Friday, December 11, 2009

perfect match series: chronicling my experience with bone marrow donation

I've decided to chronicle my experiences here as a potential bone marrow donor. Even if I don't end up donating, it is still a process - an important and serious one at that - and I, for some reason, have been fortunate enough to be selected to save someone's life. This is a task I don't take lightly and something with which have been blessed not to have experience.

It all started when I signed up for the bone marrow drive at my office, something I've blogged about previously, only six months ago. Earlier this week I received an urgent e-mail from a representative with the bone marrow bank. I'm a match for a specific patient with leukemia. That night I talked to my parents about it. Almost right away I knew I was going to donate, if asked. When I signed up I asked what would happen if I changed my mind. The rep I spoke to at the time informed me that I could, however, it would be like getting someone's hopes up only to devastate them. As I said, this wasn't a decision I took lightly. I never would have signed up if I didn't intend to donate. The idea of saving someone's life is very humbling yet exciting. I've often spoken about my love for volunteering. This takes it to an entirely new level.

But as the process has become a reality and I've learned more about it, I'd be lying if I said I didn't still have reservations to overcome. And I intend to be honest about them here. For now, though, I first have to learn if I am a close enough match. So I am going for "confirmatory typing" on Monday. Having already faxed a multi-page health history questionnaire (very similar to one you might fill out if you were giving blood) I must go have some blood drawn so that the doctor may first test for infectious diseases and second determine if I am the best candidate to donate.

This is a slower process than I'd imagined. I might not be donating for a couple of months. It is all based on what the doctor deems best for the patient, their current health, etc. But first things first. A little blood donation never hurt anyone...

I will be updating periodically throughout this process and am happy to ask questions if anyone has any. Thank you all for your support. I am very excited (though a bit nervous) about this special undertaking.

3 comments:

Ms. M said...

I think it is great that you are going to chronicle your bone marrow journey. I've always been curious about how it works. And you have such grace to have thoughtfully signed up and committing to this. xo

MCW said...

I think it is amazing that you are going to blog about this...maybe one day I will be able to follow your lead and get matched!

Meg said...

Wow, thanks for chronicling this. I too signed up to be a marrow donor a couple of months ago and I too thought long and hard about it before I did it. Thanks for keeping us posted with the goings on. It's nice to have a first hand experience to read.