15 Years Out – Transplant Update

Today marks my 15th year out from transplant and other than my recent hospitalization, for still some unknown reason, everything is going well. January marked the end of my experiment of not taking any anti-rejection medication as there was mild acute rejection found on the liver.

The time off the medication lasted for around 1 1/2 years and even the end result was very mild compared to many patients who go off their medication for even one week. I’m still one of the few, and maybe the only intestinal transplant patient, to have gone of the medication and not had any sign of small bowel rejection.

Since January, I have been on a fairly low dose of anti-rejection medication and the rejection on the liver has dissipated; recent tests did not return a positive sign of rejection. Most patients who do reject go on high doses of anti-rejection meds and steroids to beat it back, but I managed to do it with less medication than I had been on before I went off of it. A test done on my bowel still showed it to be healthy and without rejection.

They also recently ran one other test which checked to see if my body carries certain antibodies which increase chance of rejection and all those tests came back negative; perhaps this could be a reason for being able to go without much or any medication. If a patient’s body contains these antibodies, they act in assistance with the immune system and attack the transplanted organs.

Aside from all these positive bits of news my dad had a cancer screening the other day and his test came back negative as well. Hopefully we both continue to hear more of the same positive news down the road.

Tonight we will be celebrating not only my 15 years out, but my new job and my moving out to an apartment. This next week will be an exciting week as I start that job, get used to living in a different city, and begin on a new path of my life.