Monday, May 5, 2008

The waiting is the hardest part

The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you see one more card
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

My transplant is scheduled for July 1, Canada Day, the old school Dominion Day from my first home and native land.  Before then,  in the exact 30 days before day 0, I will have had every inch of me inspected: my teeth, my heart, my lungs, my urine and stool, my venous blood and my arterial blood (ouch) and my bone marrow (ouch again). I will be x-rayed and echoed, stress tested, CT scanned, pulmonary functioned and biopsied. And my donor, bless him where ever he might be, will go through a similar life scan. And if we both get the green light,  someone will fly to him to pick up my new life blood and hand deliver it to the City of Hope.  On that day, a day timed perfectly so that this graft, a new organ really, might migrate into my marrow that has been opened up to receive, emptied of all its genetic history with a massive exposure to the toxic child of mustard gas (mephalan). As with the Israelites who left Egypt (the narrow place), this dying off of all those that have a memory of slavery, human or cellular, will allow the start of a new story.
But now I must wait. 


Blogger tmalzy said...

Dear Brian,
You're unfailingly courageous - this decision, your openness, your fight for the future. And not only brave, but poetic in describing your status, fears, and path forward. We are 100% behind your decision and are here for you and the family. We are also looking forward to this creative venture by the Koffman men.
All our love and strength
Tyra and Philippe

May 6, 2008 at 1:25 PM  
Blogger Wendy S. Harpham, MD said...

Dear Brian,
Yes, waiting is a challenge. So, don't!

Instead, use this time in life-enhancing ways: eating well to nourish your body; exercising to get in condition; reading books and being with people who lift your spirits and help you prepare. And, of course, use this time to really "smell the roses." If you are busy preparing and savoring as much as possible, chances are you won't feel as much of the anxiety that comes with waiting.

With hope, Wendy

May 7, 2008 at 8:51 PM  
Blogger Brenda Corderman, MA, LMFT, Brea, CA said...

Dear Dr Koffman
My husband and I are confidently and eagerly anticipating your recovery and return to work.

OK, first things first. I am putting the word out among my colleagues of marriage and family therapists that A- blood donation and platelet donation of all types are needed, for as long as they're needed.

We're blessed beyond words to call you "our doctor". In addition to receiving excellent medical care, my husband has a 'guy doctor' to talk about 'guy stuff'.

We appreciate your compassion, wisdom, humor, commitment to learning, and, well, being truly genuine.

At my last visit, you opened the door singing in a soft tone "You never give my your money, you only give me your funny papers..." I told you that you cracked me up. "Why?" you asked. "Well, because usually people's doctors don't sing in the hall" (we should have more of this). And, I also said that we need more humor in the world. You paused, gave this some thought, and said, "yes, we do".

Somehow I sensed you were on a journey of sorts, and in that knowing place, began our own, with your sage advice about meditation, the Talmud, exercise, and, mostly, the ever-present green tea ready for consumption. :)

It's with great gratitude and humility that I am able to comment on your blog, get the word out for the much needed blood donations, and, well, let you know how much we care and how deeply you have touched our lives.

BTW, the Beatles rule.

You are in our thoughts and deeds.
Now, on to find those A- donations!


Brenda Corderman, MA, LMFT

May 15, 2008 at 6:12 PM  
Blogger LISA said...

Dear Dr. K
Have been with you all at DBar St. Jude 15 years now and think of you all fondly. We and all our friends will be praying continually for you and your family. As the LORD blessed Israel through the voice of Moses in Numbers 6:24 we also ask of the Holy One of Israel, May the LORD bless thee and keep thee; the LORD make His face to shine upon thee and have mercy upon thee;the LORD lift up His countenance upon thee and give thee peace; L'chaim.
the Barsamian family

May 16, 2008 at 8:45 AM  
Blogger Brian Koffman said...

Brenda and the Barsamians,
Thanks so much for reaching out to me in such special and unique and heartfelt ways. It is such a boost.

May 16, 2008 at 11:51 PM  
Blogger Sandy Nelson said...

Dear Dr. Koffman,
We are so sorry to hear of your illness, but admire your courage and willingness to fight this battle. Please know you and your family will be in our prayers daily. May God bless you and keep you in His care.
Bruce and Sandy Nelson and family

May 18, 2008 at 10:11 PM  
Blogger Judy Cleri said...

Dear Dr. Koffman,

You have seen me through so many things over the last 10 years and through it all, your care and compassion has never wavered. I too know how hard the waiting can be.....the not's not so much the disease as it is the unknown. Clem's and my prayers will be with you each and every day as you progress through this journey and break through on the other end with a brand new lease on life.

Lord I just lift this family up to you and pray your blessing on them. May they feel your presence in each step they take. I pray that each doctor, nurse or aid they come into contact with is caring and compassionate and lifts them up to you Lord. It's in your name we ask for a complete and total healing from the top of his head to bottom of his feet. Lord may there not be one single cancer cell left in Dr.Koffman's body. In your name we pray.......Amen

I'm not sure if you have heard of the Internet site called Care Pages, but it is a great way to update a complete list of people. It is free and is sent to your entire list each time you up date it.......that way you don't have to try and remember who you sent to and who you might have forgot. Just a thought.

Please know you will be in all our prayers and we pray that you will receive all the blood that you need. I am A+, but not sure I can donate because of the sarcoidosis??? If I can, please let me know and I will do it this week.

See you soon.

Judy & Clem Cleri

May 19, 2008 at 9:06 AM  

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