I joined the registry in March 2010. In March 2012, 2 years to the day that I registered, I got a phone call that I was a potential match for a patient. (49 year old male with Non Hodgkins Lymphoma) I filled out all the paperwork and went on to confirmatory testing; to confirm if I was indeed a match. I was so excited, but disheartened to hear I was probably one of many people being tested for this patient, and that there was a mere 8% chance that I’d match. I was told I’d hear back within 60 days either way.
60 days came and went. And then another week passed. I heard nothing. I contacted someone from Be The Match and was told I probably wasn’t a match, or the patient’s condition changed. It was unfortunate, because I wanted to know either way to have closure.
A week later I got a letter in the mail. It told me I WAS a match, but, the patient’s condition has changed and he was not ready for a transplant. Again, I was disheartened. I called my transplant coordinator and she elaborated on it. She told me occasionally people are asked to donate after receiving such a letter. It happens, but it’s rare. She told me she’s seen a donor go on to donate a YEAR after getting that kind of letter. I tried to stay optimistic, but at this point, I just wanted closure! I would love to build my family, and I couldn’t forgive myself if I got pregnant and then got a call that my patient needed a transplant. I prayed and prayed that this man could get better for the transplant.
5 days ago I was driving my son to daycare and got a call. I recognized the area code and knew it was the transplant center.
They told me my patient had improved, and was now ready for a transplant! It was the most amazing feeling. Things were finally falling into place!
It was a very long phone call (over an hour) and they set the date for my donation to the end of July. I’ll be donating stem cells via PBSCT, not traditional bone-marrow-under-general-anesthesia.
I didn’t care either way, though I will say it’ll be nice to have a faster recovery.
I have a physical in 2 weeks where they’ll do tons of bloodwork, and EKG and a chest x-ray to confirm I’m in the best possible health so the transplant is safe for both of us.
So, yeah. I’m excited! I’ll be sure to keep everyone updated.
Please keep my patient in your thoughts!