The transplant has been scheduled.
I have known for quite some time, but kept quiet about it while I made sure all my medical ducks were in a row. They are and so here's what the quacking's all about:
April 8 Check into the Hope Lodge Transplant House, Minneapolis
April 9-13 Complete physical work-up for me during the week
April 13 My brother Rob's work-up
April 16-20 Mega doses of chemo and radiation for me; growth factor injections for Rob
April 23 Not sure exactly when, but this is the week for the actual transplant. Basically, Rob will give his blood (as in a Red Cross donation) which will be spun to collect the stem cells. The stem cells will then be transfused into me. This process takes place over a two day period.
When the transplant is completed, I start a new life. That day is labeled Day Zero. The goal is to get to Day 100 with as few complications as possible.
I can't deny it – it's a scary proposition. I have read and heard about all of the possible scenarios, some worse than others, but I try to stay focused on being positive and looking for silver linings. I keep saying there's no reason why I can't be one of the lucky ones.
These last couple of weeks, I put myself in quarantine, not wanting to pick up an infection at this stage of the game. Of course, I've had to go out for medical appointments and have seen some adult members of my family plus a few friends. Sadly, no grandkids, though. I suppose one might call it self-deportation, to borrow a phrase from Governor Romney.
The next two weeks will be busy. John and I have lists of things to do before we pack our bags. For me, that includes buying new underwear. I am desperate for new underwear! For John, that includes everything else. He really does carry most of the weight around here. I've said it before – he's my rock (and roll).
I look forward to seeing my brother Rob. I am so grateful that he is my donor. We haven't spoken much on the telephone since this all transpired – John and Judy (Rob's wonderful wife) have done most of the communicating, so I imagine our face-to-face meeting will be quite emotional, at least for me.
I will try to write a few more times before April 16, but after the transplant we'll be switching to Caringbridge where John or my children will keep interested folks updated on my progress.
Bless you for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers.