Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Some Nitty-Gritty on the Lab Day

The lab day went a long way towards instilling confidence in the knowledge and expertise of the medical team at the UW Hospital. The whole process for that matter seems unbelievably credible. The UW Hospital has done something in the neighborhood of 20,000 of these transplants since 1981. They have it down.

The first confidence boosting evidence was a copy of the report on the compatibility of my blood with Clyde's. For this procedure, a comparison is made of the blood's HLA's. HLA stands for Human Leukocyte Antibody. These are an antibody that lives on the surface of white blood cells. There are eight markers on your HLA's. To be a good match, all eight need to match. A sibling is a person's best hope for finding a perfect match. Each sibling has a one-in-four chance of matching. Not only did I have identical HLA markers, but the lab went further to look at additional blood markers. We were a perfect match on those as well. It was reassuring to me, and I'm sure Clyde, that the blood profile was so perfect.

Prior to the harvest of my blood cells, I'm going to give myself shots of a drug that will cause my bone marrow to over-produce white blood cells and force them out into my blood stream. I learned that the drug I'll be administering is made by a company that has been a client of our event planning company for many years. The drug, Neupogen, has been used for this purpose in thousands of transplants. It is a tried and true standard. For me it was reassuring to know the company, Amgen, and many of the people that involved in that organization. They have a wonderful group of people that work hard and believe in the good that comes from the products they manufacture. Amgen is a huge company with offices in many aprts of the country. I have no idea if the offices in Boulder, for whom we work, have anything to do with the production of Neupogen. Still, it feels to me like it's one more piece of the puzzle that we can absolutely rely on.

The vibe I'm getting is that this amazing opportunity is coming together as though the stars have aligned for this purpose. With the opportunity comes risk. Clyde, I and our entire family thank all of you for your continued positive thoughts and prayers. Something good is about to happen.

Be well.

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