It's been about 9 weeks since my last blog post. Here's some of what has happened in my life during that time. First, I finished cycles 3 and 4 of GVD chemotherapy, and had scans that confirmed that the chemo has continued to work and I remain in remission. Though the toxic chemicals are still making their way out of my system, I've been able to have a pretty normal and awesome summer, and I have tried to treasure every day. I have enjoyed being able to give my all at work, have some fun adventures, and spend quality time with my friends and family without feeling too distracted by germ-anxiety or feeling sick.
And while I don't know all that you have been up to in the last 9 weeks, I do know this: in dozens and dozens of drives across the country and world, you all have put thousands of individuals into the bone marrow registry. Going by the statistics, you, my family and friends, have registered matches. Going by the statistics, you have saved lives. Thank you all for your creative, passionate, and extraordinary efforts to grow the bone marrow registry. You have mobilized in inspiring ways and I am proud of and grateful for my world-wide network of committed doers.
This brings me to some wonderful news - the other exciting thing that has happened in these 9 weeks, is that I received a call that I have a 9/10 match -- a 23 year old woman who is registered in the Israeli bone marrow registry. This match is very promising, and was news that allowed me and my family to take a breath that we'd been holding for months. While this is no doubt fantastic, the search continues for other 9/10 and 10/10 matches (based on 10 specific points of DNA). Please continue your efforts to register more individuals and participate in upcoming drives. A list of upcoming drives through Be The Match and Gift of Life can be found here and here respectively -- note that all swabs go into the same system, so you can attend or volunteer at any drive and know that it will make a difference. There's one coming up on August 5 at the DCJCC (contact grossman.allison@gmail or firstname.lastname@example.org if you're available to volunteer!)
Many of you have faced many questions about what becoming a donor involves and whether it is a painful and difficult process. As promised, two of my friends who have gotten that call and donated to people in need, will share their stories in an upcoming post.
Now that a potential donor has been identified, I will be determining the next steps in my treatment process in the coming weeks. I will share those decisions here with all of you.