news from fairbanks

Hi all. Well we got results back from our last blood test and we can not have the transplant. My antibodies are really high and this infection will not go away. I fly to Mayo Clinic Monday for surgery to remove the old transplanted kidney. I will be Mayo for a week or two and then at home in Chicago. I am glad to go to Mayo and do whatever to get healthy again and some day have a transplant. They said 6 weeks after this surgery they will do another transplant blood test. I'll be in the lower 48 for awhile, so if your in Chi-town or Rochester MN stop by. The surgery is Thursday at 7am.ben, pella and i enjoying our last weekend in Fairbanks for a while. we are hoping to see some great thunderstorms in the midwest.


Midnight Sun Fun Run

Ben(gray shirt) running late last night at the midnight sun run. a ton of people i knew ran the race and it was fun to cheer everyone on. brian was 10th overall for men and kristen was 4th out of 4,000 or so runners. pretty impressive.after the race ed, brian and ben eating some post race watermelon. i ran into matias too who was reporting the race for the news miner by bike.


summer solstice

ed, ben and i walked downtown to the summer solstice festival. there was some Olympian kayak guy doing something with gates in the river, food, shopping, break dancing and riding a bucking salmon. today is longest day of the year, with a baseball game that starts at 10:30pm(of course no lights!) and the midnight sun fun run Saturday night.


Birthday Week

ben and i at the first of our birthday dinners this week. julie, stac, martin and i all have birthdays the 19-21 of June.
julie, martin and i at lavelles. (ok julie's bday is solstice, but we celebrated early because she is gone on backpacking trip)
the new silver gulch brewery last night for martin and stac's bday. it is a great new restaurant way out in fox, where they added on to the farthest north brewery in the world. they are big into Belgium beer and have all kinds. their slogan is "Fairbanks, where the people are unusual and beer is unusually good."

today is my birthday, the big 34. it started out on dialysis, but has been getting better ever since. in addition to the great gifts from moms,dads,grandparents and friends...sarah made some apricot coconut bars for our lunch today yum. ben and i are having a nice sushi dinner at home, he is making the rolls!


Martin and Ben had a great trip up to the Brooks Range. Check out Martin's blog for good pictures(and since he had a camera too they are all of Ben!) They found these caribou antlers on a hike from Galbraith Lake. Those two dogs have sure been on some great Alaskan adventures.
Some of the views of the tundra far North of the last tree. No trails here in the brooks range, it is pretty remote, you just pull over and hike.
they saw tons of wildlife that Turtle was chasing and here is a grizzly bear too! I am sure Ben will post his photos on his photo blog soon.
a very relaxing night at Ed's for a barbacue last night. he has a great porch. Kristin and Anna strolling up in the 4x4 baby stroller.
Before we could eat (well just Ned and Ed), the tree that was leaning toward the house had to be chopped down. it was quite the production. here is the set up with huge rope and pulley at top .i missed the tree falling i was inside gabbing with Julie and Kristin, but here is a moment later and Ned in his pro tree cutting attire. they have been cutting trees around their cabin, so he was all ready for this one. it was great night that endend with some intense boggle rounds, i am not good at that game.


T-storms on Campus Today

We finally had some great thunderstorm clouds today along with more rain. Ben is headed up north this weekend past the Arctic Circle where the midnight sun is high in the sky for 68 more days without setting. Ben and Martin will have some great pictures of their trip when they get back. Ben will need a few days to cool off after I just creamed him in scrabble tonight!


back from Anchorage

Ben and I are back from Anchorage. It was quite the trip. The surgery to replace my infected catheter went pretty well at first and we left to get some coffee, Titlewave books and shopping....the usual for a trip to Anchorage. All of a sudden my incision swelled up huge and starting bleeding all over the place! Ben drove like a mad man back to the hospital and I ran back to the surgery area. They were prepared though and had me sedated in no time flat while they fixed everything. It was a little crazy, but on the bright side they gave me these free pair of scrubs. So here I am in my hospital scrubs at around 10pm at Denali National Park(it is about a 6 hour commute from the Anchorage Hospital to Fairbanks). We stopped for coffee on the way home late last night. I am little sore and swollen today, but not too bad. I think after this Ben is ready for whatever happens during the kidney transplant!



Life is getting better after our disappointing news and we headed to Granite Tors Trailhead. It is a 15 mile loop than we ran last year. It takes, if you are slow, about 5 hours. This weekend though, we just did a small part of the hike and settled in for a lazy day on the river. Ben hanging out at our spot on the river. You can just drive down to the rocks and park for free. Here is Ben relaxing and reading his book, The Ongoing Moment. We had a great lunch including Julie's homemade Rhubarb pie.Pella played fetch for hours in the freezing cold fast flowing river.


bad news

we received some bad news today. our last blood test that patrick and i sent to mayo overnight did not pass this week and my looming infection has lead to the cancellation of the kidney transplant. it has been a sad day, but i am feeling better now. they are going to retest our blood for a crossmatch (high crossmatch= no transplant) again in about 3 weeks. meanwhile we head to anchorage so i can have yet another surgery and replace this infected catheter.

the docs think this infection is causing high antibody cross match numbers and that the numbers could possibly come down(down is good) and we could move further towards a transplant again by maybe August. so as quickly as it was scheduled, we wait again.

on the bright side, i have one more written comp tomorrow and then i am done with exams!


study break

ben and i headed down to the chena river downtown tonight on a study break. pella was loving shaking all over me.
pella's signature belly flop after a stick.

check out Patrick's new blog, he also takes great photos.


Greg's B-day

Sarah and Vanessa toasting to Greg's big 30 birthday out on the deck.
here is greg with his birthday present- a dog! (wait a minute that looks alot like pella.)

it was a long week with two comps down and two to go. it was nice to end the week at Greg's birthday party. i learned yet another strange but fun game at the Petitto's. carpet croquet.
check out my game face!