First Round of Consolidation

So it's been a few days since I've updated — as has been the routine lately, this post is about my health.

I was re-admitted today, as planned, to begin a “consolidation” chemotherapy, which consists of six doses of cyterabine: two per day, with a day of rest inbetween, so I should be heading home on Friday for a late dinner.

They also told me the biopsy results were good, no signs of the cancerous blast cells, which was a relieving thing to hear.

Hopefully they'll give me more independence this time, freedom to move around without calling a nurse first, or to go for longer walks alone or with visitors (instead of laps around the ward).

I should probably be more vocal about the donor issue, since my life might depend on it, but the truth is that matches are very unlikely, so you shouldn't sign up to donate just because you know me personally and value me in whatever way, but you should donate because there is no shortage of other people in my situation, or who will be in this situation tomorrow, and may depend on a match to live, and having more donors increases the odds for everyone on the list — people all over the planet.

I understand people might be nervous about the donation process, especially because you can't limit your generosity to me personally — I know I would be nervous, the immediate questions running through my head would be how involved or painful it is, and how expensive or disruptive it might be. Information can be found at bethematch.org, and from what I gather, neither are quite as concerning as my imagination expected. Donating stem cells is actually a lot like donating blood, and donating bone marrow sounds pretty similar to the four biopsies I've had — pretty painless (though I was sore for a few days). And besides taking 20-30 hours (total, spread over a few weeks), it doesn't actually cost anything, costs are covered by insurance and donations to the organization.

And joining the donor program only involves mailing four cheek swabs to the organization. Also, only about 0.2% of people who join in the U.S. will go on to donate.

It feels a little awkward to make such a non-standard pitch — or really to make a pitch at all — but it really is important, not just to me but tens of thousands of people every year, all over the world. So as awkward as it feels, the need to say it supercedes that awkwardness.

Thanks for reading,
cody

8 Comments

  1. Reply
    Kirsten April 26, 2016

    Hey Cody, we are thinking about you and hope you are not as confined as last time! Good to hear about the biopsy too, that is awesome news! My sister and I are both on the donor registry for over 25 years. I know a match will happen for you. Thanks for posting updates and glad you are only in for a week! Take care, wears sending our love and hugs to you.

    • Reply
      cody April 27, 2016

      Thanks Kirsten! (And Lara!)

      I’ve been doing well, walked about two and a half miles yesterday with my friend Stefan. Two more days after today!

      Love you all!

  2. Reply
    Brenda April 29, 2016

    Hi Cody…. I would like to share a great donor story, and it shows how important it is to be in the bank…you never know who or when you could save a life.
    Over 20 years ago friend ( in Derry) saw a story on Oprah, about a little boy in Texas that needed a bone marrow transplant, he did not have a family member that was a match. My friend joined the fight for that little boy. She was not a match, but she was glad to be in the registry to possibly help someone else. 20 years ago, people waited in long lines to give blood to register for the bank, now it is so much easier with the cheek swab. At the same time, Be the Match drives were held in Texas for the young boy. Among those donors was a woman named Sue. Sue was not a match for the child, but a gentleman in Europe, who had joined the registry after hearing the story also, was.

    Shortly after joining the registry, my friend was diagnosed with acute non hodgkins over 20 years ago. Prognosis was not hopeful, ( but she is alive and well today). She needed a bone marrow transplant, with no family matches, they went to the registry. They found a match, Sue, in Texas!

    So through a little boy, people joined together, and in the process saved the little boy’s life, my friend’s life and who knows how many others.

    Keep working on gaining strength back and all of us will share the importance of Be the Match!

    • Reply
      cody April 30, 2016

      Thanks Brenda, that’s encouraging to hear!

  3. Reply
    Diana Brown April 29, 2016

    Keep thinking of you Cody. I’m on the list also. Sending you positive thoughts!

  4. Reply
    Lara April 30, 2016

    Hi Cody,
    We will definitely also spread the word on the importance of getting on the list… Your match will be found.
    I hope you made it home for a nice big dinner and back to your own comfy surroundings…
    Thanks for the update!
    Love and hugs to you

    • Reply
      cody April 30, 2016

      We had a nice big dinner on the way home, but it is great to be back! Love you too!

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