Thursday, October 2, 2008

Steve's bitchin' camaro transplant

I haven't written much about my brother Steve here lately. I guess it is partially because he has his own space to write and I like to hear what he says in his own words! And also because if I don't write it down, maybe it won't be real. Silly denial tactic.

Steve is actually doing pretty well in his quest for good health. I think he is possibly the most positive, upbeat, forward-looking person I've ever known. He is handling everything beautifully and taking it all in stride. Although we are experiencing a lot of ups and downs in his platelet and blood counts, which can be frustrating and emotionally exhausting, he never has a bad thing to say about it.

There are lots of good pieces of news right now. A match has been identified for him. A 22-year old female in the US. She is a 9 out of 10 match, which isn't 100% perfect I guess, but I'm very optimistic that her marrow will do the trick! They want to get started on the marrow transplant (or "camaro" transplant as Steve likes to say) right away, so he will be admitted to the hospital on October 20. After about three weeks of prep chemo, tests, and rest, he will undergo the transplant procedure. I'm excited that things are moving ahead. It is much harder to wait around to hear news. He starts another monthly cycle of chemo tomorrow. Yesterday we thought he might have to spend an entire month in the hospital doing a really hard-core round of chemo, but fortunately the doctors decided today that it was not necessary because his marrow is in better shape than they thought. So that's also really good news.

Here are at least four things you can do to help!
  1. Sign up to be a bone marrow donor! Because it is so rare to find a person who matches, it is really important to have a lot of people in the registry. I'm sure that the girl who is a match for my brother signed up to help someone she knows. So I hope you'll sign up with Steve in mind, knowing that you might help save someone else's life. It's karma. And it's really easy.

  2. If for some reason you can't sign up to be a donor, you can donate platelets! Contact your local blood center and ask if you can donate platelets. Steve needs a platelet transfusion almost every month--when he does chemotherapy, his platelets drop really low before coming back up. Platelet donors are absolutely crucial for people who need these life-saving transfusions.

  3. Support the Aplastic Anemia and Myelodysplastic International Foundation (AA&MDSIF) by buying holiday cards!

  4. Or shop through GoodShop and iGive!

1 comment:

Better said...

I just signed up. Thanks for reminder to do so!