This word I like... We architect our life...
A song, a sigh... developing words that linger...
Through fields of green, through open eyes... It's for us to see.
Interanimate: To animate or inspire mutually

Thursday, October 25, 2007

On Course for Transplant

Stem Cell
Cathie and I met with my dr. and the xplant nurse yesterday afternoon. This was a consultation visit. Since undergoing several tests 9 days ago I had to wonder if any of the test results would cause a hold up. I'm happy to report that I have no counter indications against a stem cell transplant at this time. My organs are in prime shape to deal and heal. To the right is a electron microscope picture of a typical stem cell.

Viruses not so good to have if transplanting stem cells.
I tested negative for a couple viruses that are problematic for transplant recovery. Both viruses are among the 8 variants of the Herpesvirus family. My tests were negative for Herpes 1,2, & 5. Commonly known as Herpes simplex 1 & 2, this virus is estimated to be present in 58% of people. Herpes 5 is commonly called Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and is estimated to be present in 50-80% of people. These viruses are normally dormant and only a nominal nuisance for people with healthy immune systems. Most people do not even know they are carriers. For transplant patients without an immune system, these viruses can 'wake up' and cause big problems. I am *very* fortunate because none of the 41 pints of blood I've been given in the last 20 months were screened for these viruses. I think there *is* a screening for HHV-5 and have asked that my future transfusions, such as the one next week, be 'CMV negative'.

A proposed schedule has now been sent to the National Marrow Donor Program. The donor will be setting the schedule. My xplant nurse said she estimates the transplant activites to begin in 3 to 6 weeks.

We are prepared!
Please know that my family has had almost 2 years to prepare for the financial and emotional aspects of my illness and the potential transplant. We appreciate all your well wishing and emotional support. For many reasons I wont go into, we are financially prepared for my upcoming transplant and the 3-12 month recovery period... or even any alternate outcomes. I especially appreciate your offers to donate blood for my transfusions. My dr. tells me that it's actually better for me to continue to rely on donations from anonymous donors. There are many reasons that I wont bore you with. If you want to help, please become a blood and stem cell donor. You may save a life!
By the way, did you know that my blood type will change to that of the stem cell donor? My hair may grow in as a different color? Wow!

Fire followup
Apparently there is now a healthy discussion of whether homeowners should be allowed to stay with their home and help stamp out or extinguish embers before they start the house on fire. Today's San Diego Union Tribune's front page had an article about the fact that San Diego's previous fire chief chose to stay with his house and fight the fire with his garden hose. There was also a column in the local section by Logan Jenkins, "Evacuation dissenters: Heroes in disguise?". His article supported my observations on my previous post. He drove through fire areas unfettered, "It's a privilege afforded the press, the practically unlimited access to mandatory evacuation areas that no homeowner, no matter how insistent, can enter." He continues, "If my house were in danger from a wildfire, I'd want to stay and fight for my home."
Currently it is a misdemeanor for a resident to stay in a 'mandatory' evacuation area. I guess there will be a knock on my door by the authorities soon...


froggie said...

Jim, accept only purple stem cells! The one shown looks very healthy.

Jim Anderson said...

Froggie. The displayed stem cell was taken from the marrow of Prince Williams. Stem cells from commoners are more salmon colored but are just as healthy. There are some differences. Purple stem cells dont have to do as much work producing myeloid cells since they are usually accompanied by thousands of progenitor cells that perform the required functions.