Apr. 24th, 2009

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So about a year and a half ago, there was a bone marrow donor registry drive in Smithfield. I think there was a sick little girl who needed a transplant. I registered, along with Mike and most of the residents of Smithfield.

Fast forward to yesterday. I got a phone call that I am a potential match, and would I please call them back. In the craziness that is my Thursday class schedule, I didn't get a chance to call back. This morning, my phone rang a couple times while I was half asleep. Then my mom called me, telling me that she had gotten a call that I was a potential match, yadda yadda. I listened to my message, sure enough, call from the bone marrow donor registry.

I called them back, and the woman I spoke to said that I was a potential match for a man with acute myelogenous leukemia. Looking it up, it's basically this scary as hell cancer that affects older people. If you need a bone marrow transplant, that's because chemo alone isn't likely to put you into long-term remission.

She took a lengthy medical history (in the past five years have you had sex for drugs or money, have you ever had sex with a man who has had sex with a man, have you ever been diagnosed with west nile virus, etc etc etc), and explained what the next steps are. My sample will get sent for further testing, which takes about a month, and if I am a close enough match, the next step is blood tests. The results for the blood tests take about two months, then if the results are good and recipient is still able to accept the transplant, one of two things happens.

There is an autologous transplant, which uses stem cells from the donor, and the allogenic transplant, which is bone marrow. The bone marrow has a higher risk of side effects, but longer remission associated with it.

Whether or not I am a close enough match to move on to the next steps, this has already been really interesting. I half expected I would call them back and they'd ask if I could come in and donate today, but apparently life is not like House. I'll be sure to post if and when I find out any further information.

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theresat

May 2009

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