Monday, July 16, 2012

Home Sweet Home!

My surgery was 2 weeks ago today, although it feels like it has been a year!  As you know, I am the proud recipient of a new kidney and pancreas.  I was told that the donor was a 21 year old male and my surgeon commented that it was the best looking pancreas he had seen ‘in years’. I’ve posted ultrasound pictures of my new kidney (Kenny) and pancreas (Priscilla).

 (My new kidney, Kenny)

I was released from the hospital last Saturday and spent this past week ‘testing and resting’. For the first few months, I need to self monitor blood pressure, blood sugar, weight and temperature in order to head off any signs of infection or rejection.  So far, all numbers have been normal (knock on wood!).

(My new pancreas Priscilla)

I need to give blood samples at the lab (in Walnut Creek) twice a week and visit the transplant clinic at UCSF in San Francisco once a week. In addition, I’m on about 20 different medications (30+ pills) per day. This pill regimen is only for the first few months to combat infection and rejection - it will eventually taper down to 2-3 pills daily.

Friday, June 29, 2012 will forever be remembered as the most significant day in my life - because it changed my life. It marked a day that ended 28 long years with Type-1 diabetes and related complications - and the day that begins my second chance at a healthy life. To say that I am grateful would be a gross understatement.

My faith has taught me that there is a power much greater than human capability and that He has a plan for everyone.  It is with that faith that I have always carried any burden, knowing that I do so according to a plan. I carried this belief right into the operating room the Friday before last, without the slightest bit of nervousness - I actually had a sense of calm.  Needless to say, my gratitude starts here.

There are so many people who I would like to acknowledge.

My surgeon, Dr Friese and the amazing nursing staff at UCSF. We are fortunate to live so close to such a world class facility.

My family and friends. This CaringBridge site allowed updates and access, but most cherished by me was the amazing outpouring of support and encouragement from your notes and well wishes.  Wendy would read these to me practically real-time.  I can’t tell you how much this meant to me.  Your love and support helped speed the recovery and mask any post-surgery pain.  THANK YOU so much for your kind words.

And last but certainly not least is my amazingly supportive wife, Wendy.  She literally slept next to my hospital bed and spent every waking hour with me. Believe me, there is NO rest in this hospital environment. 24 hours a day, there is not 20 minutes that goes by without someone coming in your room (poking, prodding, testing, cleaning, etc) Needless to say, Wendy got very little sleep.  She was also my second set of eyes and ears on every update, opinion, lesson & test.  As you know, she also maintained some great updates on CaringBridge. I am eternally grateful for her amazing support which has obviously continued as we transitioned back home. She maintains the role as nursing support, driver, cook & cleaner.  She has been incredibly strong throughout this ordeal and I am extremely grateful for her unwavering love and support.

Within the next couple weeks, I hope to assimilate back to a new sense of normalcy.  I also hope to keep up with every one of you. Again, thank you for your love and support. Perhaps we can meet over something sweet someday!

To your health!

- Steve

Written Jul 13, 2012 9:09am by Steve Reiser


Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

So happy you are home and doing so well. Hugs, Marty

Linda in AZ * said...


How wonnnnderful to see you up & around, that handsome face of yours smiling (!), and how exciting it is to know you are so well and up to writing such a wonderful, informative "letter" here!

I've never doubted that He works in his own way and time... how B*L*E*S*S*E*D you are to have such loving support from so many!!! And KUDOS to your wife for being there every minute~~~ I did the same with my husband & somehow, the bond between us is even stronger than it was before, which amazes me!!!

Now get out there and D*A*N*C*E, my friend!!!

With warmest congrats and very best of wishes and support,

Linda in AZ *

(P.S. If you're a dog-lover, our "girls", two German Shorthaired Pointers, send you sweet "HAPPY YOU'RE GETTING WELL & HEALTHY!" licks!)...

Chris said...'s to your health and to your faith.
Continued blessings!

A Perfect Gray said...

awesome news! donna

helen tilston said...

Hello Steve

Thank you for this concise update. I am so thrilled to read this and know you are well. I will continue to keep you in my prayers.

Fondest wishes
Helen xx

EJR said...

congrats, as a nurse I know how devastating diabetes can be. I'm so glad that you have been given a second chance.

Beach House Living said...


So glad to hear you are doing well and that Kenny and Priscilla are getting along and making themselves at home.

I hope Wendy is getting a little sleep too.

Your sister is so happy for you words cannot begin to express her joy.

WhiteWhispers2u said...

Continued Blessings! ~Cheers Kim

kim at northerncalstyle. said...

So happy to hear you are doing well. My friend also had this about 10 years ago at UCSF!

Best wishes to you.


lisaroy said...

Such wonderful news! Truly inspiring xo

YONKS said...

What a wonderful, inspiring post Steve. I am delighted for you. Now you can GET ON WITH LIFE! Marvellous news

vignette design said...

Wishing you a healthy life from here on out! Glad the surgery was a success.

Acquired Objects said...

God blessed you Steve and I'm so very happy for you and your family! I will definitely keep you in my thoughts and prayers and hope you have no complications at all and it's clear sailing!


Steve Reiser said...

Thank you so much for your kind words and comments. I am truly blessed with the love of my family and friends and it is evident that my sister has also been blessed with the friendships she has established via this forum.

My very best wishes to you all.

Thank you!

- Steve