Keith is extremely tired, but happy to have visitors. His appetite is good as he manages to eat just about all of his lunch. His short term memory is still giving him trouble.

In case your curious about the unfamiliar hair growing on Keith's face......he is scheduled for a shave today from Chris.




This is a bit of a tougher day for Keith as he struggles with hallucinations as a result of the viral encephalitis.

Just in case you were wondering what Keith's reaction is to all the messages he has received so far from everyone........the only word to describe it is 'entranced'. A good hundred messages were read to him as he looked on hardly shifting his attention from the screen.   Survey says.......He loves it.
Keith has a build up of fluid around his lungs which has caused his breathing to be labored. He is on oxygen to make it easier for him to breathe for the time being while the doctors keep an eye on the fluid levels to determine if it will need to be drained.

3/20 -21/2004
Saturday & Sunday
Bad day on Saturday, Keith loses consciousness and is placed on life support in the Intensive Care Unit.  His family stays in the area overnight as he continues to battle, still unconscious.

On Sunday there are minor signs of improvement, but he is still on life support.

Although Keith is still unconscious, he has gone from 100% oxygen on Saturday to 70% on Sunday and today was down to 60% oxygen, so he is headed in the right direction. He had also been paralyzed through drugs so as not to fight the ventilator, but today was taken off of that medication. He came off of the blood pressure medication which he had been on previously, but remains on a number of different antibiotics.  Keith had a broncoscopy done on Sunday evening which doctors hope will tell them a little more about what is going on, but full results of this are not in yet.
The results of the broncoscopy came back negative meaning that the results do not lead the doctors to any conclusion. A second broncoscopy was done, but no news at this point. Keith's condition hasn't changed too much in the past couple days. He came down to 50% oxygen on Tuesday and continued at that level throughout the day today. There is some concern with his kidneys so the doctors will be monitoring them closely. Outside this, he has not really improved, but he has also not gotten worse.
Keith's oxygen rate has been fluctuating between 50-70% over the past couple days, last check being at around 60%.  His kidneys are still under the watchful eye of the doctors who would like to see the kidneys start improving soon on their own in hopes of avoiding dialysis. Keith is still on life support and unconscious, but doctors have advised he could open his eyes at any time. 
Unfortunately, Keith's kidneys reached the point where the doctors felt dialysis was necessary. He will be on it for about 3 hours a day while the doctors evaluate its effectiveness.

On a side note, on behalf of Keith's family, we'd like to extend a huge "Thank You" to all of his friends that helped with the move today. Keith has a wonderful group of friends who jumped at the chance to lend a hand. 

Correction to yesterday's status. Keith will be getting 3-4 hours of dialysis every other day (next on Monday). It went well on Saturday so time will tell how as to how he progresses. Results of the second broncoscopy were negative as were the first.
Since brought to the ICU, Keith's eyes have been slightly involuntarily open at times, but no visual reaction to anything. Today, he seemed to be moving his eyes in response to communication with him. As Laura, Chris and Patty were saying goodbye to him, he opened them pretty wide (given his situation) and his brow went up for a brief moment as if he were going to speak. It was so nice to really see his eyes.
Due to a deterioration in Keith's liver, doctors decide to do a biopsy of his liver. The procedure goes well and the results of this could take a few days.
A rush was placed on the test results of the liver biopsy and 3 key issues were confirmed. A small amount of VOD (described on Home page) is back, there is some graft vs. host disease, and bacteria is present. He is being treated accordingly for each.
Such a wonderful thing to see today was Keith fully opening his eyes, looking around the room and moving his head a bit. He could respond to yes/no questions by shaking or nodding his head and even attempted the smile we all know and love.
Similar day to Friday. A joy again to be able to communicate somewhat with Keith.
A little more tired than Friday due to increased pain medication.

note: Keith's friend Ralph Rookey has assembled some pictures of Keith at another location. Check them out at www.rrookey.com/keith .

Keith had a tracheotomy put in so that the ventilator tube is now in his neck/throat rather than in his mouth. He also had his feeding tube repositioned to be more effective. Both procedures were successful.
The level of pain Keith is experiencing is increasing and likewise the medication to relieve his pain is increasing. His eyes are open often, but he is less and less responsive.
Coming into the bone marrow transplant process, Keith knew his chances of complications and his chances for survival. Keith discussed with his family his wishes regarding the fight ahead of him. He said that if he had a 1% chance of survival (or a "chance in hell"), he wanted to be given that chance. Only at such time that he is deemed terminal and/or believed that he would not come off of life support, would he not want to go on. We as his family made these wishes known to his doctors who fully supported him.
The day before Keith was brought up to the Intensive Care Unit, we met with his doctors to review his situation which was becoming critical. Over the course of the three weeks that Keith was in the ICU, we continued to meet with them. With the guidance of his care team on 4/7/2004, it was determined that Keith had reached the point that he would not want to continue. We questioned how much longer would be too long and his providers suggested that we not prolong his suffering beyond the weekend. We could tell in Keith's eyes that he was ready.
On Friday evening, surrounded by his family, the life support was turned off. His nurses made sure that he was comfortable, and that the process was as dignified as possible. At 10:53pm, Keith passed away. For the first time in a long time, Keith is at peace and free from pain.
As everyone knows by just a glance at Keith's guest register, he is loved beyond words. We appreciate all that love and support, and we know that he was equally as grateful!!
-Paul, Jean, Chris, Laura, Patty and Joe

A copy of Keith's obituary will be placed on this page as soon as possible for those who do not receive the local papers that it was placed in. In the meantime, we wanted to let everyone know the funeral arrangements. It will be Saturday, 4/17 at Calvary Presbyterian Church (sanctuary), 1518 King St, Enfield, CT at 2:00pm with time for fellowship immediately afterwards in the Mission Center.
Obituary Keith M. Berger, 32, formerly of Enfield , died on Good Friday, April 9, 2004 at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston , MA after a battle with cancer. He is the beloved son of Paul and Jean (MacDonald) Berger of Enfield. Keith grew up in Enfield and in recent years has been living in East Hartford and was employed as a registered representative of C.M. Smith Agency for the past five years. He was a very talented and accomplished cyclist racer participating in many road races and dedicated to his sport. Keith’s web pages include, www.ctwebpros.com/keith & www.rrookey.com/keith.
Besides his parents he is survived by a brother, Christian Berger and his wife Patricia of Old Lyme, a sister Laura (Berger) Zirolli and her husband Joseph of Enfield, and 2 nephews and 4 nieces, Jack, Abby, and Maggie Berger, and Gabrielle, John, and Carissa Zirolli. A funeral in celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, April 17, 2004 at 2 pm at the Calvary Presbyterian Church, 1518 King St. , Enfield . Burial will be at the convenience of the family. Leete-Stevens Enfield Chapels is handling arrangements. Memorial donations in Keith’s name may be made to the, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Office of Donor Services, 1311 Mamaronek Avenue , White Plains , NY 10605 , Lance Armstrong Foundation, P.O. Box 161150 , Austin , TX 78716-1150 and or the, Dana Farber Cancer Institute and The Jimmy Fund Tribute Program, 1309 Beacon Street , Brookline , MA 02446 -9918.
We would like to thank all those that attended the funeral service and for your kind words on Saturday. The turnout which resulted in standing room only was just incredible.  Keith would have been honored! We are so thankful for the relationships Keith had with all of you.  It was wonderful to reminisce with those familiar to us and to finally meet some of the people that up until Saturday, we had only heard great things about.
Additionally, the expressions of sympathy in the forms of phone calls, cards and flowers has been amazing and very much appreciated.
Paul, Jean, Chris, Laura, Patty and Joe