I have been lurking on this board for a while, reading here and there, learning all about proper etiquette! This thread, however, is the one that finally got me to posting, as it is near and very dear to my heart.
BG: My DH and I are 28 years old. We have been married for 4 1/2 years. We recently moved to Large Southern State so that he could start a master's degree program and finally get a job he really loves. I have a professional degree, and luckily my salary allows for him to attend school full time without having to work. We also bought our first home here! End BG.
On March 10th of this year, my DH was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia. Talk about shock and devastation. He was rushed to the Large Cancer Hospital 2 1/2 hours by ambulance on March 11 to begin evaluation and treatment. He ended up spending a full month in the hospital, and for 18 days of that he was in the ICU in a drug induced coma. His brainstem had swollen severely, and he almost died from this. They still don't know why that happened. Happily, eventually, he came through the worst of it, is now in remission, and has THE most positive attitude a cancer patient could have! He is gearing up to receive his 6th round of chemotherapy the end of next week. Needless to say, the masters degree is on hold for now. We were also talking about having a child before DH became ill, but it is best for us to hold off on that for now as well. This has changed our lives in a big way.
Leukemia patients probably receive more blood and platelet transfusions than any other patients. Because the chemotherapy basically kills off the bone marrow with every course, leukemia patients are DEPENDENT on red blood cell and platelet transfusions to keep them alive while their bone marrow recovers from the chemo. After one course of chemo, and before the following one, DH may receive as many at 8 units of packed red cells and 8 units of platelets (over approximately 4-6 weeks, depending on how fast his marrow recovers). My DH WOULD NOT BE ALIVE TODAY if lovely people like you did not make the effort to donate, donate, donate!! There are also countless children leukemia patients that receive these blood products (one I know of was 7 months old at the time of his initial diagnosis).
What is very scary is that, despite the fact that Large Cancer Hospital has 3 blood donation centers, the hospital RUNS OUT of blood products from time to time. I cannot imagine hearing the words "Mrs. HoneyBee, your husband needs a transfusion today, but unfortunately we are out of blood. If you share his blood type, PLEASE go down the hall and donate NOW." We have held 2 blood drives in DHs name to try to help replenish the stock he has been using himself.
I read someone earlier in the thread mention about Bone Marrow Donation. Signing up to join the National Bone Marrow Donor registry is quick and simple (just some swabs of your cheeks!) and can also save a life! Minority donors are especially needed on the registry, as finding a bone marrow match is HIGHLY dependent on ethnicity. I would post the website with more info here, but I am not sure if that is allowed. However, you can easily find it if you google "bone marrow donor registry."
So, in summation - THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!
to every one that has donated or will donate in the future. You really do save lives. If I could send you all a big hug and a thank you note, I would.