No, I really haven’t fallen off the face of the earth. Between exams, papers I should be writing (but haven’t completed), the As in and out of time and family “stuff” I really let communications slip. So, update time.
I survived my exams – at least those which have been graded to this point. I still have two papers to finish. One is drafted and just needs to be cleaned up, the other has all the research completed but other wise a lot of writing remains.
Which takes me on to the family issues. No problems with any of the offspring (I was going to say kids- but with an age range of 26-40 they are not exactly small children). OTOH – there is George who first started to feel lousy probably last summer and finally decided he needed to see someone right after Thanksgiving. That week was “interesting,” with his doc’s original “not to worry” turned into “get back here for more tests.” End result was that he had a number of tests at UCSF resulting in a diagnosis of myleodysplasia (which I have linked to Wiki for you and there is also this information ). He has a form which is likely to progress, so plans were made to head toward a stem cell transplant (which you may have first heard called a bone marrow transplant).
Unlike in previous years, there is no longer a need to stick huge needles into the bone marrow donor and withdraw marrow. Instead stem cells can be harvested similar to the process which is used for a number of other blood cell product collections. The four got HLA typed – not surprisingly, none was a match. From their results, I was able to back calculate my type – George and I have zero overlap. But he got lucky, there are a couple of donors in the international registry who do match. So, we spent Jan-April with frequent visits to UCSF and the more than occasional blood transfusion. His original admission date for transplant of 1 May was pushed back to yesterday secondary to a donor change.
Yesterday was admission day and start of chemo to wipe out his marrow and immune system prior to the transplant. The staff is excellent; this is one of the premier national centers which is why we are here rather than the more convenient East Bay medical facilities. Thanks to the generosity of a friend, I am going to be staying at her house just a few kilometers from the hospital for the next week, eliminating the hour + commute to our house.
Today is D-6 as the count down continues. He is in good humor, especially considering that the one thing you never get in a hospital is uninterrupted sleep. I will keep you posted. For now he is answering his email, I expect that sometime in the next couple of weeks his energy level will drop, but one never knows.