Tuesday, November 11, 2014 – 360 days after leukemia diagnosis – Pre-Transplant

Yesterday we heard from the Transplant Centre. We found out that one of the two donor specimens (blood sample) they requested has landed at the Ottawa Bone Marrow Transplant Centre! That means that that potential donor was contacted, advised s/he is a potential match and s/he agreed to a blood sample and it was sent to Ottawa. Now they will complete the “high definition” tesing on the donor’s blood sample which will be evaluated to see how well Kevin and the donor match and to determine if the donor is in relatively good health (blood wise). – This is the confirmatory typing stage and it is awesome news, but there is still a way to go!

If the results from the confirmatory typing show that the donor IS a good match, the transplant centre will request a physical exam and a medical history evaluation. This begins with an information/education session about donation, and is followed by tests to make sure the donor is healthy enough to proceed with the donation.

If the donor is healthy and cleared based on the results of the medical history screening and a physical exam, s/he is scheduled for the donation. Depending on the request from the transplant center, the donor will be asked to donate either bone marrow or blood stem cells. Then the stem cells must be sent to the Ottawa transplant centre and they will start high dose Chemotherapy and Radiation to prepare Kevin for the transplant.

Because the Hospital in Toronto neglected to start the Unreleated Donor Search at the beginning of September and it didn’t start until the end of September, there is a possiblity that the Transplant will not start until after the Christmas holidays. Because Kevin’s CBCs are stable for right now, we are comfortable waiting until after Christmas and kinda see it as a blessing, but there is a wrenching gut feeling that goes with that worrying that his leukemia will progress to a more aggressive phase.

We are going to believe with every fiber of our being that a few weeks won’t make a difference and we will be able to enjoy Christmas with our family and friends before we embark on this insane journey! But we can’t get our hopes up about anything because everything that they say can change tomorrow.

In other news, we have been been finding out more information about housing in Ottawa. Because we have been told that we will probably not get into the very few apartments for BMT patients right next to the hospital (that are $42/day), we have been looking at other options the social worker gave us. Kevin’s parents have been calling around and the cheapest short term rental they can find is $3000 a month. They even told people why we were going there.  The other option we have is to hope that we can find something private… but no one will talk to us until we have a date and can confirm when we are going to be there. Fair enough. So the second option that the hospital gave us is looking better and better, but it is still expensive and it’s about a 15/20 min drive to the hospital…. We called them and they said they usually always have vacant units. Oh and the $110/month parking I mentioned in a earlier blog post is hospital parking. So we will actually need to pay $223/month for parking. Yeah.

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One would think that a person that is going to face the fight of his life would not be expected to worry about all of this stuff, but you do AND we need to maintain and pay all of our stuff in Kingston too. And that is why we are fundraising!! So if you have a moment , please do check out our first Bloody Awesome Auction and see if there is anything you might like to bid on donated by some awesome sponsors! It’s a public auction open to anyone in Canada or the USA. Some items have restrictions, but they are clearly marked. =)


Next week will be Kevin’s Cancerversary Auction! It’s going to be awesome too!

Thank you so much for your support and following our journey! We will update again soon!