Thursday, January 28, 2010

I got a match!

...and hopefully I'll never have to use it. This year I am going to try my own cells and I hope it takes forever!

UMHS decided to pursue seeing if any of my four sisters has the same genetic type as me so down the road if I need to seek a stem cell donor we would know who to call on. I was told there were four types; therefore, there is a 1 in 4 chance (25%) that each sister would be a match. So I told the doctor I have a 100% chance to find a match! To bad the math doesn't work that way.

Actually...the math did work that way! Of the 4 genetic types, each one o my 4 sisters has a unique type! What that means is none of them match each other. So the Bad News is they'll never have a match. The Good News is I am the one with cancer.

More news to come soon! I expect Cycle #5 results in the next couple of days.


Jennifer said...

I am filling out my paperwork and setting up an appointment to have my blood drawn today. It is crazy how on track you and my sister are. Praying that my other sister or myself are a match for her.
I am so happy that you know if you need it, you have a match!

{(C)} said...

That's crazy! But in an awesome way.

Brett said...

Great news! I guess you have to thank your parents for having lots of kids!

Do you mind if I ask for some of your newfound cancer knowledge? How does this relate to marrow matching? I guess stem cells are different, but if none of your sisters matched would there be a registry, or would the bone marrow registry apply for finding a dono?

All this talk of transplants reminded me that years ago I got a kit from the National Marrow Donor Program, swabbed my cheek and sent it in. A year or so later I realized I never heard anything I filled out their webform to have them search for me on the registry (so I could keep my address updated and whatnot). Again, never heard back.

So I'm contacting them again today and we'll see if they ever got my kit! I don't know if it's the same thing that people with MM need, but either way if I'm on there I want to keep my info updated in case it's needed.

John said...

I'm jealous. Not because you have a match but because you have four beautiful sisters!

Congrats... now, let's hope it's not necessary.

Phil Brabbs said...

Jennifer- when is your sister going to transplant? Is the plan for one...or two?

C- I like you.

Brett- I believe bone marrow and stem cell is used interchangeably. You are an encouragement; thanks for putting yourself out in the registry. I just had a good friend who gave some bone marrow to a dude in Europe!!! Sibling matches are first priority, but with people having less kids, I think the registry has to be pretty important. Thanks for being an example.

John- Agreed. We don't always see eye to eye (I am much taller), but we have an extremely supportive family that cares deeply for one another. The seven of us have blond hair and blue I am surprised there aren't more matches!

randyjodi said...

Hi Phil - this is Jennifer's sister - Jodi. Our journey does sound a lot similiar!! Last Monday I met with my dr at Karmanos and decided since the chemo was working - I would continue with chemo at least one more cycle (number 6) if not more - which started today. I don't know if Jennifer mentioned it, but I do have a carepage & you are welcome to visit. It's listed under jodi_deroo. And . . the current plan is for one transplant - a second would be from a donor. For me I started on RVD - 2 rounds - total failure - kidneys deteriated to 10% function and chemo numbers stayed flat - changed to Doxil & a few others - big improvement with kidneys & my chemo numbers are finally coming down. I'll be anxious to see how your next numbers come in.

tim's wife said...

Hey Phil,
It really is great that you have that "ace in the hole" with a
sibling match. Tim only has 2 sibs but his sis matched too. It really is a bigger miracle than most people know. Many times that 1 in 4
thing does not play out that way. I met a Philippino man at our doc's office. Out of ELEVEN sibs, only 1 match. My neighbor's sister was 1 of 8 and was lucky to get a registry match from Germany for leukemia years ago because none of her 7 sibs matched. Miracles are happening everyday all around us!!!

Becky said...

Wow, good news! And those are some gorgeous sisters.

bajabell said...

Hi Phil,

I found your blog from the Beacon site.......and saw the photo of you and your sisters........I was diagnosed five years ago at the age of 44 and had an Full Allogenic Transplant with my sister being a good match.

If you would like to get in touch please feel free to email as I would be more than happy to talk about my experiences......

I was very lucky my sister was a 6 by 6 match and I suffered only mild Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and so far am doing well.

All the best,

Richard Bell,
Dana Point,

PS..I also sent you an email with my phone number to you hotmail address.