On 17th July (Tuesday), we (my family and I) met the hematologist for a counselling. Thanks to them for being so supportive all this while, especially my mother and my younger brother and sister who has to come all the way from Johor.
The counselling was handled brilliantly by the hematologist. My wife and family members were able to follow and understood the problem and why the transplant be the utmost option now. Every single uncertainty was cleared. Having to understand is an easy one but going to accept the journey I am going to take is much harder.
Basically, I will be warded in to BMT ward one week earlier than the donor. Then a 5 days course of chemotherapy drug will be administered. This is called 'conditioning'. At the end of 'conditioning', the bone marrow is harvested from the donor before it is transfused like a usual blood transfusion. From day one admission, I will be quarantined until approximately 4 to 5 weeks when the 'new' marrow started to take over and started to produce new blood cells.
I can't imagine to be alone and isolated from the people that use to be around me especially my children. Fortunately my wife will be allowed to intermittently stay with me and hope she could lessen my isolation and keep bringing the 'outside world' into me.
What could I expect during the process?...from what I read it can be physically, emotionally and psychologically debilitating experience. Walking, sitting, reading and even talking may require more energy than what could I spare. And thinking about all the complications and how complicated it could be, will just add another pile of anxiety on me. However, the hematologist seem to be optimist and if he could make me believe him, why should I unnecessarily be frightened.
My younger brother was never hesitant in giving his willingness. I always knew that he will. For the information, I have another 4 siblings ( one elder brother, one younger brother and 2 younger sisters) and having a 35% chance of matched blood (HLA typing), I was lucky since he has his blood HLA-type matched. On the contrary, the rest of my sibling matched among themselves.
The counselling ended after one and a half hour. Ironically, everyone in my family member were in cheerful mood....as we always do. Especially my younger brother who always be the center of attention (when it come to making jokes). I remembered how naively he asked the hematologist if his smoking 'trait' will be passed on me... and cynically the hematologist answered that he will and stop smoking, he advised. At the end of the counselling session, everyone keep giving me support. I have a clear and prepared mind now. I just have to mentally prepared and cross my finger and leave it to the God Almighty.
The time will be around first week of September and a few more investigations and check ups need to be done. Hem.. I started counting the days....