure, the core complexity is actually one of ethics. Kidney swaps are based on the idea of paying it forward, whereby a donor whose kidney isn’t compatible with their loved one, who needs a new kidney, agrees to donate to a stranger. In exchange, their partner receives a kidney from someone else.

The ethical fear is that when the patient receives a kidney, their loved one will rescind their offer to donate. That’s why the procedural ballet must be so precisely synchronized, leaving no room for any donor to change his or her mind.

Fortunately, that didn’t happen Wednesday night, and once the kidneys were removed from the donors, the four transplant operations went ahead in sequence, following months of planning by the Canadian Blood Services.

“This is a major step forward,” said Ed Cole, head of the University Health Network’s kidney transplant program in Toronto. “The people who got kidneys today would have waited on transplant lists for years, and everyone else on the list would have had to wait longer. It shows what can be done when we work together.”

By Wednesday evening, the donors and recipients were recovering on different wards – to safeguard their anonymity. And four teams in three cities breathed a huge sigh of relief after the surgical marathon.




The pilot project is the model for the future, made possible thanks to the CBS’s new national registry. It allows donors who can’t give a kidney to their loved one because of incompatible blood group or tissue type to sign up in pairs to swap kidneys with another incompatible donor-recipient pair.

Kidney swaps have recently made headlines in the United States, with one group swap portrayed on a recent episode of Grey’s Anatomy.

The idea, first pioneered in the Netherlands, makes sense because of the chronic shortage of kidneys. In Canada, 35,000 people have kidney disease and 3,000 are on the waiting list for a kidney from a deceased person, which can take eight years in Toronto and Vancouver. About 60 people die every year before a kidney becomes available.

Wednesday’s domino chain of eight surgeries began with an altruistic donor from B.C. who offered to give a kidney to a stranger. The organ went to a person who had signed onto the CBS registry. That person’s incompatible donor partner then gave to another patient in the registry, and the latter’s incompatible partner gave to a third person in the registry. That third person’s incompatible partner then gave to a patient on the waiting list.

“The first person is really a hero because they facilitated not just one, but four kidney transplants, with absolutely no personal gain,” said Dr. Cole, who helped organize the surgeries. “This is a win-win for everyone.”

The hospitals protect everyone’s anonymity for ethical reasons; however, if a donor and recipient wish to meet after they have recovered from surgery, the doctors can facilitate this, noted John Gill, a transplant nephrologist at St. Paul’s who also co-ordinated yesterday’s success.

Launched earlier this year, the federal registry has about three dozen incompatible donor-recipient pairs looking to “swap” kidneys.

Surgeons at the Toronto General Hospital and the Ottawa Hospital both did a round of “kidney swap” surgeries this year in their own hospitals.

But Wednesday marked the first national domino exchange. It took months of teleconference calls, lab and immunology tests across three times zones, said Peter Nickerson, executive medical director of CBS’s organs and tissues division. “It’s an innovative program that shows the incredible co-operation among hospitals, provinces, surgeons and patients.”

The CBS uses a sophisticated computer program to find matches, inputting the blood and tissue type of every donor and recipient in the national registry. The program then searches for compatibility, aiming for the highest number of matches and minimizing travel time for donors.



The CBS is expanding the registry to include incompatible donor-recipient pairs from all provinces, and is already planning a second domino transplant this summer. In cases where donors cannot travel, the CBS hopes to be able to “fly the kidney to the recipient,” Dr. Gill said.

Kidneys from living donors can last up to 12 hours outside the body, and can be transported via Air Canada’s “medi-desk,” located in the cockpit of a plane, he added.

Last year, 40 per cent of the 1,200 transplants in Canada used kidneys from living donors. The success rate is higher than transplants from deceased donors, and the kidneys last longer. Studies show donors don’t suffer long-term health consequences.

Replacing a faulty kidney also saves the health-care system $300,000 over a patient’s lifetime, and frees the patient from dialysis, an expensive and time-consuming procedure that removes excess water and waste from the blood. “Kidney disease continues to grow,” Dr. Nickerson said. “It affects people in all strata of life. It can be genetic, autoimmune or caused by diabetes.”

Patricia Campbell, a U of A transplant nephrologist, said the more people who join the national registry, the greater the chance of finding a compatible kidney. “We are thrilled this happened,” she said. “Everyone invested a lot of time and work in the background to ensure it was a success.”