{DKMS Phone Conference}

See previous post here.

 Today we had our phone conference with our coordinator from DKMS to have all our questions and concerns answered about donating. They sent us a large information packet to help us understand the processes, side effects, and procedures. We went over all this info this weekend and shared our news with our families. We wrote down all our questions and concerns so that they could be answered in our phone call.

We had no idea that there was more than one way to donate your bone marrow. We just always pictured that they surgically take it from your lower hips/spine. Come to find out that 70% of bone marrow donations are now being done are PBSC donations. This process is done under a clinical research study reported to the FDA. (Sounds kinda scary) In order to be able to donate PBSC you need to get your stem cells out of the bone marrow and into the blood stream, they make this happen by giving you an injection every day for 5 days before the donation. The medicine is called Filgrastim, which is usually used to treat cancer patients to boost their blood cell counts. On the 5th day of the injection, which is also donation day your stem cells are collected through a process called apheresis. A needle is placed into each arm and blood is removed from a vein in one arm and passed through tubing into a blood cell separator machine. The blood is spun at high speed and the cells separate into layers. The machine collects PBSC, some platelets, and some white blood cells. Your plasma and red blood cells are returned to your body through the other arm while PBSC is put into a collection bag. This process can take 6+ hours.

When our DKMS coordinator called she was able to tell us a little about the patient Mikey was donating to, and tell us that the doctor was asking for the donation to be a PBSC donation. This was a lot for us to take in. Remember Mikey hates needles!

We wanted to know all about this Filgrastim medicine, side effects, the donation, the physical. To say the least we probably overwhelmed her with questions. From the answers we got, I got the feeling that she was most likely new to her job and didn't have very many answers. Luckily there was contact information for the donor advocacy program in our info packet. We were able to contact them and have our concerns lessened and questions answered. They were very helpful. Talking with our coordinator she informed us that there is not a donation hospital in Utah and that the closest centers would be in Colorado or California. So for the pre-donation physical they would need to fly Mikey out to the donation hospital to meet with the doctor, and that for the actual donation they would fly me and Mikey out. All expenses are covered by DKMS and the patient's insurance.

Today there was a lot to take in... the doctor wanting a PBSC donation, flying to Cali or Colorado for the donation, and all that would in tell in the coming weeks. We both still feel like this is an answer to someones pray and it really isn't an option to deny someone a new chance at life. So we move forward!
Sending prayers of love to the patient!

See the next post here

No comments:

Post a Comment