August 31, 2011

Surprise Package

Tessa has been a little bit on the overprotective side lately.  She isn't much of a barker, but I've been encouraging her to bark if something startles her.  Not much use of having a dog if they bark too much or not at all.  Now that I've gotten her used to barking a little bit, I've been surprised that she gets startled far more often than I realized.  She also tends to think anyone walking outside by our house is more of a threat than they should be.

Tessa normally doesn't bark outright, but she peeks out the window and she gives kind of a half-growl/half-bark.....a grawrk?  It sounds more like an intentional barking burp.

This morning she perked up from her bed and let out a grawrk.  A truck had pulled up to the house...not worthy of barking.  I'm about to correct her and the door knocks.  I didn't hear the FedEx guy walk up the sidewalk (he probably cut across the grass...a rant for another time).  Carolyn didn't tell me she ordered anything, and I don't have anything coming, so it was a surprise for me.

I open the package to find a letter and an informational letter regarding Bone Marrow donation from an organization called Be The Match.
I signed up on a donor registry sometime back in 1992.  I've been contacted three times now as a match for people needing bone marrow.  The first time was back in 1998 or so back when I was in the military.  I remember it being urgent that I got in to take the blood tests once they overnighted some collection kit to a local hospital.  Since I was TDY in Arizona, I had to borrow the rental truck and drive over to the nearest Air Force base to get my blood drawn.  Evidently I was a match.

There are two ways of donating: peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC) and marrow.  The military only allows marrow donation and you have to have them do the collection.  I was told I'd get a free trip to Walter Reed hospital and they'd fly anybody in to be with me for the procedure.  Not a bad racket.  free trip to DC with anyone I want and probably what amounts to a free week or two of leave.  Sign me up!

Unfortunately the recipient really needed the PBSC donation, so that didn't go through.  A couple of years after I separated I got the call again.  The situation sounded similar to the one before, but I have no idea if it was the same guy or not.  Everything seemed fine after my confirmatory blood work, but the word I got was that the recipient was too sick to have the procedure.  My assumption is that he passed away....I'd rather just have been told I wasn't a match, but they were probably hoping he'd get well enough to proceed.

Today I'm just told that the recipient is a 30 year old woman.  I call the number given and am given far more explanation that I need.  To be honest, I really didn't listen much.  There is enough written info in the packet and online.  Even though they told me what the woman has...does it matter?

Someone needs a life-saving donation that I can give for, at worst, a little pain and inconvenience for a few weeks.  More than likely it will be far easier than that.  How could I say no, even if I wanted to?

Update: Evidently this is an "urgent" need case.  I figured they were all urgent needs, but I guess this proword means that they need to move a little faster than normal.  the next stage of blood tests are going to be Friday and more than likely the 90 day review window might be pushed up a bit.  If I get selected and need to go the surgical route I'll have to go to Denver.  The blood donation route takes me up to Spokane.

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