Healing inspires new life. 4/19/16

Hi, I’m still here and all things considered, I am thriving. Just being here is truly mind-blowing miraculous! That being deeply acknowledged, I give you a brief recent update on what has transpired then just launch into a short view on going forward. At this point, there is a dwindling readership as there should be because the roller coaster ride of near death to resurrection is over for now. 

One month ago my great G.I. interventionist, Dr. Bryan Balmadrid at Harborview Medical in Seattle performed again one more of a more and more risky ERCP to replace the stents previously placed and expand the duct opening even more. He has great goals of expanding this formerly failing duct system in the hopes of a self-sustaining solution that will be tested beginning at the end of 2016 when all the stents will be removed and my system will be ‘on its own’. In the meanwhile I a am enjoying my stability and growing vigor!

This stability brings with it for me enough certainty to begin moving forward with rebuilding my vigor and developing a ‘resurrected’ life. I say that with a joyful heart not intending to be dramatic or create ……… illusions.

I definitely am immersed in the creative endeavor of writing a memoir of this journey. There is discovery that it is for reasons still unknown but some of which might be described as ‘for other transplant patients, for acknowledging so many caregivers along the way, for attempting to acknowledge the miraculous, for touching on the inspirational, for my own therapy psychically, for the creative challenges’ and other reasons yet to be bumped into.

I have been mulling over whether I could go into doing healthcare work again. The conclusion reached was ‘Yes’. I’m going to show up in my office again. I am and am not really the same person. The Journey has provided much new experience; many new lessons and insights; new perspectives; new drivers and dreams that want to find a way into the lives of others in meaningful ways. I am opening my office this week. What shape it takes on is evolving but I know it will have more depth, more quality, more substance.

The support system around me I think is relieved of the attentions they have provided over these last 6 years…I know I am. People ask me regularly, “How is Roni doing?” We talk pretty regularly and it has become obvious to me and she even acknowledges that she is more ‘on fire’ than ever with her life. More driven, healthier, more fit and more wonderful. I hope that all my caregivers have been touched by that same life giving force because they all surely stepped into it with every thought, word and deed with me along the way. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arguably great and beginning a Memoir! 2/20/16

Since my last post a whole lot of living has happened! I am so grateful. For those who have been following this ride, to feel this good (and I’m not saying I’m perfect) and for this long!…it wouldn’t take very much to push me to tears.

I couldn’t explain so much in any great detail so let me more or less list some highlights. You can comment or call me if you wish more depth.

The stent replacement ERCP last November has been holding up and giving me as good of health and function as I think I can expect which is fantastic all things considered. Still have the hand/arm neuropathy and some smaller issues but this is great! The weather is beginning to turn and I’m on my bike occasionally, playing some very active table tennis, working out more, etc.

What once was uncertainty and not being able to predict how the day might be is turning into a schedule that is starting to fill in. I have a part time job as an usher a few evenings a week. Minimum wages suck but I am grateful. Apparently no one would hire me because I was overqualified, my resume didn’t make normal sense for most employers or maybe they were saying to themselves, “why is this type of guy looking for this type of work?” Who knows? But I’ve never had to work not doing my calling for 35+ yrs.

So to shorten this:

*I’ve slowly discovered that I am even more capable of going back to my calling as a doctor and physician again. I’m getting relicensed after dropping it for the last two years! I plan on going back to my office and opening sometime in March. This journey has ‘retooled’ me in ways unpredicted. More on that later.

*My daughter seems to be thriving in college! I’ll see her again at spring break. My step-son has moved back to Boise from years in foreign lands and experiences. It is really fine having him so close again!

*I committed to starting a memoir and signed up for a memoir workshop at our local writer’s literary center, the Log Cabin. Enclosed below is my first attempt at a preface. I’ll take no editing comments but am happy to hear your general like/silence feedback. 🙂

*The next stent replacement procedure is scheduled for March 21 in Seattle. If the current one holds up til then, I’ll be very encouraged about the year ahead!

*My spiritual life and community is and has been enriching on so many levels. Praise the Lord! I’d encourage anyone to read, Love Wins by Rob Bell.

*It has not all been a bed of daisies though. One of my sisters, Pamela, took her life on Dec 31. She has struggled with her life being taken away from her over a very long time and she felt she could not bear anymore suffering. Our other sister, Joni and I went to Florida to take care of her affairs after her body was discovered two weeks later. I don’t choose to go into what it was like for us then. But we believe and trust she is in a much more wonderful state now.

 

                                   Preface for Memoir

The idea for writing a book didn’t come from me. It came

from many people who witnessed parts of the journey I was on. It

came along somewhere when the stack of medical records reached

several inches deep.

 

I find myself wondering why I just used the

word ‘deep’? I could have used the word ‘high’ yet ‘deep’ flowed

onto the page without the least hesitation. Maybe it’s because

upon reflection on the times I’m going to share with you, the

essence of deep flowed through every cell of my body for a very,

very long time. Deep took over my body as a disease, broke

through and had it’s way with every part of my life. My mind and

emotions were just along for the ride.

 

Deep is a simple, straightforward word but right in thinking about this ordeal

I get images of open wells or pits or caverns. Childhood images of darkness and places

that are dangerous where you are not supposed to play.. Curiously eery

places. It’s dark down there. You can’t see the bottom.  It’s a long way

down. Feelings of fear and the unknown.  When you are on the

edge of a long way down don’t you feel like you are going to fall in?  What about

that crazy, exciting feeling of dropping something over the edge?

 

When I was a boy and later as a man I experienced being in caves, being

on the edge of cliffs. Once in Hawaii on the island of Maui I went up to the

top of Mt. Haleakala, the great former volcano. There is a vast crater at the

top. I’m standing at what seems like the top of the whole world in the middle

of the Pacific Ocean looking down into what was formerly a smoldering

ocean itself of fire and lava. And by the way, just across a short expanse of

water is a real, live, active volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii that I visited

days ago. Hot, creeping lava was coming down the beautiful landscape, over

roads and  finally into the ocean!  Slowly growing the island by  making  a new,

black sand beach.

 

From the top of the world the crater was very deep looking down into it.  I heard tell that

there were lava tubes beneath the surface that you could hike to.  Not something very

many people do apparently. You have to be committed to want to go there.   I heard tell

that there were lava tubes beneath the surface that you could enter.  So I hiked in.  It

quickly turned into not only a physical but an emotional journey.  The further I hiked down

the more the entire world I had ever known disappeared.  When I landed on the surface of

the crater it was an imagined moonscape.  I couldn’t see living things anymore.  I had

never been to a place anything like this.  It grew more and more into an emotional

experience.  I began my decent into a lava tube. It became dark, very dark, darker than the

darkest dark I ever didn’t see. It is not like the dark of the night without stars with eyes

closed kinda dark.  It’s darker!  I turned on a headlamp to guide me. It wasn’t easy walking.

As I walked, and one could hardly call it walking, more like scrambling , I could see dark

passages going off in mysterious directions.  The tube I was in was big, larger than I

expected.  Taller and wider than two or three people standing on shoulders. I went maybe

100 yards in.  The distance seemed…forever. It was silent. Silent like the darkness was

dark.  The spooky factor dialed up the deeper and further I went…and then I turned off my

headlamp.  That’s when I decided to welcome whatever was going to come, take me,

use me at that moment, in that place, deep in mother earth.  When I turned off the

light the darkness I spoke about rushed in full tilt followed by the silence.  A

p(P)resence engulfed me. I can say the f-word here, ‘fear’… it says it all.  I didn’t move. I

don’t know why or how but it wasn’t quiet anymore.  First, that sense of fear brought

images and subtle sensations, maybe sounds even, of hell…of fire and boiling lava  that

seemed might start flowing any minute from which way, I’d never know.

I wanted to run as fast as I could to get out of there…but that’s irrational, so I sat there

until the intense fear began to subside.

 

My breath returned.  Then the silence returned.  I felt I was in a giant womb…but

that part of the story is for later when it’s not deep anymore.

 

 

12/22/15 Great Outcomes at Holidays

A Very Merry Christmas/Solstice/Holyday Time to You!

As you might surmise, I’m very, very joyful, engaged and blessed to be here now as I am!
I now have enjoyed about 11 weeks feeling pretty darn wonderful! Only have to get poked for blood once a month…a big Wow! My veins are so happy! And last week’s poke show normal values in all the important areas which matches how my liver function is doing. I can easily walk/hike 1-2 hours now. Able to do normal core exercises, men’s push-ups, rake up and bag wet leaves for a couple hours, endure cold weather normally again, get my apartment temperature down more (71F) to where it used to be (68-70F). I am able to fall asleep pretty consistently before midnight and get up before 9am which is a huge improvement. I think it is important to also admit for those of you who go through crisis situations or know someone who is going/gone through crisis, that one typically loses libido. That has returned in the last 11 weeks too and without saying much more…it’s a good sign and a fundamental sign of…life, passion, good things to come. There are still areas of dis-ease but these seem to be driven mostly by the anti-rejection medication. I don’t have much control over that but at the two year anniversary mark in August/2016, the transplant docs will begin to lower those meds. That will possibly lessen the side-effects of neuropathy in hands, arms and feet.
Confidence is again growing in energy, trust in life’s wonderous ways and desire to go and do. It is difficult to communicate but there has been a deep, sometimes insidious anxiety present for years where it would be difficult to trust the moment, to be hopeful because for so long it seems the ‘rug would get pulled out from under me’ when I would start to feel better. It is with great joy that Hope has returned. But as with our human experience, we never know what the future will bring.
Recently I have come to several directions I want to move in. One is to pursue the memoir writing (or writhing) process. I signed up to take a workshop in memoir writing and have begun reading memoirs to learn more about the how to’s. Next, I am planning on going back into the healing arts as a physician on a mission. I figure since Life has tweeked me over the years here, I’ll be able to offer a more comprehensive experience for those who might be led to come for “growing their health”.  I am planning on re-joining my former office partner, Edwin Floyd, in providing what he has mentored me in. Hope to be able to begin in late January or so. More on that later. Maybe you all who have been following my journey wouldn’t mind me getting more specific and invitational about it later.
Again, berry merry Christmas/holidays to all,
Pat
P.S. The fundraising goal has been reached of $10K!Thank you, Thank you. There is no adequate way to express how deeply relieving it has been to not have to worry about expenses I could not afford. You have given me this opportunity to not only be alive! but to thrive. God is Source. God is good…because in your own ways, you choose and allow Source to motivate your lives. Keep finding ways to lift up others in need. None of us knows when that might come back to bless us.

Great News!! 11/21/15 My hope just became HOPE.

Great News!! 11/21/15

My hope just became HOPE.

My possibilities real POSSIBILITIES!

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The small hope with the light way down toward the end of the tunnel has become a big HOPE with the experience of light all around. This has over the last four weeks and more particularly just since this last procedure has turned into a growing vitality that is opening new possibilities for what could be referred to as a future here on the planet. It is hard to project what that is yet but there is a growing sense of capacity for what used to be normal function. As John Denver used to say, “Far Out!”…I can say, “Near In!”. JJJ (those who used to know me back in the 70’s – 80’s might remember me saying that which means I’m turning back into the goofball I used to be)…and I hope that you won’t want a refund on your support. J

 

Here are some of the important folks in my latest visit to Seattle and some of the highlights of what happened there and to Bellingham, WA last week. The first is Dr. Richard Kozarek (above left), the reigning elder/mentor/teacher in the field of ‘interventional endoscopic procedures’ at Virginia Mason Hospital. Next is Pam Curry (above right) with Clare in the dorm at Western Washington University. Hopefully by the end of this post there will be another pic of Dr. Bryan Balmadrid (below left), the specialist who has done my last two procedures at Univ. of WA Med Center. Dr. Kozarek has taught all of my specialists (Drs. John Martin and Andy Ross were two of the others) how to do the procedures that have kept me going all these years. They received some extra appreciation from me in person or in the mail recently. I was surprised to find out that often these great specialists who have obviously followed ‘a calling’ in their lives, don’t get a whole lot of thanks from us, the beneficiaries of their devotion to their work and bedside manner! Dr. K. and I were welling up with tears when I hugged him, and Dr. B. reached out to hug me more than once!

 

That gives you a flavor of what has transpired not only over the years but most recently with Dr. B. who was the first one able to get 3 stents in 8 weeks ago and replace those with 4 stents in this time! His report to me after the procedure I wasn’t expecting…he was obviously pleased to get a 4th stent in but said that it was now possible to go somewhere between 3-6 months before the next replacement and that now it is most likely that he’ll be able to keep the duct open the maximum size for a full year (instead of 6 months) and when they are pulled out finally, it is most likely that the duct would stay open normally for ‘a very long time’ (years)! With my situation now, all my blood values are normal and I can look forward to feeling good for a prolonged time. YEAH! Clare can now tell her dad to “go get a job”. YEAH!

 

That’s exactly what I want too. Most of you know that due to the anti-rejection medications, I have a probable, permanent neuropathy in my hands and feet that will not allow me to be a competent chiropractic adjustor anymore. So, that’s off the table for now. But there are so many other possibilities for work. I don’t know what might come to me or be led to but I am exploring and very open now. Please, if you know of any possibilities, please turn me on to them? I could be an elementary crossing guard or work at the YMCA or motivational speaker or counselor to others in their journeys…or???. I will keep you posted on what comes my way. There is now a big ‘H’ in Hope. I promise not to let down any referrals that come my way!

UPDATE ON THE FUNDRAISING-

 

From Charlie – “We now have raised close to $8K of the goal of $10K!!! That is about twice the amount since the last post. Thank you for your generosity to Pat’s return to health and enthusiasm. This latest news has really given me something I have not had or seen since his transplant. Also, I think it is important to know that we don’t share who donates or how much individuals donate with Pat. So, he can’t personally thank you.”

 

I am going to follow this post with other posts that tell about other aspects of the journey regarding my caregivers, some of my observations, some of what I have learned, how I perceive the impact of the journey on others, and how this has affected others. I hope it gives some perspective beyond just the survival and into, for example, the power of love and what that reveals not only to me but more importantly to so many along the way.

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Love to all,

 

Pat

11/6/15 Pat Casey Live Long Update and Appeal

Dear Friends and Family,
The details of donating are as follows:

Goal:  $10,000
Checks made out to:  Hyde Park Mennonite Fellowship (Put “Pat Casey Fund” in Memo line)
Mail to:  Hyde Park Mennonite Fellowship
              1520 N. 12th Street
               Boise, ID  83702

All contributions are tax-deductible.

Charlie just reported to me that your generosity in just two weeks has allowed us to reach almost 45% of the goal that was set at $10K!  He is getting checks almost daily. I continue to be blown away by your love and support. I am learning in this great endeavor to trust, accept and stay in gratitude of the power of love and caring that comes. There is a power and process much greater than we will ever understand guiding our collective experience as well our individual experience. I have witnessed so many manifestations of it, that it is undeniable.

It is often said that there are no coincidences. I like to say that our life experience constantly demonstrates serendipity (in my mind serendipity implies a purposeful and needed meeting or event not something random).  We often don’t see it because of our busy-ness and distracted-ness.

When growing up as a boy, living out in very rural Michigan, we lived on the crest of a hill overlooking a small lake. We had a lawn around the house, but the land leading down the hill to the lake was heavily weeded. When I would be out practicing my fledgling baseball skills of hitting and throwing the ball, either by myself or with one of my siblings, the ball would regularly go into the weeds and down the hill. Sometimes I would look for the ball for 30 min unsuccessfully. We were poor, and I ‘needed’ to find the only ball I possessed. I also was raised Catholic. Even if you’re Catholic, you might wonder what relevance that has. Well, once I went into the house frustrated about losing my ball. My mom, bless her heart, told me to ask Saint Anthony for help when I felt lost or needed to find something that was lost. There is a story about this special historical person that gave him the distinction of helping those who were lost in some way. I won’t get into his life now, but there is a bigger story there. So I’d say a little prayer to his spirit (whatever that was then to me) asking for help finding my baseball and then resume my search. Sounds kinda silly to some of you, I’m sure. But, without fail, I’d find my ball right away. And let me tell you, this happened A LOT. I also was asked to believe in ‘guardian angels’ and to ask and listen for guidance when I felt the urge.  Angel(s) were there anyway, looking out for me…and apparently anyone and everyone else ……with the implication that you believed in God, of course. I could tell you so many stories about these type of occurrences that it would fill books.

Now these occurrences happen so often that I am in a near constant wonderment of what is going to happen or who am I going to run into next that will make this day more special for them or myself…and it’s usually both of us. Today it has happened several times already. Yesterday it happened 3-4 times. I have to acknowledge that it happens more often than that, but I just didn’t or couldn’t notice.
For this post and hopefully all future posts, I am going to talk about this kind of ‘stuff”. No longer is this going to be about just what crisis or type of suffering or ‘how I’m doing’ type of thing. It’s going to be more and more about what I have learned or unlearned from what would seem to be craziness or bad luck or however we wish to look at it. I know I will talk more about the awesome support from my personal, walk-beside-me caregivers, some of their stories, how it’s changed me and/or them, and more.
In the meantime, to catch many up. Pam Curry will accompany me again to U of Washington Med. Center where I will undergo more diagnostic tests, meetings with docs and nurses, and the big replacement of the first set of stents to enlarge the ducts more. I would ask that you pray/visualize that process going well and being successful. It happens at 1PM on Wednesday, 11/18. Each one of these procedures is risky. If all goes well I’ll get to see Bob and Cherie Stephens (a high school classmate and his wife from my time at Notre Dame) and visit Clare for a few hours on Saturday afternoon in her college environment before flying back late that night.
Bless you all, and thanks for the contributions of any kind!!! After all, it really helps a guy out who’s been off and on food stamps for parts of the last 5+ years! Roni and I couldn’t have made it this far without you.
Patio
P.S. By the way, the stents are working great (although temporary, ‘fake body parts) and I am feeling more like I was hoping this transplant process would provide.
Patrick Casey

Mailing address for letters:          BLOG www.patricks48.wordpress.com
P O Box 1565
Boise, ID 83701                      Personal messages can be sent via:
                                                My personal email: 7700now@gmail.com
                             My journey email: patrick.casey.live.long@gmail.com

10/19/15 Pat Casey Update and Appeal

riends:

I am writing to you because we are mutual friends of Patrick Casey.  I am attaching a message in MSWord format from Pat to all of you, along with a message in MSWord format from his most recent caregiver Pam Curry, both of which let you know what has happened to Pat and how he is currently doing.  Please read ’em!  You can also find out about Pat’s history since his transplant at his blog:  patricks48.wordpress.com

But, I will summarize my thoughts and impressions as well.  Since his liver transplant of August, 2014, Pat has simply not physically thrived.  He has been on a roller coaster of getting better to the point where he can give some tennis lessons (a huge tease for him), then crashing back down to barely being able to walk, eat and function due to pain and fatigue.  When he gets to this stage, he travels to Seattle for a procedure, comes home and slowly gets better until the cycle starts all over again.  This has happened over and over again during the past year.  He hasn’t been able to work because of an extreme lack of consistent health.  Anything he has started, he has had to stop as he has simply again gotten ill.

All of these difficulties would have broken a lesser man.  But Pat bears all of the pain and the uncertainty with extreme grace and decency.  He does what he can.  One day this summer as I walked into our church, I heard a lawnmower running and didn’t think anything of it.  As I left, I saw that it was Pat behind the lawnmower, making sure the church remained the warm inviting place that he helps to create.  Frankly there was no way on earth Pat belonged out in the heat at all, let alone behind a lawnmower, and yet, there he was.  When I questioned him about it, his response was, “well, I have to do SOMEthing!”  He has never failed to laugh, even in his sickest moments – he can always crack a joke about himself and his condition.

Now, Pat is going through a series of procedures involving stent replacements in Seattle over the next eight months.  This period of time is absolutely critical to Pat’s chances.  Each of these procedures becomes more and more risky.

Our initial fundraising effort worked out great with all of your help, but we never expected the type and number of complications that Pat is now experiencing.  That has led to this appeal.  Due to Pat’s many visits to the hospital, we have run through all of his resources, and through all of the resources that all of you so graciously contributed to get Pat through his transplant.  So, we are passing the hat again by way of this e-mail.  Our goal is to raise $10,000 to help get Pat through his next three procedures, including medications, additional treatments not covered by insurance, airfare to Seattle, and housing and food while he is there.  We are truly hoping that it is enough.  So, if you can find it in your hearts to once more help this decent, gracious man who can’t raise resources for himself, and yet offers us what he has – himself – we would very much appreciate it!

The details of donating are as follows:

Goal:  $10,000
Checks made out to:  Hyde Park Mennonite Fellowship (Put “Pat Casey Fund” in Memo line)
Mail to:  Hyde Park Mennonite Fellowship
1520 N. 12th Street
Boise, ID  83702

All contributions are tax-deductible.

Thank you so much!  Please contact myself or Pat with any questions.

Charlie Honsinger

P.S. – Pat’s blog address again:  patricks48.wordpress.com

Charles L. Honsinger                         Patrick Casey
Honsinger Law, PLLC                        P.O. Box 1565
P.O. Box 517                                      Boise, ID  83701
Boise, ID  83701                                Phone: (208)350-9120
FROM PAT CASEY (below)

I have a new angel caregiver in my life: Pam Curry, a neighbor down the hall where I live. Her email is curry.pm@gmail.com. She attended me for almost two weeks in Seattle and does now too when necessary.

These last weeks, months and years have brought me further in love and almost continuous thanks. Not only for you but my family members, friends, church community, strangers and most importantly my God. I have found myself crying out of fear, confusion, uncertainty, anger, joy, love, the whole shebang. It has been the most uncertain, the scariest, the most suffering at the deepest level ever. However, I continue to learn for me my path to Source on this earth and I learn about you all who have given me the strength through the power and mystery of prayer. Love rules even when I don’t understand.  I know it has brought out the very best from my caregivers who have stood by me in love and acceptance in the worse of circumstances!

A few months ago after my last ERCP interventions with Dr. Kozarek at Virginia Mason in Seattle I/we thought maybe we had “turned the corner” on this duct narrowing phenomenon. My blood tests and symptoms initially went from near normal with a growing vitality to slowly getting worse then miraculously they began to improve again yet my symptoms began worsening again. Drs.’ go mostly by blood values and diagnostic tests. They took the attitude that the symptoms would eventually follow the improving tests and so just encouraged me to wait. Within a few more weeks I began to decline again. Sleep almost disappeared altogether. My interest in food and water declined. I began to lose weight. I had to change transplant centers from Northwestern in Chicago to the Univ. of Washington (UWM) in Seattle because I couldn’t afford the trips any longer (one more trip and the transplant fund would be exhausted).

It took more time to get transferred to UWM and the only recommendation Northwestern gave was to have a liver biopsy…not an ERCP. Literally everyone was in a state of uncertainty and we could see that the transplant fund would be exhausted. Charlie had to do a lot of work getting flights for two at the last minute, finding a place to stay, etc. Most fortunately, Pam Curry, another angel in my life and neighbor who lives down the hall from me volunteered to accompany me. I was a basketcase (again). Had to be in a wheelchair most of the time but we made it and immediately went for blood draws and a pre-biopsy meeting with my new team straight from the airport. I was admitted right away. I had been getting less than 2 hrs. sleep a day, eating no food, confined to bed about 20 of 24 hrs.  The itching and pain was extremely high, I had lost more than 17 lbs. and must have been the color of a yellow squash.

When the heptologists came in looked at my blood numbers on arrival and saw that my MELD score was 17 (their usual number for a transplant), they took the biopsy off the table temporarily and God only knows how they did it but cleared a spot for me to get another ERCP immediately. My new G. I. intervention Dr., Dr. Bryan Balmadrid, who studied under Dr. Kozerek immediately began consulting with All my former G. I. guys, read every report, looked at every image taken from former interventions, etc. He admitted to me after that it was a most challenging procedure. It took twice as long and it was extremely difficult to get into my duct system. The staff there was exceptional. At Northwestern we found some doctors arrogant and not always straight with my/us. They were great mind you but at UWM they were great communicators and always straight with us with all my questions.

Pam was with me 24/7.She took notes on everything and let nothing get past her. She fed me, shopped/cooked for me. Double checked meds and times and notes. Stayed in touch with Charlie. I was in no position to communicate with anyone. There seemed nothing she wouldn’t take care of for me or the new team there. She was the one who kept Charlie informed. She listened to my babble, soothed my body in any way she could, kept my spirits up. Would get up in the middle of the night often to check on me. She is a saint and joins my other caregivers in their care and devotion to helping in any way!

Since before the procedure and several days after all I could eat was watermelon and oranges. Absolutely no other food interested me or was tolerable. She kept experimenting though and found I could eat cottage cheese and now that I am back am expanding food choices. I now have gained about 8 lbs.

I haven’t been able to sleep more than 3 hrs a day, sometimes none. When I began to sleep I could only sleep in the daytime. I finally gave in a started acting like night was day and day night. It worked. Now I sometimes am sleeping 12-15 hours a day.

Charlie and gang are trying to organize a few times next week when people can visit.

I’ve learned that even at the worst of times, laughter can happen and I can always give thanks.

I didn’t communicate personally for weeks. Everything was so uncertain and I felt and must have sounded very confused and weak…and my phone broke in the latter days. After most everyone gets this update, I’ll start a slow process of response to as many as call, text or email me.

We now know that they have a plan. I’ll be going for another ERCP and tests every 8 weeks. Stents will hopefully be replaced with larger ones each time in an attempt to open my constantly closing ducts. This will happen for three occasions if there are no life threatening processes in between.  Each of these procedures will be riskier than the previous one.  After the third set of stents are removed I think that is it. They will take them out and we all will pray that they will be gradually stay a more normal size. I will wait and wait. If it starts all over again, stenting will be stopped and I have told everyone so far that I will not try to have a re-transplant. The outcomes are riskier and the success rate goes down. In that case you will only have a eulogy party to attend to and we’ll meet up next life. Hey, I would be HOME HOME to welcome you too. It’s bound to be cool!

Again, I say, I have learned a lot about my inner life and relationships with you all…so please, when and if you want, ask me about Daniel, my attempts to go back to college and many others stories. You all mean so much to me, keep me going when I didn’t think I could.

Last thing is my daughter, Clare is now in college and so far loves it. She has been such a blessing to me and she doesn’t know all of you but gives great thanks for what you have helped me with. I couldn’t be happier. She turned 19 on Oct. 13. She is poor she said for the first time which many of us know who went to college is a good thing. She’ll figure it out, learn to thrive and help out world out in the ways she will discover. She goes to Western Washington University and has wonderful dreams about her future. What could a Dad want more?!

Love you all, and I appreciate you UN-dying support!  And my friend Swami Beyondanonda who is a comedian keeps telling me may the “farce” be with you . . . .

Pat

P.S. I wanted to add that the gift of returning to full function  between most of these interventions and transplant has always brought me great vitality. For instance after the last one in June, I was able to start teaching tennis lessons again, start to do maintenance around our church again, bike almost everywhere instead of using my car, I enrolled at one of our local colleges and began class so that I could apply for an M.S.W. to begin a counseling practice, I volunteered for a week in northern Washington helping build new homes for poor people who lost their homes in the fires last year, and it was so great! I want to get back to serving and playing again. And of course help Clare get to college and so much more. I hope the good Lord will keep finding ways to keep me vital and heal and help again. I am not trying to be boastful. I hope and pray that these next few interventions will work to keep these ducts open. You all have been rooting for me and it’s kept me going. Please keep offering that wonderful love. Believe me when I say that so many say that there must be a reason I’ve come so far.

FROM PAM CURRY (below)

I have known Pat Casey for a little over three years, and I have watched him deal

with unimaginable pain and uncertainty…. health problems that are at best

unpredictable and at worst devastating. But this is not who Pat really is. Instead

I experience him as hope-filled and grace-filled. When things become difficult for

him, he responds with prayer, determination and great courage, celebrating life

and serving his community whenever and however he can.

I accompanied him to Seattle for his last ERCP and biopsy. He was unable to

travel alone because he was so sick and weak. The night before his liver biopsy,

he was awake; it was late, and I was sitting beside his bed. He said, “I want to tell

you some important things.” He was convinced he was going to die very soon.

His body was shutting down….unable to sleep, unable to eat, extremely weak,

with constant pain and itching, shivering and cramping . He talked about how

blessed he was to have had such a wonderful life. He thanked God profusely for

his greatest gifts – Clare and Nick – and asked God to be with them always. Pat

said he had every confidence that Clare and Nick would be okay. He trusted their

inner strength, talents and abilities. He marveled at his own lifelong spiritual

journey with God.

He made me promise to tell all his friends how much he loved them. He wanted

them to know how grateful and humbled he was to have known them, so blessed

and thankful for their friendship and generosity. His voice was very weak. I had

to strain to hear his words.

And so he began his litany of names. With quiet reverence he slowly spoke each

one. Name after name after name after name. Every so often he would remind

me to “be sure to thank each one and give them my love”. I said I would, even

though I didn’t know who most of them were, but I figured his “naming prayer”

was sufficient unto itself. Several times he stopped. Five minutes…10 minutes

would pass. Each time I hoped he had finally fallen asleep, but, no. He would

begin again and say, “and don’t forget to thank………..” At one point, to relieve

my own tension, I smiled and thought to myself: “He can’t possibly die tonight

because it will take him at least 2 days to name all of his friends. So for tonight

we are safe!”

This is who our friend, Pat, really is. Convinced he was dying, his heart

overflowed with gratitude, thanksgiving, wonder and praise.

Patrick: extraordinary man…. faith-filled…. child of God….with just the right

touch of humor and orneriness!

Hell E Lu Ya 9/4/15

Hello everyone! For those of you who have forwarded my messages out to a group of people, please do that again. I don’t have a complete set of followers.

I’m afraid you read right, it does say “Hell E Lu Ya”. The last 4 weeks or so my blood values and my symptoms indicate something is going wrong again. Blood value wise it is a moderate level bad, symptom wise it is up and down and worsening.
I’ve attempted and failed to reach out with this post for quite a few weeks now. Part of it is the degree of lamentation that has been more difficult to put in perspective. You’d think that when something this repetitive starts again that I would  be able to handle it better (get back to the hopeful state of mind, etc.) but that is not the way it has been.
I definitely could use your prayers again. Prayers that a more permanent solution can be found surgically, endoscopically and/or prescriptively. Prayers that God may work through these doctors, through you, through me in all the invisible and inexplicable ways that ARE to provide healing and strategies to this uncomfortable body. I request more sleep and enough courage.
It seems daily that I get more homebound. The window of some relief from the herbal approach I’ve added is getting narrower. May that open wide. I’m gearing up again for the long haul. If re-transplant becomes the only option, I waver sometimes but I know that I can endure it.
Roni’s donation has helped keep me so much healthier and from what I understand, believe it is still working strong!
I have been thinking alot about all the caregivers from all over who came last year to St. Luke’s, my home in Boise or the hospital and apartment in Chicago. The love and kindness and sacrifice. The time, the fellowship, the meals, the rides, the sweet moments that help one endure, the funds, the errands and the demands of being a helper are what I find myself appreciating. It is also wonderful to have some crazy memory one of those moments. I know as humans we are interconnected and interdependent. Some of us believe in a higher power. Some don’t. Prayers work.
There is more to tell but it will just have to wait.
Love to all,
Pat

HAL E LU YA!!! 6/21/15

“HAL E LU YA!” is the feeling that wells up now.

There is a story since I last posted. Hope I can adequately tell it.
It seems like I am out of the deep woods, turned ‘the’ corner or got past the last hurdle. I certainly hope that what’s happened recently is a clear sign that I can really move on robustly from here on out.
After the last intervention/ERCP in May, my labs numbers began to improve, my symptoms lessened dramatically, my appetite returned, my weight returned after a 10 lb. loss in the week before. All very good but more and more I have been operating on the assumption that the ducts would begin narrowing again because of it’s repetitive history since post transplant and that the time it took to begin each decline was getting shorter and shorter. So I was hoping that I somehow could make it to see Clare’s graduation and Roni’s visit to Boise before going back for another intervention with a hope for stents to be placed or begin the thought of having to endure another transplant.
A little over three weeks ago on a Tuesday before all of the upcoming festivities, I lost my desire for food again which triggered a big ‘Oh no, here I go again’ quickly downhill. Night time always makes any symptoms and emotional issues even bigger. While I could feel my body begin shutting down again, I began a mantra of ‘giving thanks for ALL things’…no matter what entered my mind or what my body felt like. A thunderstorm began with unusually big lightning and thunder and rain. I opened the window and just repeated the mantra and found myself in awe of the power and nature of creation. Tears flowed and flowed. I eventually felt compelled to call one of my prayer buddies and finally one of them picked up…Brent. He listened and we just gave thanks together for all things in God’s Way…a Way I can not comprehend but only stand in awe of. Sleep took over about 4 or 5am. Slept til noon or so as I recall. I woke up and something was very different! I felt much better and stronger. In the days ahead, I felt well enough to give some tennis lessons to 7 students. It was so good to get on the court. I kept feeling a little stronger over the next weeks enough so that I cancelled the offer of my pastor, Marc and his wife, Jenna to drive me to Clare’s graduation. I made it alone and felt great and more importantly not a distraction to Clare’s celebration time. Then Clare, her brother, Nick and I spent a long day driving to and visiting Western Washington Univ. in Bellingham, her future college. Then Clare and I drove back to Boise on long, two-lane highways. It took us 13 hrs.! Dad got pulled over twice for speeding. Great role model for Clare, eh? The officers did let me off both times however and I didn’t even try to give them a sob story! Another miracle? 🙂
Roni arrived shortly after and again I maintained great energy. Seeing her again was an awesome treat. We did some energy healing work together and one time I could feel the energy flowing throughout my body like it did in Chicago shortly after transplant! Wow! It was a full time with her, Clare, Mary and Stephen from Austin, TX, Jessica Murray (who wrote the Boise Weekly stories), and Jake, her boyfriend, tooling around the area on bikes and inflatable rafts.
I felt doubly blessed when many came out to meet her at my church and then at a cafe later. The special girls: Clare, Roni and Mary and an former Austin clinic partner, Stephen got on their planes back to their homes.
I got up Monday and flew to Seattle for the scheduled intervention in much better shape than I could ever have hoped for. Dr. Kozarek and I went over all the scenarios before the ERCP…the what if’s, pros-cons with stents, etc.
Next morning…prepped, IV in, talked to the team about giving me positive messages during procedure when under anesthesia, O2, out like a light, woke up about noon, doc shows up a short time later with pictures and says the ducts are looking normal, open, good size, didn’t have to do anything but went ahead and dilated just cause I was there, and then he said, “I hope that this is the last time I see you for this procedure.” I don’t know but it seems that the only way to see this is that he just documented another miracle. 
Something else came to mind during this dark night of the soul. I felt like I was being tested…choose the Light or accept the darkness.
I have about a week of recovery from just the endoscope process and the week of antibiotics which for me has some side effects but I sense I am doing well now and a rather large weight of uncertainty has been lifted from me. Whenever I stop to think about it, I get a huge lump in my heart and head of gratitude unspeakable to so many uncountable beings that have hung in there with me in prayer and action whether it’s for a week or the last 5 yrs!…and that means YOU who are right now reading this…yes, YOU!
My thanks to the Creator of all we know. May we all grow, learn, heal, become more whole in our respective journeys and share the love we have come to give, receive and know.
Patrick
PS: there will be more commentary later about my caregivers, my inner thoughts and feelings during the last year and years. I hope that this ordeal will come to be helpful to others in some way. That’s my mission til I leave this sphere.

Pat says ‘HI”!!! and a little more

Well “Hi” everyone! It’s me again trying to figure out what to say since the last post.

Right this minute and for the last few days I am back to my genuinely thankful self with just a few of the miserable symptoms that have plagued me over various periods of time since transplant. AND, have really good news is Roni, Clare and a few friends from Texas coming to be here in Boise real soon! I will figure out a way for those who wish to meet Roni but don’t have a clue yet (???). They all will be here from June 11- 14. It will be the first time I’ve seen Roni since she left for home at about the 6 week mark post-transplant.

Roni and I are going to try some new energetic healing ways of trying to see if my little 1/2 inch of plumbing that has been causing all my troubles can be healed …miraculously, of course. It is true I have lost hope sometimes that the good doctors or my body can fix itself for the long haul.

I think my last post was from April 4 or so when I seemed to be in generally good shape from the ERCP in February. As is seems to happen more frequently than I like to think about, in the days following that post my body began another decline. My 1/2 inch of patched together duct began narrowing again and within a few weeks I found myself back in the 24/7 throws of misery. The earliest the docs at Virginia Mason in Seattle could get me in was May 26. As things digressed it didn’t seem my body could make it until then. Someone “up there” pulled another miracle card and I got in May 4-5. By the time I got there then I had lost over 10 pounds within a week or so and the instincts of a body shutting down was in full force…I smelled no food, I tasted no food, I ate almost no food and just plain didn’t wish to eat any food at all. This was basically a new experience for me!

I started arranging hospice care, told Clare and some others that it looks like my end times are upon me a lot earlier than I was hoping for or expected.

My old and wonderfully cheery high school buddy (Bob Stephens) who lives in the Seattle area volunteered again to schlepp me around before, during and after the 5/5 procedure. I have been home since and most of the major symptoms have worn off and as I said I’m feeling pretty good again. It’s is hard sending out updates when I start feeling like crap and when I don’t know how long or whether I’m going to make if for the longer haul. This last episode more than any other has me in a ‘get ready for an end’ fairly soon. What does soon mean? Does anybody know?

I’m waiting back on some prognoses from some of the docs on realllly what they think is likely to happen in the next 6 months. The quickness of the return this time has put a more imminent spin into my life. I am putting much more time and energy into end times prep lately. If it turns around, I’ll get out my thankfulness for another miracle self. But realistically now, I have gotten out my thankfulness for everything and if the end is near…I hope to be ‘ready’.

The docs in Seattle seem pretty sure that they are going to try a stent process the next go around. I keep getting the feeling that it will be a last ditch effort. In the next posts I might be talking about all of what I have learned about death and dying and how I would like to and am dealing with it. I will say that more very good information and people are helping me with this part. I will talk more of them (the saints) later.

Let’s pray and intend that all will go well at least until after Clare and Roni’s visit in June. In the meantime, you are all in my thankful place. May every interaction we have be natural and honest and in the moment.

Blessings and Blissings,

Pat
5/19/15

PS John Wargo, one of my caregivers in Chicago, and I were driving back from one of Clare’s last track meets last weekend. He has THE most awesome music collection on his iPod. We listened to some great jazz he loves then I stole the ‘DJ’ role for a while and found Sly and the Family Stone’s Greatest Hits….talk about two old guys rockin out!!!

4/4/15 Easter Time post

Spring has hit absurdly early here in Boise. We’ve had days in the 70’s, long periods in the high 60’s, however no rain to go with spring but many here have the beginnings of face tans. When Nick and Clare were here last week we spent just glorious afternoons out in the park soaking up the sun talking, playing cribbage and getting high on life together! It was the first time in I can’t remember when, I felt I was on a real vacation enjoying the company of two of the most important people in my life!

The last few weeks and in fact right this minute, there has been/is a refreshing sense of peace and well-being. While I sit still or lay still there are times when I have no symptoms and I let myself bathe in that feeling and can almost touch the time when that can follow me throughout my days. Yes, yes.

Several processes are spiraling together that complement each other. My meditations and mindfulness practices are going well. The blood tests regarding the liver function are continuing each week to normalize. I’ve implemented some nutritional protocols that support better function. I have made an appointment to visit Roni later this month in Tucson to have a ‘reunion of the livers’. We shall snuggle the energies of the livers together to bring the extremely healthy, vibrant energy of her liver field into the previously suspect energy field of my liver system and enjoin them in the Power greater than we can understand! I know that sounds strange to some but I have to believe it touches a power source that has the ability in theory to make this inner connection do what it is capable of.

And I went to see a dear inner guide facilitator, Bonnie Vestal, MD who has helped me in the past to get in touch with some ‘previous life’ material boosting understanding and acceptance of what this experience seems to be about. Then too, another dear chiropractic brother, Tim Klena, gifted me with a hypnosis session from another gifted chiropractor to help my unconscious mind bring more inner abilities to bear on my struggling physical self. With all of this and your support for oh-so long the lamentations don’t last as long, the gratefulness expands.

And even though it looks like I won’t be able to practice the adjusting side of chiropractic to any great degree again, I am readying myself to help others again with starting a nutritional and lifestyle support system that can only be described as life-changing to those who have used it. More on that later.

My continued thanks and love to all of you! Please make the most of your life as in unfolds for you in it’s own unique ways.

Pat