I may not have a match and I’m scared. I’m asking you to be scared with me. I’m asking you to be scared with thousands of others just like me, praying for a match. And at the end, I’m going to ask for more.
Recently I’ve focused so much of my energy lately on the eminent bone marrow transplant that I didn’t even consider the possibility of my doctors not finding a donor for me. The online registry, Be The Match, has 7 million people listed. And the doctors said that because I am Caucasian, I’m much more likely to have a match (which really makes me want to change that fact…everyone should have similar opportunity). Since February, when they found out I was Ph+ and would need a transplant, everyone has been confident a match would be found. Possibly hundreds, maybe thousands. But now, I may not have a match and I’m scared.
In my recent blog, I shared with you that out of those millions, there were only 19 potential donors that were a match. Apparently, I am a minority at the DNA level. Wednesday, June 28th at my doctor’s appointment we were told that my number of potential donors had dwindled down to 9. When they started doing a more formal search with my donors, they found that the first 10 were not a good match after all. The hospital staff is completely baffled by my case. They were not expecting these type of results. The only silver lining is that they can use my brother if all else fails.
|What a wimp. And this might be my donor?!|
Technically he was only a half match but they can still do the transplant since he’s a sibling. Half match? You’re probably thinking the same thing I was thinking. “That doesn’t sound very promising, Dr.” Pro: A transplant is better than no transplant. Con: The probability of relapse is much higher. I listened to this news and it felt like I was getting my cancer diagnosis all over again. Luckily, no panic attack occurred. However, the feeling of numbness washed over me and tears welled up in my eyes. I didn’t want to break down there. I just couldn’t. Mainly because I knew once the waterworks started, it was going to be a bad one. It was so devastating getting this news after everything that’s happened this year. At that very moment, the situation felt completely hopeless.
It Takes More Muscles to Frown Than it Does to Smile
Just this past Tuesday one of my associates and close friends, Christine Gold, took me out on a lovely date. Our day was filled with pizza, a movie, popcorn, soda, shopping, and the best of all…laughing. I came home smiling. My husband thanked Christine and said, “It’s like the movie 50 First Dates around here, we never know if it’s going to be a good day or bad day.” It’s oh so very true. We all laughed and carried on.
|At an overlook on the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway|
To Save a Life or To Not Save a Life