If Cheney Can, So Can I

Oooo, former VP Cheney made big headlines - he got a heart transplant! Good for him! It means that age is no limitation. He is 72. Can you imagine getting a heart transplant??? It boggles the brain. I think of the heart as pretty darned close to being my soul. How can you transplant a soul???

Anyway - I think I’m an almost expert on this subject.

I have officially been placed on the “list” for a kidney transplant. I have gone through a myriad of tests to prove I am ultra healthy, other than my kidneys. All transplant wannabees have to be healthy in every aspect - particularly be cancer-free. I am 62 (63 at the end of April).

I am still viable (what a relief!).

My donor can be even older which can increase my odds of getting a transplant, although it won’t be as good as a younger donor.

One thing: I am on “hold” until January because my COBRA extension runs out this summer and I can’t get Part D (Medicare) until the sign up in December. Which means, I need Part D to pay for the anti-rejection drugs that run about $3,000 a month. So - to answer some of your questions - money helps, but only in maintaining your new organ.

I am happy to be on the waiting list, even on hold. It averages three years. So, I figure I’ll be 65 or 66. And I have to live to be 90 years old because that is how I figured out my 401(k). At any rate - a transplanted organ (or at least in my case, a kidney) lasts between 10 and 20 years. (There are cases of much, much longer - and I am always amazed to meet people who have had more than one transplant.) There are about 80,000 people in the US waiting for a new kidney. There will be about 25,000 who get their wish.

By the way. The transplant center would like a list of my living donors. Like, I'm going to walk up to you - my friend - and say something like, "Hey, I love ya, man. Can I have your kidney?" After all - you have two and I only need one. So - hey, man. I love 'ya. Can I have your kidney?????


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