Friday, January 23, 2009

Why It Takes So Long To Actually Get The Transplant

I've had a number of people ask why it takes so long to get the transplant after the donor has been identified. Of course I only know for my own situation, but here's how it played out:

The Transplant Teams at Fred Hutch rotate monthly on the 7th. They prefer that an incoming transplant patient arrive at the start of the team's rotation. So based on when my donor was identified, the next logical arrival date was the next rotation, which put me in February. Also, Arrival Dates are set for Tuesdays, so the first Tuesday after February 7 was February 10. And Arrive I will!

In addition to that system, there is also the necessity for time to clear the donor as medically suitable and arrange for the harvest of his bone marrow.

There is also the sequence of events that I have yet to complete. The results and outcomes of the tests and meetings the first two weeks will determine if I am ready to move on for transplant. For example, if another cancer is found, I will be sent back home for treatment and then rescheduled down the line for transplant. In addition, the information gathered then is presented to me, along with the team's recommendation for treatment. All the horrible things that could go wrong are discussed and statistical outcomes considered. It is then that I give consent for treatment.

This puts me two days into the third week that I am there. Then the central line is inserted and conditioning begins. So all in all, I have pretty much a month of "stuff" after I arrive in Seattle before the actual transplant can take place.

It seemed kind of far away to me too when we first established my arrival date and transplant date. But when I realized all the things that must happen before the arrival date, and then again after the arrival date but before transplant, it seemed really fast.

For example, a month from today, on Febraury 23, all my results will be in and will be being reviewed, and I will be giving consent. There's alot to be done by then.

No comments: