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Topic : 01/22 Cojo: Back from the Brink

Number of Replies: 216
New Messages This Week: 0
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Created on : Friday, January 18, 2008, 02:23:44 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
Steven Cojocaru, known to fans as Cojo, was the go-to fashion guy on the red carpet and lived a life of glitz and glamour. But that changed when he received the worst news of his life –- he was diagnosed with kidney disease and needed a transplant -- not once, but twice. Cojo chronicles his struggles in the book, Glamour, Interrupted: How I Became the Best Dressed Patient in Hollywood, and sits down with Dr. Phil to talk about his tumultuous journey. Then, Terri has been on dialysis for two-and-a-half years as she desperately waits for a kidney donor. She joins the show via Web cam to find out how Cojo maintained his positive attitude and how she can stay in the right frame of mind while waiting for a transplant. Plus, Alison and Danaye say their sister, Missie, has had two kidney transplants, and they’re worried she’s going to need a third because of her stressful lifestyle. The sisters say their mom, Janaye, is at fault for coddling Missie her whole life. What will it take for Missie to slow her life down and for her siblings to back off? And, meet a man who had a heart attack but checked out of the hospital so he could smoke a cigarette! His mom says she’s desperate to help him before he ends up in an early grave. Talk about the show here.

Find out what happened on the show.

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January 19, 2008, 7:31 am CST

Cojo

I am pleased that Steven has survived and is sharing his recovery and message of hope. We had a close family friend die from kidney failure. Will look forward to the show.
A personal note: I have been in a fog regarding Cojo.... I will now be able to speak about him using terms like he/him/his, up until this time I have not been able to use gender specific words.

Thanks for the upcoming show - will look forward to it.
 
January 19, 2008, 7:32 am CST

Renal Dialysis

 

Dear Dr. Phil,

I ,too, was on dialysis and had a Kidney transplant. This was 6 months after my husband died.  I am a teacher and had to keep my job the entire time I was on dialysis.  I have had my transplant 6 years.  I, too am a smoker, and have not quit.  I am educated, smart, and ADDICTED to nicotine.  Maybe I shoud write a book, too.  I take my daily meds with a cup of coffee and a cigarette and then another one on the way to school.  I guess I am a hopeless case.   

Donna from NJ

Kidney Transplant

Aug.30, 2001

PS Did I forget to say that I have Lupus?

PPS Did I forget to say that my mother died of lung cancer at 48?  I am 55...pressing my luck....and my 9 lives.

 
January 19, 2008, 7:56 am CST

Transplant Recipient

Dr. Phil,

       First of all thank you for doing a show that brings organ donation in the media. I am coming up on my 3 year and 7 mos. birthday of my new life. On June 24, 2004 I recieved the gift of life through a transplanted kidney. After being on Peritoneal Dialysis for just 8 mos. the day had arrived. My donor kidney was given by my sister-in-law. Since the day that my kidneys failed from PKD my attitude has been nothing but positive. My wife said to me one day that if they ask you to stand on your head and spit quarters you do everything that they ask. The doctors that worked with me were also very positive. The attitude was that dialysis was just a bridge to get to transplant. Before transplant my Creatine level was around 14.0 with less than 10% kidney funtion in one kidney only. After the transplant and till this day my Creatine level has been at or near 1.3. So people need to be aware that there is life after transplant.          Thank You! Jerry Woodbury

 
January 19, 2008, 10:18 am CST

from a donor's point of view

A great and timely topic. My wife and I lived with kidney disease for over 25 years. Our first child was stillborn due to complications...hypertension. 20 years later my wife's remaining kidney failed...3 months after that, she was diagnosed with breact cancer. We were faced with choices around dialysis, and at the time peritoneal dyalysis seemed to offer more control and seemed to be less intrusive. My wife also had to undergo chemo and radiation over the next several months. 3 years and over 50 pounds later we switched to hemodialysis. This too had drawbacks, invasive vascular surgery, needles, infections, different medications etc. Do your research BEFORE making a choice on which form of dialysis to do. We found peritoneal dialysis (PD) to be life-sustaining, but my wife's energy and general health deteriorated rapidly on PD, and my reading supports this. Most people who begin using PD eventually change to hemodialysis.  We decided to have a spousal transplant, but we had to wait for 5 years to be sure my wife was cancer free, so on Chrismas Day 2005  my left kidney began to work for my wife just 3 days after the transplant operation...a second chance at life for us both.

We are teachers, and here in Canada our health care system is very supportive. All supplies, medications and physician care is fully covered. In fact we recently spoke with the head of our transplant unit, and he told us how transplants are increasing because much more is known about immunosuppressant drugs and antibodies. In fact more unrelated people are now able to donate organs to a spouse or other  person outside his/her family. Here in Manitoba, pop approx 1 million, we have almost tripled our annual kidney transplants in the last 2 years. According to our doctor, transplantation is much more cost effective than paying for dialysis and the ongoing supplies and medications needed for this therapy. With the changing political landscape in America there may be an opportunity for US patients and their families to advocate for a medicare system that better serves all renal dialysis and transplant patients.

We in Canada are experiencing an epidemic of  types 1 and 2 diabetes...even in children. Obesity and horrid diet choices are a plague, both here and in the US. We line up in our SUV's waiting for coffee, doughnuts and burgers and eventually pay the price with our health.

Those with adequate insurance can often get the care they need, but what about the millions who suffer without adequate coverage? My wife and I often count our lucky stars. It's been tough, but we survived and grew stronger because of this journey and the support of our family, government and the medical community.

I feel fine 2 years later. My health is better now because I am more conscious of health and wellness. For those with kidney disease who struggle with poor food choices, cigarette smoking and drinking, take a walk through a dialysis ward...or a cancer ward...picture yourself on the bed hooked up to a machine through needles 4 hours a day 3 days a week. Or imagine having inoperable cancer... Perhaps a dose of reality along with sound medical advise and family support can sway you away from the self indulgence and addictions you are mired in. It always amazes me how so many people in our society take such poor care of themselves...Why is that Dr. Phil?

Our story can be seen in more detail by following the link below. Thanks for the great , informative and thought provoking shows.  http://www.kidney.ab.ca/stories/lise-goguen.html

 

Peter and Lise (Canada)

 
January 19, 2008, 10:19 am CST

New Kidney Transplant

Quote From: traveler11

Dr. Phil,

       First of all thank you for doing a show that brings organ donation in the media. I am coming up on my 3 year and 7 mos. birthday of my new life. On June 24, 2004 I recieved the gift of life through a transplanted kidney. After being on Peritoneal Dialysis for just 8 mos. the day had arrived. My donor kidney was given by my sister-in-law. Since the day that my kidneys failed from PKD my attitude has been nothing but positive. My wife said to me one day that if they ask you to stand on your head and spit quarters you do everything that they ask. The doctors that worked with me were also very positive. The attitude was that dialysis was just a bridge to get to transplant. Before transplant my Creatine level was around 14.0 with less than 10% kidney funtion in one kidney only. After the transplant and till this day my Creatine level has been at or near 1.3. So people need to be aware that there is life after transplant.          Thank You! Jerry Woodbury

I am also very happy you are doing a show on kidney transplants.  I had a kidney transplant 4 months ago.  I was given a kidney by my adopted daughter and she was a perfect match.  I am 59 years old and when I was in the hospital I met a woman 73 that also had a transplant.  I would not do anything to damage this wonderful gift.  I knew I had kidney problems for the last 5 years and was on dialysis for a year.  I was a smoker but quit cold turkey 5 years ago.  I knew when the time came and my kidneys no longer worked I wanted to be in the best health I could be.  I also lost 60 pounds after I quit.  Life is precious to me and I wanted to be around for my children and grandchildren.  By the way I have 2 other children who were not adopted and they did not match.  God works in wonderful ways.
 
January 19, 2008, 11:11 am CST

On Dialysis also

Quote From: traveler11

Dr. Phil,

       First of all thank you for doing a show that brings organ donation in the media. I am coming up on my 3 year and 7 mos. birthday of my new life. On June 24, 2004 I recieved the gift of life through a transplanted kidney. After being on Peritoneal Dialysis for just 8 mos. the day had arrived. My donor kidney was given by my sister-in-law. Since the day that my kidneys failed from PKD my attitude has been nothing but positive. My wife said to me one day that if they ask you to stand on your head and spit quarters you do everything that they ask. The doctors that worked with me were also very positive. The attitude was that dialysis was just a bridge to get to transplant. Before transplant my Creatine level was around 14.0 with less than 10% kidney funtion in one kidney only. After the transplant and till this day my Creatine level has been at or near 1.3. So people need to be aware that there is life after transplant.          Thank You! Jerry Woodbury

Hi, I have been on Dialysis for almost 2 years.  I went for the test for Bariatric Surgery. I had a cold at the time. They took an X-ray of my chest and found a spot. They called my Dr. and told him to get a CT Scan of my chest. I went in that morning and they put dye in me for the CT Scan. at noon I went for blood work that I usually have every month. Around 5:00 that afternoon the Dr.'s office called me and told me to get to the Hospital right away. I was in the ER for 6 hours, finally they came in an told me that the dye had shut down my kidneys.  This blew me away, at first I was scared to death. It was hard for me to eat anything. Its hard to understand the diet at first. So much runs through your mind. I have always been positive about going in to dialysis. The technicians have always said I was like Sunshine coming in there.   My husband has been fantastic through all of this. He says Dialysis is MY Job that I go to 3 times a week...I don't know what I would have done without him.  Before I got sick he was the type of husband that did nothing in the house, today he does everything.If you would have asked me 20 years ago if he would be like this I would have said "NO WAY"....lol       We will be married for 40 years in June...I love him more today than I ever have !!! I hope one day I will be well enough to deserve a transplant .  Teresa Allen                         
 
January 19, 2008, 1:24 pm CST

From Cojo's #1 Supporter

Dear Dr. Phil and Robin,

My name is Denise. I'm 28 and in Arizona. I'm the reigning Ms. Southwest US Crown Jewel 2008. And I come to you with one simple request.

Could you please help me meet my idol, Steven Cojocaru, the man who inspired me to keep living and never give up even when all hope seems lost?

Steven has been a great inspiration in my life. It all started back in 2005. I'd lost the majority of my friends, everything that mattered to me and almost lost my mind, as well. I was ready to give up, lay down and die. I believed that there couldn't possibly be anyone worse off than me. What I didn't realize at the time, was that there was. At the time I was going through my personal hell, Steven was going through his. He had just gone through the pain of having his first transplanted kidney removed and was waiting for a second one. I'd been watching his story since it first broke in late 2004 and I was hoping for the best.

When the news finally emerged that his mother had given him one of her kidneys, I was overjoyed. It not only gave me a reason to believe in miracles, it gave me a reason not to give up on myself. I learned that my life was worth living and I'm not done yet.

Now as Ms. Southwest US Crown Jewel 2008, I've adopted Polycystic Kidney Disease Awareness as my platform. I'm taking it upon myself to educate people about this. I would not have the courage or the will to do this if it wasn't for Steven.

Can you please grant my wish to meet this amazing and wonderful man who has given me a reason to live? I am hoping, wishing and praying that you can make my greatest wish come true.

Thank you very much.

Denise
 
 
January 19, 2008, 2:13 pm CST

Dialysis Patient

Quote From: ladyvetter

Hi, I have been on Dialysis for almost 2 years.  I went for the test for Bariatric Surgery. I had a cold at the time. They took an X-ray of my chest and found a spot. They called my Dr. and told him to get a CT Scan of my chest. I went in that morning and they put dye in me for the CT Scan. at noon I went for blood work that I usually have every month. Around 5:00 that afternoon the Dr.'s office called me and told me to get to the Hospital right away. I was in the ER for 6 hours, finally they came in an told me that the dye had shut down my kidneys.  This blew me away, at first I was scared to death. It was hard for me to eat anything. Its hard to understand the diet at first. So much runs through your mind. I have always been positive about going in to dialysis. The technicians have always said I was like Sunshine coming in there.   My husband has been fantastic through all of this. He says Dialysis is MY Job that I go to 3 times a week...I don't know what I would have done without him.  Before I got sick he was the type of husband that did nothing in the house, today he does everything.If you would have asked me 20 years ago if he would be like this I would have said "NO WAY"....lol       We will be married for 40 years in June...I love him more today than I ever have !!! I hope one day I will be well enough to deserve a transplant .  Teresa Allen                         

I have been on dialysis for 5 years now, patiently waiting a transplant.  I am a single mom to 3 children (13, 12 and 6) .  Starting dialysis was a shock to me as well, i went for a regular physical and was on dialysis 2 days later.  I only had one functioning kidney all my life and now it wasn't functioning at all.  Having kidney failure brings about a whole new lifestyle change.  When i started my dialysis, hemo was my only choice.  I was going 3 times a week for 4 1/2 hours each time.  I am now doing my dialysis (hemo) at home, nocturnally.  I dialyze 5 times a week for 6 hours each, but when i am sleeping.  I have my freedom during the day and i work part time form home.  Being one of the youngest patients in my unit (i was 30 at the time) was a little scary.  It is difficult at time to be positive about my situation but the alternative is not an option.  I have 3 kids to live for and they are my life.  It saddens me at times to think that all my kids know is mom being sick, but the day that transplant comes will be a whole new life for everyone here.  We can finally start to live that normal life we had before I became ill.  I am so glad Dr Phil is doing a show about this.  The more people know the better, and maybe it will help people make that every important decision about organ donation..without it, people like us might not have a chance.

 

Thanks Dr. Phil

 

Roxane

Ontario, Canada

 
January 19, 2008, 2:34 pm CST

Dialisis

Dr. Phil-

Just some history on the developement of the dialisis machine that so many kidney failure patients use until a match is found.  My father, Eugene Sayler, owned a machine shop in Pico Rivera, CA.  One of the jobs he received was to grind the original parts for the very first working dialisis machine.  The machine he worked on was pictured in either Look or Life magazine, it has been so long (this was in the 50's or 60's) I forget which and both are no longer in print.  Dad was always interested in the future use of the items he or his men worked on as he felt that gave them purpose to do the best they could do.  At 94 years of age Dad doesn't remember all his stories very well any more.  During World War II he was working for an aircraft company and there was a part that they were having trouble with that was neccessary to keep our planes in the air.  Dad found the solution and our planes were able to play their part in the war.  Dad has always been strong in believing that there is no problem that can not be solved.  You may not find it on your first try but you must keep trying.

 
January 19, 2008, 6:35 pm CST

I actually like this guy.....

....he always has a possitive attitude and I hope he is doing well. 
 
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