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

Friday, March 28, 2008

Day +82 Donor card

Today is a light transplant news day because this week my appointments move to Tuesdays and Fridays. My next appointment is tomorrow. Once again, my health this past week has been good!

Thursday I learned that, in May, my appointments will move to the clinic much closer to my home. That is where I saw my oncologist doctor and where I went for my frequent blood transfusions during 2006 and 2007. My doctor is one of the 3 transplant specialists who run the transplant unit at Scripps Green hospital in Torrey Pines.

Also on Thursday, I received a card from my Donor via the organization that represents him, the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP). I am really happy to get his card. You might remember that I had sent him a letter a couple weeks ago to update him on the status of his donated stem cells. I told him that they are making like bunnies and now are well on their way to totally repopulating their new home. I first gave the letter to my nurse. She edited it and passed it on to the NMDP. After censoring it they would have passed it on to the donor.
At my appointment Thursday I was shown the card's face from a distance by the head nurse who felt she could not give me the actual card because 3 words had been blocked out with a black sharpie by an censor at the NMDP. She was afraid that I would be able to see through the black ink and read the 3 words. So she had photocopied the card and gave me the copy, thus eliminating the see-through possibility. Both the NMDP and the hospital collaborate to ensure that the donor and recipient do not learn each other's identity. Each organization only knows the identify of their own client. I totally understand the need for the secrecy given the circumstances. But it's still fun to make fun. The donor's sentence that caused the censorship was this.

"The anonymity part of this seems so impersonal so I will assign us names of Recipient (censored) and Donor (censored)."

And it was signed:

"Donor (censored)"

It is a very nice card. He is glad things are going well for me. The 3 censored areas that were blacked out were very narrow so it looks like the donor was simply trying to give us short fake names other than Donor and Recipient. Kind of funny, eh? A little research shows that the word Donor is also a proper surname. There are at least 76 people with a last name of 'Donor' who live in California. So hey, maybe my guy is one of them? I guess the NMDP really has no way of knowing whether Donor is really trying to communicate a real name to me via a fake 'fake' name. Kinda funny eh? I'm going to alert Donor to the censorship of his assigned names and propose that we put off sharing any names other than Donor and Recipient until after January 9, 2009. That is when the NMDP relaxes their donor-recipient communication rules.


Anonymous said...

Bless your Donor's heart.

Anonymous said...

How cool... its gotta be neat to be able to communicate with "Donor". Congrats on doing so well! We miss you tons. Take care keep up the good work!

Duane said...

Excellent news, Jim!!

Funny thing . . . I just heard from my donor as well. Maybe our donors are working together. ;)

I'm so happy to see you're doing well, Jim.

SoftwareEngineer said...

That's funny that the fake names were also censored. The bureaucracy will not be defeated by creativity!

Glad to hear you're doing well!


Mike B said...

Recipient (censored)-aka Jim,

That's funny. I guess the NMDP doesn't want to take any chances.
Getting the (copy of the) card must still be very touching. Sounds like Donor (censored) is also very touched from hearing you are doing so well--like we all continue to be.

Take care,

Mike B