I know, we don’t live in Houston. We live in Canada… but it’s just one of those sayings you think of when these kinds of things happen and you have news that you want to shout out from the roof tops!
I know it’s been a while since I posted an update. It’s hard to update when you have nothing to really to update other than the fact that we were still waiting and worrying and waiting and worrying. But TODAY we heard from the Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplant Centre in Ottawa with some FANTASTIC NEWS!! Yep! WE HAVE AN AWESOME DONOR!! We also have a projected timeline and date for the transplant. We were told that this timeline CAN CHANGE (and we fully expect it to, at least once) and possibly be moved UP or BACK by a week. This is all up to the donor. He/she wears the pants in this process until the cells are sent to Ottawa!
February 5th – Final consultation at the Transplant Centre before the transplant.
February 10th- Kevin starts his first of many new drugs, Dilantin, this is to prevent him from having seizures from the chemotherapy.
February 11th – Kevin will have his Hickman Line surgically inserted. This is a special intravenous (IV) that goes into a large vein near his heart and it’s used to administer everything from chemo, meds and the actual stem cells. It will stay there for a few weeks or more.
February 16th – Kevin will start 9 days of “conditioning” (if the timeline sticks). Basically killing his current immune system with high dose chemotherapy and radiation.
This is done for three main reasons:
1. To make room in the bone marrow for the transplanted stem cells.
2. To suppress the immune system to lessen the chance of graft rejection.
3. To hopefully destroy all of the diseased (cancer) cells anywhere in his body.
This day is considered “Day -9”, the start of the countdown to his “RE-Birthday” (transplant day)
February 25th – Is “Day 0” – TRANSPLANT DAY! The day that he receives his stem cells and a new lease on life, hopefully cancer free!
February 26th- Is “Day +1”
The first +100 days after the transplant are critical. Day +100 is a milestone because many complications can happen during that time period after the transplant and that is why we must expect to live in Ottawa for 4 months. Kevin will be an “outpatient” as much as possible, but we have been told to be prepared for a hospital stay of 1-6 weeks in the beginning.
Nothing about this procedure can be planned. Nothing. You can only take things one day at a time. When you think about it, it’s kind of how we all should REALLY live, grateful for the day.
We will update again soon! But this is all awesome news. Kevin is feeling an overwhelming complicated set of emotions all at the same time, but he is doing amazing! At least there is an elimination of not knowing if he had a donor and things are finally moving forward. Waiting was torture. Now let’s hope everything goes smoothly from here on out. =)
Thanks again for all of your love and support! There are no words that can fully express our gratitude for each and every one of you! Now I must get my ass in gear and get everything in order before we leave!!
Before I sign off, I just want to choose 3 more awesome supporters that we would like to thank and spotlight:
First, we need to thank our immediate families for all of their love, support and generosity. We couldn’t get through any of this without them!
Second, I would like to acknowledge and thank Lisa and Roger Parsons for everything. You are my angels on earth. You have done so much for me and my family even though you have your own HUGE ASS family to care for too. Your hearts are made of pure gold.
Third, we would like to thank Kevin’s childhood friend, Ernie Reddekopp for his super generous donation and the continuous support that he has shown Kevin. I had the pleasure of meeting Ernie in the summer and he is definitely an awesome person and friend!
Within the next few days I will update the blog with more information about how much we have made in fundraising and thank some more people! We are truly blessed! Thanks for stopping by!