STEM CELL TRANSPLANT STEP 1: MEDICAL EVALUATION

By | June 26, 2013

DONOR NEWS!!

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.

One thought on “STEM CELL TRANSPLANT STEP 1: MEDICAL EVALUATION

  1. Bonnie Evans

    Funny you tell us about your test anxiety. I have the same thing. I’m fact I have nightmares of missing a test that I was already nervous about.

    Each day is one step closer to your rebirth. We celebrate the young man and pray for goodness to,come to him.

    I love your optimism, drive, intelligence, warmth, humor and your friendship.

    Love ya,
    Bonnie Evans

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