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things after transplant


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  • things after transplant

    Hello everyone My name Is Kimberly Plaster and I'm still waiting for my heart transplant. I've been on the list since October 8th 2004 and I am biding my time still going out every once in a while and singing in a chorus. When I had my meeting with the transplant nurses they gave me a binder titled heart transplant and I was reading you can get cancer among various things. I am really scared about this whole process any input anyone can give me would be really appreciated. Thanks
    Kimberly K. Plaster

  • #2
    Hi, Kimberly,

    My heart goes out to you during this difficult waiting period. I cannot imagine the pressures and difficulties and doubts that you face.

    The reason that transplant patients have a higher cancer rate is that they are taking immune suppressant drugs. If you suppress the immune system, you supress the ability of the body to detect and destroy cancer cells as they develop. So, it is logical that people have a higher rate of cancer with transplants.

    But, look at this from another way. Currently you are in irreversible heart failure. If you do not get a transplant, you will live a short and limited life. If you get a transplant, your quality of life will go up markedly and you have the potential for a long, active life. You face a 6-8% chance of cancer, but that is a 92-94% chance of no cancer and most of the cancers that develop are treatable skin cancers. So, it seems to me that the transplant is still a good option. Now, please understand, I am not in your shoes and I would never want to pressure you to go ahead. I just wanted to give you another way of looking at it.

    I am very impressed that you are in a chorus. I have always been involved in music, especially choral singing and solos. In the last few years I have not been able to do this because I can never know from one day to the next whether I will have any lung capacity due to either chf or pneumonia. Yesterday I had 100% capacity back for the first time in weeks and today I am coughing up chf stuff again and unable to sing. So, I had begun to feel that my singing days are over and then you, who are much worse off than I, come along and tell me that you are still singing! Thanks so much for giving me hope. Singing is one of the things I miss the most.



    • #3
      Kimberly, hang in there. I had my transplant 10 months ago. I was on the list for 18 mos. Only 3 mos as a status 1B. Yes, there is increased risk of cancers. And I remind my self that without the transplant I may not even be here today. Skin cancer is the biggest one and you can watch for that yourself. First fight the transplant battle and then you will have the strength to fight what comes your way. Any questions regarding transplant let me know.

      Diagnosed in 1977, Myectomy in 1981 @ Mayo Rochester
      ICD&Pacemaker 1996
      Heart transplant March 19, 2004 @ Mayo Rochester
      Mom of Kaye.


      • #4

        Continued best wishes to you . My thoughts and prayers are with you and all who are waiting for their new hearts. I can only sit here and imagine all that you face each day while you wait. Know that we are all waiting with you and anxious for you to be well again and to live out all your dreams.


        Dx @ 47 with HOCM & HF:11/00
        Guidant ICD:Mar.01, Recalled/replaced:6/05 w/ Medtronic device
        Lead failure,replaced 12/06.
        SF lead recall:07,extracted leads and new device 2012
        [email protected] Tufts, Boston:10/5/03; age 50. ( [email protected] 240 mmHg ++)
        Paroxysmal A-Fib: 06-07,2010 controlled w/sotalol dosing
        Genetic mutation 4/09, mother(d), brother, son, gene+
        Mother of 3, grandma of 3:Tim,27,Sarah,33w/6 y/o old Sophia, 5 y/o Jack, Laura 34, w/ 5 y/o old Benjamin