Hey y’all, I just wanted to give an update. A few months ago, I was notified that a perfect match had been found in the international registry to be my bone marrow donor! Most of you have been following the updates on the Faith Beats Cancer Facebook page, and know that I was scheduled to have a bone marrow transplant at Texas Children’s in Houston in September. However, while in Houston for pre-transplant testing, we had to evacuate our hotel and head back to Austin due to Hurricane Harvey. We were so sad to leave Houston because we were ready to put the transplant behind us. My heart goes out to all of the responders and people who were impacted.
After personally surviving two fungal infections and my mom surviving the West Nile Virus, we were not feeling very secure about going back to Houston with all the mold and mosquitos. We just looked at each other, without hesitation, and nodded in agreement that we had to find somewhere else to go for transplant. Houston was no longer an option. My mom was instantly on the hunt for a new medical center. We decided on City of Hope in Duarte, CA., which is a non-profit research hospital. We have friends and family in the area, so, it made sense to go somewhere where I could have excellent care and be able to stay with friends in close proximity to COH.
Before we left for CA, I joined an on-line cancer support group in CA. Everyone was so warm and welcoming. It was nice to connect with others who understood what I was going through and assured me I was going to be in good hands at City of Hope.
We packed up our house and our things, placed our cat with our friend, Melissa, and began our new journey to California. We drove from Texas to CA over 3 days, stopping along the way to visit friends. The weather was perfect and we had a fun trip.
We reached our new temporary home in CA and the next day we met with my new oncologist and the BMT team in the pediatric unit at COH. I love my new doctor and the staff have all been wonderful.
We were instantly thrown into appointments, MRIs, CTs, scans, bloodwork, a bone marrow aspiration, and a spinal tap with intrathecal chemo. We were given an admission date and a transplant date. We went in to sign consents for the bone marrow transplant to take place on October 18th, with an admission date of Oct, 9th. Five days after meeting my new BMT team, we were notified that our donor has been unreachable by the donor center. Without confirmation from the donor, the transplant and radiation has been placed on hold until the donor surfaces or they can find a new suitable replacement donor. My oncologist is currently doing an emergency search to find a new match donor since we still have not heard from my donor.
I do not know who you are, all I know is that you are a 58 year old man, who lives in Europe. I hope you are okay and nothing has happened to you. I also hope that if you are reading this, please consider not bailing out on me, if you are capable of continuing the bone marrow donor process. I need you. My life depends on you. You are my perfect match!
Thank you to my wonderful supportive group of friends, strangers, and family. I love you to the moon and back.