Saturday, August 27, 2011

Health Update

I have been reluctant to post any news regarding my health; I did not want to appear to be trying to elicit sympathy or just plain whining. Christina, who is a friend and neighbor as well another cancer survivor, suggested that I should update this blog with my recent news.

A quick recap: I was treated for Stage IIIB Hodgkins Lymphoma with chemotherapy and radiation during 1976 and 1978. I have been cancer free since. Late effects, however, began occurring in the late 1990’s, including congestive heart failure (1998) and atrial fibrillation (2003).

The fibrillation returned in 2010. A pacemaker was installed in November 2010, but the fibrillation continued and the CHF got worse. In April 2011, various tests confirmed that I had coronary artery disease. On May 17 triple-bypass surgery was performed. That was successful, but my kidneys failed shortly thereafter and I have been on dialysis since June. Also, the surgery indicated that I had severe radiation fibrosis further impacting my heart. Additional tests indicated that the CHF is very severe and that the best course for me will be a dual heart and kidney transplant within the next two years. Without the heart transplant, my cardiologist gives me a 50/50 chance of surviving for two years.

So, if any of you who read this have any experience with heart and kidney transplants, I’d welcome your comments!