Our second potential donor is approved

Yesterday I learned that we have confirmed a second 10/10 donor, and we may learn of testing results from a third. That would mean we will be able to select from among three potential qualified donors. Given that there are 10 million people in the US database, and seven million people in the international database, to come down to only three potential matches … that’s just an amazing number to me.

One of these individuals is from the United States, by the way; the other two are from the International list. So in that case, we may have to wait for an international flight to bring in the stem cells on “transplant” day.

In agreeing to submit to all of the additional testing we’re asking them to do, all three of these folks are tacitly consenting to be donors, but once the doctors select the best donor, then that person will need to be recruited — that is, I guess there is all kinds of paperwork and legal stuff to be filled out. I don’t know much at all about that process, but there is some further work to be done.

We’ve been under the impression that it will take about six weeks from the time a donor is selected until “transplant”. So if the donor is selected next week, that would put “transplant” for us right in the middle of December. And that, in turn, would mean a week or more in the hospital, followed by 30 solid days’ worth of running to the “medical short stay unit” at West Penn, where Beth would have daily blood tests and would then receive transfusions of whatever might be needed on that particular day, whether that be additional hemoglobin, or platelets, or intravenous antibiotics, or whatever.

I say “30 solid days’ worth of running”, but that’s only if she’s healthy. There is a 75% chance during this time that she will need to be admitted because of some kind of infection. In fact, the whole first 100 days, Beth will be in an extremely vulnerable condition – not having an immune system of her own, but dependent upon the immunities of the new stem cells that are implanted into her.

It’s a long and convoluted process, and given that this is the only cure for the leukemia that Beth has, as bad as it gets, the cure is not worse than the disease. Although, we are told, it may seem that way at times.

The good news is that God Rules. That is the one constant in the world that we can truly count on.

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