Wednesday, 6 August 2008

So What Will Happen?

Tomorrow is transplant day. Eric is still well enough to be an outpatient so we are to be at the hospital for 9 tomorrow morning. He will have another session of plasma exchange to further lower the level of A antibodies in his blood. Today he went from 32 to 8 - the target number is 4 -- he should hit that tomorrow. During the plasma exchange, Eric's blood is circulated through an apherisis machine (like a centrifuge). The plasma is removed and all other blood components are returned to him with an artificial substance to replace the plasma. This process helps ensure that the A antibodies in his system are reduced so that they will not attempt to fight the donor's A- cells.

He will receive his new marrow sometime after 12 noon (48 hours after his last chemo treatment). No surgery or fancy process as with most transplants. The cells are administered like a blood transfusion; they then make their way to the bone marrow to start the engraftment process. And how long will engraftment take? Everyone is different. We hope that blood tests will show cells in about 3 weeks. Complete engraftment will take months.

The donor is anonymous. We hope that a year from now we will have the pleasure of meeting this most generous stranger (if both Eric and the donor wish to open the file). I remain in awe of all who have given such a gift and those who have volunteered to join the bone marrow registry. You have no idea what it means to us.

Interesting bit of info... the marrow will be delivered from the airport to the hospital by the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police). Apparently the BMT unit treated an RCMP member a while back and at that time, the local force chose to initiate the tradition of delivering the marrow. I trust they are using a cruiser and will not be on horseback!

Again, thanks to all for your prayers, positive thoughts and support.


Veronica said...

Happy Re-birthday, Eric.......hope the day goes well - I wonder what his room will smell like - Wullie's room stank of sweet corn during his transplant..........I would've preferred flowers or chocolate, but hey, guess we can't be fussy ;0)

Take's to a smooth journey..........Vx

laulausmamma said...

Wishing Eric a sucessful, smooth, uneventful and happy re-birthday today. Hope the process goes as planned and most of all...that engraftment happens quickly so he's back on the road to a Hodge- free life. Super big ((HUGS)) to you both on this big day.

Susan (WM Forum)

Austin said...

Best wishes from the WM Forum!

That's so cool about the mounties!

Shelley Jean Photography said...

I've been brought to tears so many times in the last two weeks just thinking about how wonderful this donor is. It would be an amazing thing to meet them in person if that opportunity ever arises. I only hope one day I can return the truly selfless gesture of being a marrow donor.

You know my thoughts are there with you guys. I'll talk to you soon.

Love Shelley (Eric's Sister)

Bekah said...

Sending love and luck to you Eric, we're cheering from the rooftops that everything goes smoothly!

Tons and tons of hugs,