Those of you that have been following along, I wanted to throw an update on here to keep you posted on the whole bone marrow donation process. If you've just arrived at my blog for the first time or have no clue what I'm talking about, visit THIS POST to get caught up.
On Friday, I went in for my complete physical. This is the very last step along the chain before the actual marrow draw occurs. The doctor fully explained to me how the process works and what I've basically signed up for. He was really thorough...and technical...and a little long-winded. But, I found it all so fascinating. The coolest thing I discovered was that the recipient's blood type will change to mine. Talk about really influencing someone. How cool is that?
They drew a bunch of blood, and the nurse explained to me what they were checking for...autoimmune diseases, genetic blood typing, and a bunch of other stuff, oh, and to see if I was pregnant. Ha! Boy would I be in big trouble if that came back positive. I also had an EKG and a chest x-ray done. Hands down, the best part of the physical was when the doctor took a look at my EKG and asked if I was an athlete. YES!!!! All that hard work at the gym IS paying off!
A drawback - apparently, I suffer from white coat syndrome and my blood pressure was racing. Now, I'm crossing my fingers that I can get it back down and calm down. If you are the praying type, I could definitely use prayers in this area.
This brings me to the actual marrow drawing process. When you think of drawing bone marrow, you probably start to hyperventilate thinking about the surgery where they draw from your hip bones. Well, stop hyperventilating! Science has come a long way, and they now use a procedure that draws PBSC's or Peripheral Blood Stem Cells from your bones. It goes like this. They come to your house for 5 days in a row and give you a drug called Filgrastim that pushes the bone marrow cells from inside your bones, into your blood stream. I've been told that it may feel like I have the flu, and that my bones will ache. Then, it's just like giving plasma at your blood center. They draw out your blood from one arm, spin it all around to get the stuff they need, and then they put the unused stuff back into your other arm. Simple as that. If you'd like to know more, you can read up on it HERE or watch THIS VIDEO.
I'm scheduled to have the blood draw on March 26. There are lots of factors that could change this. I get sick. The recipient - who they take to near death to prepare for my cells, could get sick. It may or may not happen. I'm just praying for this individual, and am already thanking God for how He's going to be glorified through it all.
I've also decided that, as a result of all of this, that I'd like to become a volunteer for the Bone Marrow Registry. What a perfect way for God to use me and for me to serve in my community. God knew I was looking for something and He dropped it right into my lap.
I'll be back with another update on all of this on March 22, when I start the injections. And, if you get a chance, please say a prayer for me and the recipient friends.