Friday, March 15, 2002

RE: Yet another update, with more!!

Hi Doug,

Great to hear from you and get your number. I really didn't have any doubts that I would.

Regarding your other message, I think you're absolutely correct that a lot of my secondary symptoms were a results of all the stress and worry over having a lethal disease and trying to put things right for Kathy before I checked out. It was getting increasingly difficult to concentrate on my patients' seemingly relatively minor problems ("I don't care about your bleeding; you think YOU got problems.") while worrying about where I should be buried, how to divide up my estate, where to buy a house for Kathy as the end neared, etc., etc. I was not sleeping at all and had not for a few weeks, was losing weight rapidly (which further convinced me that I had some rapidly progressing disease) and was just feeling crappy. The mind can be a wonderfully terrible thing to toy with, can't it?

Suddenly it's like I've gotten a call from the governor at the last minute, granting me a stay of execution. Not that anything was going to happen any time soon, but I had to plan for a worst case scenario. We'll see how this plays out over the next few months.

Regarding RE's question, they want to test sibs first as the chance of a match is about 25% with a sib (and since I have 4 sibs, that should mean I have a 100% chance of a match, right?). If that doesn't work, they'll try offspring and then unrelated donors. My staff at the clinic, God bless them, are already volunteering to donate! I'm wondering about stem cells from the cord blood of my soon-to-be-delivered granddaughter. I'll pose that question to Brian next week to see if it would be at all helpful to harvest her cord blood, which will otherwise just be discarded.
I'll be forwarding the information on all you guys to the lab early next week when I finish collecting it (Deb is still on vacation and doesn't yet know that I'm looking for her marrow). I would guess that they would FedEx out the packs soon thereafter. I really don't know of any details after that. I would guess that if there is a match that the transplant procedure would be set up in the coming months at some time convenient to the donor. I also don't what the donor has to endure to donate; I really have never been involved in this, but if it's like a bone marrow biopsy it hopefully wouldn't involve more than some brief "discomfort" as we, in the medical profession, euphemise about pain.

Thanks again or you help.

I'll add Paula to the list so you won't have to keep forwarding things to her. Thanks, Paula, for you concern and interest.