Saturday, February 27, 2010

...just when we thought.....

that we had found the much needed balance, Christopher's creatin levels went up again. In South African measurements, he is meant to settle in at the low eighties. His went up to 112 last Monday, so he was booked back into the Hospital again. This time, they gave him a fast flowing intravenous drip only. They felt his hydration levels were low, and sure enough, his creatin came down a little again.

But there is still an unexplained reason for the increase in levels, so the decision was made to perform a Biopsy of the graft kidney. This would be the third biopsy, and there is a risk to the kidney each time you do this. Apparently in England, they do them quite frequently on transplant cases, but are much more conservative here in South Africa. The results showed mild rejection, which is what they expected.

He is on a new immunosuppressant, and his Prednisone medication has been increased to 60mg per day. Again, this seemingly ever elusive balance escapes us. Christopher was discharged yesterday, with strict instruction to increase his fluid intake. We will be back on Monday for blood tests to see how he is responding to the new therapy.

March 2ND marks three months since the transplant, and I must confess I had thought things would have returned to a semblance of normality again by now. I keep expecting things to get back to our usual routine and to find the familiar rhythm of our family and school life again. But alas, this has not been the case yet. I think my thinking is all wrong.

I need to expect things to be different from now on. Life will probably never be the same again, and our continual quest for balance in Christopher's post-transplant life will be filled with unexpected twists and turns. Once again, I feel I was unprepared for this, just as I was unprepared for the pain in my own body after the surgery.

Now I know why the Doctors say "A transplant is not a cure, but another disease"!!

As we attempt to navigate the road ahead, I have a special prayer request. We would like to prayerfully consider taking on some help with our homeschooling process. I would like to pray for a special person to come and help us in the various school subjects. If coming from Stateside, the person would be able to also be involved with our ministry, and would have a place to live. Helping me with the school responsibilities would be a part time to three-quarter time situation, and the rest of the time could be spent getting involved in other ministry opportunities. Thank you for joining me in prayer here, that the Lord would fulfill this need in our lives in His perfect time.

Thank you, for standing with us, and for your encouraging emails, letters and support. We are grateful to all of you, and trust the Lord blesses you all in return.

With love,

Lenora Hammond

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Finding that Balance

It has been a couple of weeks since Christopher's last three day confinement at the Hospital, where he was treated for acute rejection. Every three days we decrease the immunosuppressant intake and every 4 days we go in for a check up and bloods.The exact equilibrium of medication needs to be found.

Each time, after we have been at home again for a few hours, we wait. What will the results be? How is Christopher's body coping with the 'foreign' organ? Will it ever fully accept it, or will it always try to find an opening through which to push it's detective agents' that are trained to attack it? If his immunosuppressant therapy is too intense, he runs the risk of other complications such as an increase in infections or even cancer. If the there is too little suppression, he runs the risk of rejecting the graft kidney.

Life is kind of like that. If we are out of balance in our Spiritual walk, we run the risk of sliding into behaviour that is not good for us or our family. Daily, our devotional and prayer life needs to be in harmony, and needs to outweigh our desire for independence from God. Always 'seeing the big picture' or keeping the main thing the main thing is our goal.

Christopher is feeling so much better now, and wants to run ahead and get involved in sports and activities that his body is not ready for. Balance and patience is needed. We are scheduled for the removal of the temporary stent on March 11Th. The goal of the stent was to create a permanent opening of the blockage that was preventing good urine flow. Pray with us, that this will be the case, and that no more surgeries will be necessary.

Thank you for your encouragement, which is what so often helps us to keep that balance.


Lenora and family

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Wow.....the effect of steroids is nothing like we have experienced before. Christopher's most recent 3 day confinement at the Hospital meant he was given intravenous imunosuppressants (steroids). The first morning I visited him, his poor face bore the effects of them. He is bloated and has an appetite like none other experienced before.

For the 14 years Christopher has been on this Earth, he has been a very poor eater. We have worked tirelessly to get him to eat more by increasing the protein drinks, the starches and any vitamins he would be willing to ingest. Now, there is a 100% turn around. He suddenly has an appetite like never before. This is new to him, and to us, and we are trying to find the right balance.

His immunosuppressants will slowly be decreased, which means that in time hopefully his insatiable appetite will decrease as well. In the meantime, I am adjusting to a much more extensive grocery list (and bill), and to a new way of cooking.

Our immediate prayer concerns would be that he will stabilize, and that rejection of the graft kidney would not be a factor again. Also, in a few weeks time, the stent will need to be removed. It is unclear what will happen after this. We are praying that the stent will have created the opening needed, and that whatever blockage there was will be eradicated permanently. If this should not be the case, Christopher will face several more surgeries to correct the problem.

Thank you for your support during this adventure. May our Heavenly Father bless you today, as you have blessed us.

With love,

Lenora Hammond