Friday, April 28, 2006
All Quiet on the Eastern Front
I have not posted an update for a couple of weeks since not much has changed. I have learned that much of the treatment is a waiting game and I really won't know any definitive answers until my 6 month check-up in September. At that time, I will have a bone marrow biopsy which will help determine if the Gleevec is working on a molecular level. I continue to have weekly blood counts and the numbers seem to have stabilized. My side effects have been quite minimal. I am down to about 15 minutes of mild nausea in the morning. The muscle cramps have gone away for now.
In terms of other updates, the transplant team has made progress in their search. An initial search yielded 46 potential unrelated bone marrow donor matchs. The next step is to test these people again and check their health. Currently, there are 3 people being tested. This could take some time to hear back.
I contacted the Rhode Island Blood Center to find out more information about gettting on the bone marrow registry. They told me it is a very simple process which essentially involves giving some blood and filling out some health form. I was told that in Rhode Island insurance will cover this, and if not, there is apparently a charitable donation that picks up any noncovered fees. Anyone can walk in to one of the centers or to a blood drive to donate. Here is the information about locations Rhode Island Blood Center. For people outside of Rhode Island, you can go to the National Marrow Donor Program's website to find donation centers near you. The guidelines are typically that you must be between 18 and 60 and in decent health. You also have to be willing to donate your marrow to anyone who might need it.
I continue to feel quite good and it is somewhat amazing how life continues on. I don't have any doctor's appointments for a few weeks. Life is as normal as it can be for now. Let's hope it stays that way. I am very comforted by all the messages of support I receive from people.