I wanted to jump on the computer in a quiet moment. I’m sure it will be cut short very quickly, I’ve already had one visit from the 21 month old, so I am not going to spend a lot of time on this post.
Yesterday morning, I went to a local medical lab to get my blood drawn. I needed to provide a blood sample so they can verify whether I am a match for the patient and to check to make sure there are no conditions that would prevent me from being a suitable donor.
I arrived at the lab just a few minutes after it opened at 7:30. I wanted to get the bloodwork done so I could head in to work, plus my donor coordinator had asked that I do it as early in the day as possible so that the samples could be shipped out that same day.
I arrived and told the nurse at check in what I was there for. She looked confused. Not a good thing. “You’re here for what?” she asked.
“I need to provide a blood sample for a potential bone marrow donation.”
“They should have sent you a sample kit, it would have arrived a few days ago.”
“Oh, I think I remember hearing about that. Let me go check.”
25 minutes later, and about 5 phone calls to coworkers later, she still hadn’t found the kit. Then, she made one more phone call.
“Hi. It’s me again. Do you have any idea where that kit is? I just can’t find it. Oh, you mean that box? Really? Oh, there it is! Thanks!” She reached down towards her feet and pulled out a big box (about 20 inches on a side).
“Here’s your box! I guess it was here by my feet this whole time! I thought this was trash…wow, what a big box for a blood sample kit. I would have never thought…”
Within a few minutes I was headed back with another nurse, and 10 minutes later they had 5 glass vials of my blood and I was headed to work.
Once I got to work, I checked email and I had one from my donor coordinator. This email had information about the patient. I’ve matched an older woman diagnosed with a non-leukemia blood cancer. I’ll be honest, in my head I had pictured a child or a young adult. I just don’t think of older adults getting sick with blood cancers, and this is probably because most, if not all, of the stories I’ve heard are about children or young adults. Bean got sick our senior year of high school.
But then I realized that my parents are just about the same age as this patient. Wouldn’t I want them to get a transplant if they were sick? Of course I would. They have just as much right to be healthy as a young child. So it really doesn’t matter how old the patient is. The way I see it, if the doctor feels that a transplant will be the best course of action for the patient, then I will donate.
In about a week I should know how the blood tests went, then will start another waiting game while I wait to hear back what the patient’s doctor wants to do. If I’m learning anything from this process, it’s that I need to work on my patience.
Have you clicked on this link yet to register as a bone marrow donor? It’s easy. I know at least five people who have signed up since I was matched. Do it now. Consider it your good deed for the month.