I talked to my donor coordinator this afternoon and I'm heading to the National Institute of Health on Thursday morning for a physical exam. I'll have to give a unit of my own blood that will be given to me after the bone marrow donation, plus they'll do an EKG, X-rays, etc. to make sure I'm in good enough physical health to donate. If all goes according to plan, the patient will begin her treatment next week to prepare her for my marrow and I'll donate at Georgetown Hospital on October 30th. That is the timeline so far. I don't feel any fear or anxiety about this at all. I feel God's hand and presence in it, so I'm not worried or scared at all. We told Peyton yesterday that we weren't sure where we would be for Halloween because I'm having a surgical procedure and she immediately started crying and said she was scared. We told her that it was like when we donated our hair, that we gave it to someone who had cancer and that it was growing back. We told her that I was going to donate something from my bones that would grow back. She doesn't understand at all and I think she is just scared to hear that her mama will be in the hospital, but hopefully she'll be surrounded by all her grandparents while I'm at Georgetown and they'll give her the love she needs to get through it.
I just keep praying for the recipient, that God will give her comfort. She has a very aggressive cancer and is in remission now. Her doctors are concerned that she'll go out of remission fast, so they are moving very quickly and trying to get the transplant done by the end of the month. If she has a relapse, they are concerned that she won't be able to get back into remission. A bone marrow recipient has to be in remission for a transplant to work. Hearing all of this today justs spurs me on to get it done and to be there for her. I may never have the opportunity to meet her, but if I can give her a day or a year or many years of life, it's all worth it! Aren't we as Christians supposed to be serving one another in love? What better way to serve someone than to donate a piece of myself. What a gift! I just feel very privileged to be a match and I hope that others will be inspired to join the registry or to donate blood or to become an organ donor.
One of my friends at church yesterday said that maybe God would use this to redeem October for our family. We lost my brother and my dad in the same week in October, one in 1995 and one in 2004. The fall is a difficult time for our family, filled with sad memories and regrets. I have hope that it will be a sad month, but that it will also be a time we'll look back on with great hope.