Fall is a Lovely Time of Year for a Transplant
Donor #2 has come through! Now he just needs a name. There are some who wanted to make a play on the whole “number 2” bit when naming said donor, but I think that was a pretty crappy idea. Even though humor runs in the family, some still strain to be funny. While my humor comes out rather easily, others must sit awhile to get theirs out. Rest assured, you won’t see any nutty names for Mr. Donor as it relates to “number 2”. So what will donor #2 be called?
Dominick the donor, aka Dom, aka Donor Of Marrow. Dom has agreed to give his cells to little old me. I will be admitted on October 9th and the transplant will occur on October 16th.
The Slightly Altered Transplant Plan
Because I’m getting admitted on a Friday, the schedule has changed a bit. Originally I was going to get 4 days of radiation first and then chemo. Now I am getting the chemo first since they don’t do radiation on the weekend. I’ll get a high dose of Etoposide, which has all the fun side effects of chemotherapy. When you read up on Etoposide, there are a list of side effects and the author tries to reassure you that some of the side effects only happen in higher doses. Well, that’s me. Mr. Higher Dose.
I’ll also get a central catheter placed on the 9th. This one will be a bit different from the PICC, as it will be under my collar-bone and come out of my chest. It will still have 2 lumens so that I can receive multiple infusions at the same time. It will be placed while I am under sedation, so the 9th promises to be a loopy day.
I’ll rest on Saturday and Sunday while the chemo does its job and then I’ll get radiation on Monday through Thursday. Again, it will be a morning and afternoon session each day. Then on Friday they’ll bring in a bag of blood that contains my new stem cells. They’ll hook it up, pump it into me, and then we’ll wait for the little stemmies to burrow into their new home in my bones and start producing blood cells.
Life Support, So To Speak
Since my bone marrow will be dead, there will be nothing in my body to produce new blood cells at first. That means I wouldn’t have hemoglobin to carry oxygen to my organs or platelets to stop any bleeding that might occur. Housekeeping doesn’t want a big puddle of un-oxygenated organs and blood on the floor, so they’ve talked the medical staff into doing transfusions for people like me. I’ll receive regular transfusions of blood and platelets until they start seeing the donor cells in my blood. These transfusions will keep me alive. Once my donor cells are producing enough red cells, white cells and platelets, we’ll stop the transfusions and specifically wait for my white cell count to climb. My ANC (absolute neutrophil count) needs to be above 0.5 for two consecutive days (and trending up) for me to be released. For comparison purposes, the normal low for ANC is 1.7 and my most recent ANC was 4.5.
Bone Marrow Bucket List Update
I’m not too sure my bone marrow has much left on its list. I’ve already covered the trips to Monticello, Camp Tecumseh and Great Wolf Lodge. I also mentioned that I was able to hang out at hc1 last week. My bone marrow was able to go to a tailgate and then the Jet’s game on Monday night thanks to the generosity of friends, but we’re not really acknowledging that trip too much. I think my bone marrow might go on a field trip with the girls’ pre-school class. Other than that, my bone marrow is resting and running errands. It’s amazing how many times “nap” appears on my bone marrow’s bucket list, but I must do what my bone marrow wants.
Lindsey’s grandmother passed away this week at the young age of 92. We will be attending the services this upcoming weekend and celebrating her life. She’s now reunited with her husband Gil, who preceded her in death in 2001. Grandma Helen was a great lady and you can see her in the picture to the right participating in the chicken dance at our wedding. She will definitely be missed, and I’m honored to be a pallbearer as we lay her to rest.
A Duck Dynasty Prayer
Patience isn’t always easy, but I thank you that I now have a date to look forward to and plan for. Once a goal is set, the skills that you have gifted me with go into high gear. Thank you God for this 2nd person who is willing to take the time to give part of themselves to me. I also pray for others who are undergoing transplants or will undergo transplants. I pray for those yet to be matched. May your hand of grace and hope be on all of us through these procedures. Thank you for another day.