I learned this week that my life saving blood stem cell donor is a 22 year old man who lives outside the United States. He has agreed to the stem cell collection schedule my doctor proposed. How cool is that?! Young, healthy stem cells ~ it doesn’t get any better. As a patient, I am grateful that this young man agreed to take time out of his summer to save my life. As a mother, I feel a sense of pride that this young person learned about the need for bone marrow/stem cell donors, joined the registry, and agreed to help a stranger in another country. Both my kids say they hope they can do for someone what this young man is giving me. I get teary every time I think about this.
As people share wishes, prayers, and positive thoughts for my health, I ask that you include my selfless, nameless donor in those efforts.
COUNTDOWN TO TRANSPLANT
We are ONE MONTH from my Re-birthday! The process begins with a thorough Medical Evaluation. Tomorrow (June 27, 2013) is my big test day.
7:00 am: Pre-BMT labs, Vitals
I was told they will draw the blood from my Power Port, so I take that to mean they need a lot of blood.
7:30 am: Drink jug of Barium. What a refreshing treat!
8:00 am: Bone Marrow Biopsy [need another ‘tag line’ for my rump!]
8:30 am: Meet with Clinical Health Psychologist (this one is most worrisome ~ what if they realize I’m a bit nuts?)
9:00 am: Meet with Research
10:00 am: Pulmonary Function Test w/DLCO
10:30 am: Meet with Atlanta Blood Services re: my need for platelet donors
11:00 am: Register for CT scans
11:30 am: CT scan of Brain / Chest / Abdomen / Pelvis
1:00 pm: Lunch (probably the highlight of my day)
1:30 pm: Register for Echocardiogram/EKG
2:00 pm: Echocardiogram
It is no secret that among my numerous quirks, I have ‘text anxiety.’
Whether it’s my car’s emissions test, the vision test to renew my driver’s license, or weekly blood tests, I get a rush of the ‘heebie jeebie jitters’. This may not yet be a recognized technical term, I think you know what I mean.
To calm those jitters, I mindfully picture the test administrator in his/her underwear and focus on my breathing.
In this situation, I recognize that all these tests will form a baseline of the health status of all my systems pre-transplant. My biggest threat to surviving the transplant is organ failure. The results of these tests enable the doctors to anticipate issues that may arise during chemo and post-transplant and plan accordingly.
I will find out the results of all these tests on my Education Day, scheduled for July 10th.
As the song goes, the waiting is the hardest part.