Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Cutting Short My Stay in the Philippines

After all the unfavorable results for my desire to help my brother, I decided to cut short my stay in the Philippines. Initially I have asked permission from my work for about 2 months leave but since I could no longer donate one of my kidneys to my brother, I will be returning back to Las Vegas in less than 2 weeks from this writing. Right now I'm here in Cebu to change the schedule of my return flight to April 11th. I'll also be calling my boss informing them of the sudden changes in schedules so that they could accommodate me to be able to start back to work on April 14th. I'll be going back to live my life as normal as possible although I am much aware of the state of my health. At least I know that I have to do more effort in trying to live a healthy lifestyle like eating and drinking the right stuff as not to overwork my one and only kidney. This way I could ensure that I could outlive my remaining kidney.

As for my brother, there are some positive things going on with him. We have a couple of cousins willing to help him and brought them here in Cebu for the required screening tests. One of them is so far cleared to proceed with the final tests and cross matching, while the other one had some findings of kidney stones as well as some issues of her heart. My brother's surgeon also found a possible donor that generally matches him. Right now we are focusing on this cousin as the surgeon preferred him over the other donor that he found. Its just a matter of time that my brother will be free from the grasps of the dialysis machines holding his life down.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


After undergoing all my physical tests, the bottom line result is devastating for me. I am not healthy enough to donate one of my kidneys to my brother. They found some stone formation near my right kidney minimizing the flow of blood which causes it to shrink in size than normal. I was devastated not because of the findings but because I failed my own brother. I could no longer give him one of my kidneys providing him the hope of improving his quality of life. When I got the results, I could not help myself but cry. I've been crying every night without them knowing since I don't want my brother to lose hope in finding another suitable donor for himself. He will have his own tissue cross matched from a pool of possible donor and hopefully it would just be a matter of time that he will be called for the actual transplant by his surgeon.

As for myself, I will still have to undergo a test to determine how much percentage my right kidney is working. This would determine the course of action how to treat and save my right kidney. The nephrologist told me that the stone was formed for quite some time now which means I've been living my life with literally just one full functional kidney without my knowledge. I told my family to make me an example to prospective donors that one can live a normal life with just one kidney as long as they will lead a healthy lifestyle.

Thinking on the positive side, it was a blessing in disguise for me. I have found out that there is something wrong with my health even if I don't feel any symptoms at all. I thought I was healthy enough because I've been trying to eat properly and exercise regularly. This made me realize that what I did were not enough to keep me healthy. Regular medical and physical check-up is necessary especially now that I'm not getting any younger. This made me realize how precious life is and appreciate all the blessings I received.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Poked and Being Poked Again

On my way to the Philippines, I was quite positive and excited to be able to help my brother in his time of great need. I willingly underwent various tests to determine if I am healthy enough to donate one of my kidneys to him. I was being poked and poked again with needles for blood works. I humiliated myself collecting my urine for 24 hours using a sterilized plastic container and putting it inside the refrigerator. If nobody knew about it, it could be mistaken for iced tea preparation…LOL! I underwent ultrasound where a lady doctor had the chance to see and touch my lower abdomen using her scanner nearest to my "ehem". My last test will be done this coming Tuesday where it could determine the proper functioning of my kidneys.

Taking this all in the positive side, I have undergone a major physical check-up which could determine if I'm still healthy or not.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Grueling Days

After 13 long hours of flight from Vancouver, we finally arrived here in Cebu last March 16th, a Tuesday. We arrived in early morning and I wasn't tired at all so we decided to start the tests immediately. I had my ECG, ECHO (ultrasound for the heart), chest X-ray and ultrasound for my kidneys. The following day, Wednesday, I had my blood works done. There were a lot to consider like sugar levels, creatinine toxicity levels, HIV and a lot more. My blood type is B just like my brother, the potential recipient of one of my kidneys. We are on the third day and we will go to my brother's nephrologist for the results. I am currently worried because initially I've heard that there were some issues on some of my test results which we will confirm today. My biggest fear is what if I am not healthy enough to become a donor? What will happen now to my brother?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Starting Point

I'm embarking a trip today to the Philippines to be with my family. This is the first step in realizing my decision to do something for my brother. Making this decision was quite easy for me because I love him so much. Being his only sibling, I am his last hope to improve his quality of life. He badly needs a kidney transplant but he initially did not want me to donate one of mine. He was thinking that I am his last hope to take care of his family if something bad might happen to him. I thought that this is his own family, his wife and son, and therefore it is only right that he will take care of them himself. This is the reason why I made this most important decision in my life. It did not take me a long time to think and came up with this. Aside from being huge, it is also life changing. Upon arrival in the Philippines, we will start a series of tests to establish that we are a match. I'm quite positive about the results and I just hope and pray that we are indeed a good match and I'm healthy enough to donate. I have done some research about organ donation but I still have lots of things to ask with our doctor about my expectations after the procedure. Again, I'm positive about my brother having a second lease in life.

I will post more on my experience as a living donor, so visit this blog again soon.