Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A different kind of match

National Marrow  Donor Program Be The Match

So, it turns out that my match made in heaven (or in cyberspace, as the case may be!) is a perfect match of another sort for someone else. A 39 year old woman with leukemia, to be exact. Billy signed up for the National Bone Marrow Registry last year, and amazingly, he got a call earlier this year that he was a potential match for someone. He had to have a DNA test to see if he was a true match, and they said that this process would take a few months. He let them know that I was pregnant, and when I was due, and they said not to worry, that it would likely take long enough that the baby would be here by the time anything happened.

Well, fast-forward to May: they call to let Billy know that he is indeed a match, and they want to do the procedure on June 23, 24, or 25. Um, I'm due July 1!! We asked them if it would be possible to move it up a bit (we didn't want to push it back at all because that would likely make the timing even more problematic, what with Timothy having been "late" and all) and they were able to move it up to June 21 (the timing of all of this is critical for the recipient, as once they start the process of killing off their bone marrow to ready them for the donation, it's a point of no return, and it is literally life or death for them).

Anyway, there are now two ways to donate - either a bone marrow tap, or stem cell donation, which is done in a similar fashion to dialysis. Billy did the stem cell donation. The procedure consisted of 5 days of injections of a medication called filgastrim, which boosts blood cell production and somehow gets the bones to release stem cells into the bloodstream so that they can be collected. Unfortunately, this is quite a painful process, and Billy was quite uncomfortable from the end of the second day of the injections, on.

The donation itself, done on the final injection day, can often offer some relief of the pain, but this was not the case for Billy. Luckily, he may have set the record for the fastest donation at that location (4 hours 15 minutes!), so he didn't have to deal with the discomfort for the full 8 hours that the booklet said it takes. Of course, they were very good about managing his pain, and they took very good care of him over all throughout the whole process. He's home recovering today, which I am grateful for, because those of you who know him know that he would prefer to power through and just keep up with his regular routine. Fortunately, the bone pain is mostly gone now, and he's just very tired.

So, that's how we spent our Monday, folks. And little girl stayed put! :-D

Monday, June 7, 2010

Full Circle

Timothy and I had our first stay at home mommy-son outing on Saturday (Billy had a basketball officials' camp, so we got to get started over the weekend instead of Monday), and we decided to go to the zoo. We bought a yearly membership, so we can go every day if we want! We had a great time looking at the animals and sitting at a table with an umbrella (yes, this fascinated Timothy, hehe) and having snacks. We had a little talk on the way over about him being allowed to walk on his own, but he had to stay near mommy and not run away (he's pulled a couple of disappearing acts in Target and other places lately - luckily all with Billy there to chase him down - so I wasn't about to deal with that at 36 weeks pregnant!), otherwise he would go into the stroller. He did great! He took our talk very seriously, and repeated "no run ah mommy" several times to me throughout the morning. (He says "ah" in many sentences now, as he's trying to use prepositions, but doesn't have them all down yet. :)) Anyway, after having such a good time, I'm really looking forward to taking him back there again!

And now to explain the title of this post, two photos:

This photo was taken on June 1, 2008 (3 months old). Timothy was in the baby bjorn being suspended at the opening by daddy.

This one was taken on Saturday, June 5, 2010 (27 months 4 days old). Timothy was standing on the top step and able to get his little face up to the opening on his own. What a difference 2 years makes! :)