Wednesday, October 26, 2005

My Husband the Bone Marrow Donor

My brother-in-law has Leukemia. ALL to be exact. They say this type has a pretty good cure rate, but needless to say, we've been really concerned for months now. He's had some serious complications, infections, internal bleeding due to liver testing, a collapsed lung due to internal bleeding due to liver testing... But, after a doctor/hospital transfer, he's getting better now, though how much so is hard to judge when you're 850 miles away. My sister-in-law and I just got off the phone, and they're going to do a bone marrow transplant now. Actually, it's a stem cell transplant, but it still requires finding a match, which is most likely going to be a sibling... Quite possibly Scott. Suddenly, at 9:30 at night, I'm scrambling to find information on the wheres and hows and whens and how muches. Pretty frustrating at this hour of the night, when all doctor's offices are closed. I can't seem to find a web page for any local doctors or hospitals that give me the information I need.

Any of you fellow NC Bloggers have any info? I may go insane by the time I have been able to set an appointment for Scott to go get tested, and figure out how we're financing it. All the information I can find is that it costs somewhere between $45 and $95. Without health insurance, believe it or not, even coming up with $45 is going to be a stretch between now and Friday.

I know that doctors and hospitals can't do this shit for free, but it's really frustrating that money takes precedence over life when it comes to the US health care system.

Can't wait to figure out how to finance TWO trips to Boston where they'll want to do further testing if he's a potential match, and where they'll eventually be doing the transplant if he does turn out to be a perfect match. We'd give up body parts for Randy, or any other of our family members, either one of us would... I just don't know where the money is going to come from to do this. I hear that The Red Cross will pay for travel expenses, that's something I'll eventually have to check into - but I'm trying not to get the cart in front of the horse here.

One thing at a time right? First things first, finding out where they do it, and how much they charge - and making an appointment. Ugh, I just want to be able to pick up a phone now and make an appointment for morning, you know?


  1. I believe that they do it at any hospital. I don't know about regular doctor's offices. My best friend is on the donor list, and also an RN at the local hospital, and I'm pretty sure she did hers at work.

    Also, maybe the local bloodbank would have the info for you before you start getting frustrated and running into a million unhelpful private receptionsist.

    Good luck!

  2. That's exactly what I did Ang, called the closest hospital first, and viola! The paperwork is already waiting for Scott at the lab there. Thank god this was that easy, I was a mess last night. We still have no idea what it's going to cost ("lab techs dont do pricing, ma'am" - and the billing dep't. wasn't even open yet when I called lol) but he's set up to have blood drawn tomorrow!

    Surely between 3 sisters and 2 brothers, someone will be a match, right? I'm crossing every possible body part.

  3. This all sounds very frustrating. Wish you could immigrate to Canada where health care is covered.

    I'll be thinking about you. :)


  4. I was saying the same thing a while back when a blog/poetry buddy got a whole new mouthful of teeth. A dentist in America is so outrageous! And I could make one rich...

  5. (((((((((((Erin)))))))))))))
    Wish I could be of some help, but being here in the Netherlands won't help that much besides that I am thinking of you and praying for you and your family.

    Keep in mind to take care of yourself and your baby in these stressful days
    Another big hug

  6. Thank you Renee, that's very sweet of you. It'll all work out - it has to!

  7. Anonymous12:51 PM

    I hope everything is going smoothly and works out ok. I have been on the donor list since 1987, never had a match come up though.
    Good luck!


  8. I tried to be a donor, but they won't even let me donate blood because I'm not big enough! Seriously, you have to weigh 117 I think, and I don't, unless I'm preggo, which negates donating...

    Anyway, he gave his 9 vials of blood today, we'll know by Wednesday if he's a match. The lab is going to bill us, so we STILL have no idea what isn't going to get paid, but like I said, that will have to take care of itself for now. We're more concerned about getting Randy well to give too much thought to the money. It'll work out because it has to. Period.

  9. NOt to get too far off topic, but how the hell can you not weigh 117 lbs? I mean, yeah, I knew you were small, but come on! That's just tiny! :) Ummm... sounds like maybe this gives you an excuse to gorge yourself on your favorite fatty foods once the baby is born. Keep a little of that baby weight long enough to be a donor. :)

    Damn... don't weight 117! SOme people's problems.

    Good luck on the labwork. I hope good news comes from it.

  10. Ang, I weighed 98 lbs from the time I was 13 till I was 31. 112 after Terra. I'd LOVE to hold on to some of the weight, but my metabolism insists that I look like a malnourished child.

    As for good news... good news HAS to come of it. I insist. It just has to, if not from Scott's, than from one of his other siblings (there are 5 all being tested for a match)

  11. I'm sorry I haven't been around. It's not my wishes. From all that I am, I wish nothing but good.

  12. Thank you James, the good wishes are needed and hugely appreciated right now. I had noticed you hadn't been around so much, things going ok with you?

  13. My thoughts are with you,
    and my words fail me.
    Swept away as if in a storm
    drowned out and overcome.
    Lest you be swept away
    along with my words that
    were meant to comfort,
    yet fell away...

  14. Tremble~
    Thank you so much! I was a little worried, when the first comment disappeared, but this... well, what a wonderful surprise. Poetry always says it best, thank you for taking the time to write this, and for the thoughts... we appreciate them so much