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

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Friday, May 9, 2008

Transplant Day!!!!!!!

It's here! Transplant Day! It's exciting and scary and holds so much promise. I spent yesterday sending blessings to his donor, the hero who is giving Steve a shot at getting his life back. Everyone who loves Steve thanks this "for now" anonymous man for his generosity and dedication to help a total stranger. I hope the week of growth hormone shots was not too hard for him and that the stem cell draw went seamlessly. There are no words profound enough to express the depth of my gratitude. We appreciate this man from the bottom of our hearts and hope to have the privilege of meeting him one day. That is not allowed by the NMDB for at least a year.

Steve made it through these last three chemotherapies better than anyone expected. The last one is called "Rabbit" and is really nasty for most patients. Many, indeed every single one I spoke with, end up in the ICU from it's effects. The test dose three days ago caused fevers and a very elevated heart rate, causing concern to Steve's nurses. But he soldiered through and is in pretty good spirits, if quite swollen. Today they started him on anti-rejection drugs. If you read the papers the doctor gives him on all of these drugs and their possible side effects, you really wonder how anyone survives them. I credit some of Steve's success this time to dark chocolate therapy! His stepfather and stepmother in New Orleans sent him a tower of chocolate boxes which he took with him back to the hospital and has devoured. Must mention that to his doctor.

One of the activities I have done with Steve these last few months is to stop at Blockbusters and choose a movie in a phone consultation with him, then take it to the hospital and watch it together. There were several we watched of which he has no memory. Last night's choice was The Golden Compass, a beautiful little film about courage and bravery and loyalty. It was a good choice and Steve was able to enjoy it. Since he read a book a day last week, I also took him a new science fiction anthology. He is all in all very calm and positive.

We haven't yet heard what time they will do the transplant. It all depends on whether they needed the extra day to do a second draw on the donor or not. The nurses said it would be 2PM or later as the lab has to process the cells when they arrive by courrier. It is a non-event in that it will be given as a transfusion and nothing will happen for quite a while. Lisa will go early and spend the day with Steve. She asked someone from her church to come and bless the transplant. Several family members will go, as well as some of his friends. Since they will give him Benadryl and such with the transfusion, the nurses said he might sleep through the whole thing.

One day soon it will be Steve posting here. As we all know him so well, it is almost impossible to imagine that he has not so much as taken his computer out of the drawer in about 6 weeks.We do tell him about your e-mails and they mean a lot to him. Please send out all your most positive thoughts in Steve's direction today.


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