Friday, February 15, 2013

Getting Ready for Transplant

Sorry, for the long gap, typing isn't the easiest with a bum hand.  Great news though, they have a match!!! They actually chose the male 9/10 match and here's why:

  • One, he's a 25 year old male so he's likely to be of more physical relation to Tom than the woman in her 50's (who was actually a 10/10) and apparently that can be of assistance.  
  • Secondly, the one marker that he didn't "match" is not actually an issue so long as it's the only marker that doesn't match, which it is. It's just a certain gene, that on it's own has shown to be of no importance, but combined with other non-matching markers it does become an issue and that's why they check it. 
  • Lastly (and possibly most importantly), the woman has actually donated before to someone, so she is now limited to only donating once. This means that if they were to have chosen her as the donor, if Tom were to relapse she would not be allowed to donate to him again... and they would have to then start this whole search over and chemo, etc. while Tom is at risk. She is however being kept on as the "backup" donor in case guy #1 backs out. 
Now that they've located a donor, the ball has really begun to roll.  Tom has already started his tests and whatnot to make sure that he is a suitable candidate health wise to do the transplant.  The dates that were originally projected (proposed to the donor to choose) were March 22nd, 29th, or April 5th. Tom would go in the week before the selected date for chemo to wipe out the marrow and then they most often do the transplant the day following the end of chemo, but if health issues arise they sometimes give a "breather" day. 

Because Tom will not have had chemo for nearly two months with those given dates, Dr. Carroll is actually pushing for it to be sooner.  He's worried that leaving it too long could risk Tom's current status of remission. Patti (the bone marrow transplant coordinator) at first told us that they didn't see that as possible, as the week before has four other transplants and the clinic might not even be able to handle processing that many stem cell samples for transplant, not to mention the transplant unit is only six rooms. Anyway, then yesterday we were told that the doctor is still pushing for it to be sooner so they had to move Tom's testing to be done by next week just in case.  So, if the donor okay's it... sounds like Tom may be in for the first or second week of March!

We haven't currently been approved to stay where we are, so we're being urged to move closer to the hospital.  We've been given mixed thoughts as to what the doctor may rule in the end, so we've started looking, but we shall see. 

I know this is long, but like I said, once the donor was chosen so much has happened so quickly!  We've been putting everything together, such as his needed "advanced directive" that outlines his wishes in the event he isn't in a state to communicate them himself (which actually had some rather comical suggestions), and our "at home" plan that must be shown and approved.  Apparently once home, he must have someone with him 24/7, literally they've informed me that I cannot even go to the grocery store and leave him alone. So not only do we have to let them know what our plan is for if I'm sick or who's going to relieve me while I do errands, they prefer to meet with these people as well to let them know what the "job" entails.  Tom and I have a sneaking suspicion that it may be just a bit less serious than what they make it out to be, but the social worker yesterday said they just want us to "plan for the worst, but hope for the best."  

So there you have it.  Over and Out. Hope you're all well!

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