Today is my dad's bone marrow transplant! His brother, Uncle Dean, is the donor. My dad was supposed to get this done in June, but was postponed until today. Let's hope that he'll actually get it today and that nothing goes wrong! My dad is 51 years old and has been battling with Non-hodgkins lymphona since 2002. This is his chance to be cancer free or at least keep it at bay for a few years since he has chemo about every other year. My dad has a Hickman's Port placed over his heart. His chemo and the transplant goes directly into his port and his heart pumps it to his different body parts. He will have radiation for the first time today before surgery so the radiation and chemo will kill his old stem cells and bone marrow, and hopefully be in a better position to accept my uncle's stem cells and bone marrow. He could be in the hospital as short as three days and as long as a few months. As soon as he doesn't reject the transplant within the first few days, and he feels good and doesn't have infections, he can move home or to a hospice. He'll probably live at the hospice near Froedert so he can still go to the hospital everyday for check ups since it is so close. Dad will still have to take it easy for about a year to gain strength and avoid infections. He will wipe out his immune system with the transplant and will even have to get immunization shots all over again just like a baby!
We are soooo grateful for my Unlce's willingness to donate his marrow. Uncle Dean's part was pretty painful. He had to take shots to increase his white blood cells so they will have enough to harvest. He also had to give blood that they split into four different machines to get different things from it. Then he had to gave it filtered back into his body. That took about six hours of having thick metal tubes in his arms, like a super IV. If he moved his arms, the tubes could have easily poked a hole in the veins. From the shots and the blood drawn, he is quite sore. We are indescribably thankful Unlce Dean was a match and he conceded!
Good luck today, Dad! Please keep him and our family in your prayers and thoughts. It will be a long recovery road, but a great opportunity Dad could have the surgery.