12/19–Verdict: No Real Sign of Trouble

Caitlin came back from her trip to the OR. Her surgeon and his fellow thoroughly searched for anything that could be causing the high lactate levels. The good news was that they did a deep and thorough search and everything looked good. No dead tissue to be seen. The liver is likely the problem, because it is swollen, still recovering from deep trauma and the blood pressure meds it had to process. But it’s working; it is not dead. So it looks like it needs some time to heal from the shock her body’s been through. We have to hold tight. Be patient. Remain positive.

Some good news was that her chest had stopped bleeding. The surgeon was very happy about that. Also, the left leg looks okay, like it’s not the source of the lactate trouble, but they will be keeping a close eye on everything, of course.

Friends, this is going to be a slow and atypical recovery,  and we are going to have to learn to live with that—-with uncertainty and worry and relief and more worry and hopefully, a final blast of relief.

Honestly, it all feels like a game of whack-a-mole.

But….. Dr. D’Cunha really made us feel okay tonight. As we’ve learned in Boston, there are so many doctors in a teaching hospital that you learn to be careful who you listen to. One guy said something really stupid over Caitlin today, in front of Nick. (“Might have to amputate that leg.”)

Nick dealt with him.

Dr. D’Cunha, referring to that, said, “Caitlin has two doctors—-me and her (pointing to the wonderful Lara, his right-hand fellow). “We’re the only two you listen to, and when she’s talking, she’s talking for me, okay?”

Okay! Happy to have her in his good, life-saving hands.

I also put a sign above Caitlin’s bed: Positive Talk ONLY Around Caitlin, Please !!!

Thank you, all, for all of your continued prayers and light and love. What a blessed holiday season this has been for us, and, I hope, for all of you.


–Maryanne, with Nick, Andrew, Jess


PS: In the spirit of the season, I think Caitlin would be really happy if I posted this picture of Henry for a little dramatic relief.

Screen Shot 2016-12-19 at 8.57.13 PM.png
Henry the darling reindeer

๐ŸŽถ   ๐ŸŽถ   ๐ŸŽถ   ๐ŸŽถ  ๐ŸŽถ   ๐ŸŽถ   ๐ŸŽถ



Author: kittenupdates

I am the author of CASCADE and LITTLE MATCHES: A Memoir of Grief and Light

52 thoughts on “12/19–Verdict: No Real Sign of Trouble”

    1. I’m praying for all of you, Maryann, you are truly an inspiration to everyone…lots of love and prayers your way from the Munroes, Townsends, and Fraziers.

  1. It’s still early and my god what her body has been through. I’m optimistic that her liver just needs a little more time. Each day she will improve some. What an amazing medical team!

  2. I have cried more in the last week reading these blog entries than I have for years. Fear, relief, happiness, frustration, rinse and repeat. And crying again now at this good news and then laughing with you over Henry. There are not a lot of typical recoveries from transplants – these are miracle operations… our bodies are not made to have our organs removed and other people’s parts returned but the amazing doctors make them happen. These angels of medicine do their magic and then our lives change. We will never forget Dr. Lorber and Dr. Friendman and all the astounding doctors at Yale Transplant and the people who gave of their blood and flesh just as you won’t. We are sending you all energy and light. xxx

  3. Ferociously positive we will remain. And Henry – you are by far the cutest reindeer around – be careful, Santa might borrow you.

    Love and light.


    Ps praying for no more moles xo

  4. THANK GOD !! After anxiously awaiting several hours for the next update, I and probably everyone else following Caitlin’s journey to recovery, was so relieved and overjoyed to read the positive report. We continue to pray and send positive energy to all of you. This is truly a season of miracles!

  5. Hi Maryanne,
    Positive thoughts of hope and optimism are coming your way from Kate and me. I marvel at Caitlin’s resiliency, and yours. Please know you are all in our thoughts.
    Karen Ryan

  6. What a relief, for the moment anyway. Thank you, Maryanne, for sharing the details – your posts make it easier for us to be there with you in spirit.

  7. Caitlin’s got perfect new lungs. I’ve got faith that everything will settle down and start to work as it must. It sounds like you’ve got wonderful wonderful doctors. I’m worried about you. When was the last time either you or Nick had any sleep?

  8. So happy to come home to your most recent posting. Love, love, love the picture of Henry the adorable reindeer. I have been thinking about him and have asked Cathy about him and how he is handling the situation. I will be praying for Caitlin’s continued recovery and for the time when you are all back home in Ashland and this experience is a memory.

  9. Maryanne, I have never checked my email so frequently or prayed so fervently. Thank you for these notes. They are like a little gift to all of us thinking of you. Strength and prayers!!! What a fighting family.

  10. Henry, the darling reindeer, radiates positive feelings!! We send ours along to help smooth out the bumps in the road ahead….Lots of love from Anne and Walter

  11. One day after an acute visit to the icu, I was still dressed in my house painter clothes, looking far from what the attending had expected. He dismissed me the day before, and didn’t look in on Joe. He was doing rounds with his students and said to me: I am sorry I didn’t not go in and talk to you and Joe because we don’t have a plan. To which I pointedly responded, well doctor you may not have a plan but Joe and the team do – granted it has been modified – but there is a plan. He smiled and said to his interns: ‘rule of thumb – you better figure out the mother within the first twenty minutes or you’re in trouble! Ah-huh ๐Ÿ™‚

    Another incident the same day involved a resident who told Joey something that was just incorrect. The nurse took him into the hall and reprimanded him. And, he returned, and apologized and I responded in front of Joe, it is ok because this is a teaching hospital and you are here to learn and I suspect you won’t make the mistake again. Your sign over Caitlin’s bed is a wonderful reminder.

    You, your Team and Caitlin have strength and stamina beyond belief and YOU give the reassurance that lights up all our lives. Onward and upward with ferocity and dog reindeers!

  12. “Blessed be God in His Angels and in His Saints”
    O Holy St. Anthony, gentlest of Saints, your love for God and Charity for His creatures, made you worthy, when on earth, to possess miraculous powers. Encouraged by this thought, I implore you to obtain for Caitlin–health, peace and comfort as she continues to heal. O gentle and loving St. Anthony, whose heart was ever full of human sympathy, whisper my petition into the ears of the sweet Infant Jesus, who loved to be folded in your arms; and the gratitude of my heart will ever be yours. Amen.

    love, love, love! xo -Mo

  13. I think I would have liked to see Nick deal with person. Yes, absolutely, positive talk only around Caitlin. You all are fierce, loyal and true. Hope, peace, love, and Henry! Thanks for this update. Thinking of donor’s family.

  14. Henry is looking fabulously festive!!!! Nothing but positive energy heading to Caitlin and all of you! Much love to the team!!!! โค๐Ÿ™

  15. Tears of happiness, again. I realize Caitlin, you, and Nick have a long road ahead but your post is all POSITIVE! I am truly in awe of Caitlin’s mental, physical, and psychological strength. She IS a remarkable young woman.

    Prayers and positive thoughts will continue until Caitlin wins the Gold in her first marathon.

    Love to you all, including Dr. D’Cunya and Lara.

    Paula~ xo

    p.s. Henry is too wicked cute!

  16. Thankful for every good sign and staying ferociously positive for my dear friend and her tiger parents too. Know that your community is here and strong and staying the course with you until the end. โค

  17. A great report on all accounts. Caitlin’s body is in slow mend from all she’s been through… but it’s healing! Thank you, God, for hearing the abundant prayers. Let’s get this game of whack-a-mole behind us and concentrate on the steady healing in receiving these perfect lungs. Sending constant light, love and positive energy. xo

  18. Harry Potter Lungs. Ferocious Positivity. Angels are Everywhere. Caitlin is Fierce. That’s my listen and repeat for today. Loads of love, hope and strength headed your way everyday.

  19. Sending ferocious positivity…. Thank you so much for sharing all the updates. There are so many people praying and sending love and positive thoughts your way xxxooo ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™

  20. I admire Caitlyn and her whole family. What a strong, compassionate and positive bunch. With you and all of us in her corner she will be just fine in time. God Bless you all. Your Christmas miracle!!! Merry Christmas!!!

  21. Agree1000%! Only positive talk around her! She is so strong and will continue to improve- I believe nothing less. God bless all of you and the donor family. โค๏ธ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ Will continue praying for Caitlin.

  22. Caitlin is a trooper. So important for people to watch what they say. You’re right.
    Thank you for writing to let all of us know how everything is going. My heart goes out to you all. Sending love!

  23. Ferocious positivity, prayers, and healing thoughts.
    Visualizing that liver growing healthier minute by minute, and those lungs happily settling in to Caitlin’s body.
    Strength, courage, and peace to you all.

  24. Hi – I don’t know you, but I’ve been following your story. I’m a 48 year old man with CF, and I recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of my 2x lung transplant. I feel great, 88% FEV1, 95% FVC, no chronic rejection ever. I just wanted to say I’m thinking of you and I’m hoping everything works out well. And give yourself (-selves), the caregivers, a lot of credit too. When I went through the transplant nobody was paying attention to anything besides me. I had to remind my parents to drink enough, sleep enough, distract themselves enough, etc.

    If there’s anything I can do to offer help just email me and I’ll answer ASAP. Or if you’d rather talk to someone who has been there I can send you my phone number. I just want to offer anything that would be helpful: reassurance, anecdotes from my situation, a comparison of how your doctors/nurses are different from mine, whatever. Anything that helps.

    Best wishes to you and your family. There may be some tough days/weeks/months ahead, but it will all be worth it, I promise. In a few months Caitlin will be healthier and freer than you’ve seen her in many years. I have not regretted my transplant for a single minute, and when I think of all the things I would have missed – the birth of my two nieces, adopting a sweet, funny, generous dog – if I hadn’t gotten the transplant, it just makes me even more grateful for how things worked out.

    Best – Peter

    1. Thank you, Peter! It’s always so heartening to hear from people who’ve been through this and lived to tell the tale. So glad you are doing well, and you have a pup besides! xoxo

  25. “Nick dealt with him.”

    When I woke up this morning and read those words, I burst out laughing. Anyone who knows Nick, would have loved to be there for that exchange. After getting a dose of Nick’s wrath when it involves Caitlin, that Dr. must be ready to change professions ๐Ÿ™‚

    All of use here at The International have been closely following Caitlin’s journey this month and praying for a joyous Christmas Season for the entire O’Hara clan.

    Go get ’em Nick!

  26. Great news, and thank you for the photo of Hen. Did someone say “Lunch”?
    We will be here thinking of you all day, as always.
    And thank you Nick for giving that guy a lesson he will carry with him forever.
    – R & R

  27. We don’t know each other personally, but I know your family as an Ashland family. Our family went through something similar with our daughter 3 years ago at this time. The smartest doctors are the ones who understand hope and love. The one who told me not to underestimate the power of my touch and the ones who knew there was always hope, and shared that with us. We threw a couple out of my daughter’s icu room as well. We understand your game of whack-a-mole and what an atypical recovery is all about. Together, with the love you all share, miracles happen.

  28. Checking in this morning – first thing after walking the dog – I’d do it before but its my sister’s dog and she won’t wait – and hoping its a great sign that you haven’t posted an update for 10 hours and that it means things are calm and improving. You guys are not far from our minds for more than minutes at a time.

  29. Maryanne, your energy and positivity and resolve are amazing. Thank you for everything you are doing and for keeping us updated. I hope that there is some rest being gotten by all. Sending love.

  30. Such a powerful outpouring of love and positive thoughts from all over the world to a very special person Caitlin. Thank you all from the bottom of our Hearts from Nicks Family in Ireland.

  31. So, so happy to hear that Caitlin has a wonderful support team, in every way. I remember Randy’s brain surgeon saying that he might have to open him back up because he worried about infection (and said it so casually, like he needed to clip a nail). I just about threw up and walked through the hospital afterward, looking for ice-cream (which everything was closed down because it was late). But his incision healed beautifully, and the neurosurgeon was wrong. I just feel in my spirit that Caitlin’s recovery will have the same positive outcome. Keep the faith!

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