Wednesday, October 19, 2011


And I'm not talking about the Italian B. M. T. from Subway (Eat Fresh!™)

BMT= Bone marrow transplant. And that seems to be the final hurdle.

I just had a meeting with Onk, and her Fellow, Greek. Onk and Greek have determined (based on my bone marrow biopsy from a week or so ago) that the best course of action to make sure I'm totally cured of this ailment is a complete transplant of the marrow.

This is good news that I welcome. It's nice to have a clear path ahead and I'm glad we've found it so quickly. Kym is not a match, but my other two siblings could be. If they are not, we will try our luck on the international registry. With the transplant, we'll basically chemo away all of my hematopoietic stem cells, and replace them with the donor's. Over the following few months, the blood that was mine will be replaced by the blood that is not.

Which is why this is also sad news that I can't say excites me. This has been my blood from birth. When I got my MMR vaccine, my blood responded. When I got the flu, my CD8+ killer T cells came to the call and saved my life. How many times have these cells not only saved my life, but then stuck around as memory B and T cells, ready to take up the fight before the new antigen even got a chance to get a foothold.

It makes me sad because as of tonight I may be celebrating our last victory together. Joining hands as we watch the last of the cancerous monocytes float away. There may be a few more times we get to join the fight together. I might get an infection or a cut before my transplant. But everything I have to fight will feel like our last together. And it is sad.

My blood and I have been together since before I was born. We grew together with difference vaccines. We learned with each other as we camped and played outdoors. My blood learned that poison ivy was nothing to fear, and never gave me any trouble with pollen or animals. I've run ultramarathons and hiked mountains over 14,000 feet. How could I do that without strong blood? I got the flu, I got pneumonia, I got mono... and time after time after time who comes to the rescue? The blood I was born with.

I can't really say what will come of the transplant, but it's honestly much more scary than anything thus far. I don't want things to change. I hate change. Anyone who knows me knows I don't like change on principle. I'll have to rebuild memory, get revaccinated, learn a new set of allergies. In a sense I'll feel like a newborn, and if that isn't terrifying, I'm not sure what is.

I've spent 24 years on the planet understanding life in a certain way. When this is all over, I might continue on as if nothing happened.

Or I might be completely different.

Only time will tell.

Now, back to video games to distract me from reality. I've still got a few more weeks at least to spend with my blood and if I can't go hiking, camping, or running, I may as well play some Heroes of Might and Magic 3.

Bulwyf out.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bulwyf's most beautiful post thus far. Just hang on to your bones!