Trials and tribulations of a patient in search of a bone marrow transplant

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

News from the Pepto Bismal Pink Room

Steve is nearing the end of this series of chemo. The first one has affected him quite differently than the previous ones, upsetting his digestive system badly. The only thing he wants to eat is bread but they do keep trying to tempt him with hospital cuisine (an oxymoron if ever I heard one). The chemo they are giving him now is the one that is very hard on the bladder. They are doing all sorts of preventative things to try to avoid the worst of it. He's pretty miserable for the moment. We are hoping that these two chemos have all their bad effects up front and not delayed as the other ones did.

His new room is sort of gloomy. We hope another room will come vacant if he has to be there a long time. Here's hoping too that they will protect him more from hospital infections on this isolated floor.

Steve hasn't had the wherewithal to take out his computer in days, and for those of you who know him well, that's something. I hope he will be back to blogging soon.

News on the donor front; the selected donor has scheduled his comprehensive physical for next Monday. The other one-off draws came in last week, but testing isn't final on them. So we don't know yet if there is an equally good donor to serve as back-up. And there is always hope that a better donor will show up at any time. There are roughly 1000 new donor volunteers who sign up each day. Perhaps one of them will match up.

Since Steve had to undergo this additional round of chemo, they have put the donor situation on hold. Not that they aren't actively preparing, but they don't know what the best date will be for him. He has to get through this round, get his numbers back up, and strengthen himself as much as possible for the transplant round, with more chemos and possibly bone radiation. So the timing depends on Steve's situation at the moment.

Please do whatever you can think of to cheer him up. Cards, calls, e-mails. Every bit of encouragement helps to boost his fighting spirit. His normal good nature is evident, although his sense of humor is strained for the moment. I'm sure it will be back once he feels better. Everyone at the hospital tells us what a really nice guy he is. We all know that.

Many thanks to everyone who has given blood or is involved in the several blood drives in Steve's benefit. There is a bone marrow donor drive at Travis Avenue Baptist Church on Sunday, April 6 in the Welcome Center from 8AM to 1PM. If you are interested in volunteering you would be welcome there. There is a reduced charge of $25 for the donor kit since it is a group drive.

Although Steve knows it is probably not going to turn up a perfect donor for him, he wants to do everything he can to widen the donor base to help others. He has been made all too aware of what it means to have difficulty finding a donor match.

The spaghetti dinner benefit at Steve's church is March 29. The invitation with address and phone number is on the home page of Steve's website, which you can access from the button at the top of this page. Hope to see many of you there.

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