Check-in date to the SCCA is October 22nd, and between then and the transplant I'll be put through all kinds of tests to see how well I'll respond to the chemo treatment and the transplant. For example, I'll have another bone marrow biopsy and spinal tap (turn it up to 11 baby), CT scans, pulmonary blood flow scans, x-rays, EKG tests, etc. Johanna and I are scheduled to meet with the transplant team and nutritionists during this time, and we'll be sent to a bunch of classes to learn how to keep me from getting sick after I'm sent home from the transplant (30 days later), since there will be food to avoid, counters to bleach and public places to stay away from. From what I understand I'll have the immune system of a baby and will have to get re-immunized to everything. Or, in more geeky terms, it will be like they wiped me clean and installed Windows XP in me, and while we're installing all the service pack and updates we'll be trying to avoid crazy viruses. Seems so surreal, but we're ready for it.
Oh, my sister's friend Trevor wrote this very touching blog post about his concern for me:
...they've already found a donor for Steve. A woman, no less! Which makes me feel a little funny. All I can think about now is how those dainty little stem cells will be settling in there, getting comfortable, redecorating Steve's marrow and whatnot. Probably installing some frilly lace curtains, and putting a ton of unnecessary, superfluous pillows on all the beds. Feh.
So, I want you people to help me. You people out in Seattle: keep an eye on Steve. Make sure he doesn't get ... soft after the transplant. Bring him guy things to enjoy while he's in the hospital. Give him a friendly punch in the arm, once he's engrafted and has enough platelets. And Steve, the next time I'm in Seattle, let's go watch some football at a sports bar somewhere. We can pound some brewskis (out of cans, not bottles), and eat wings, and do some arm-wrestling during the commercials, and maybe later watch a Larry the Cable Guy DVD.
So yeah my Seattle homies, do what he says.