Monday, December 1, 2008

Long But Informative Day

We completed our appointment with the transplant doctors at about 5 p.m. (CST). Instead of fighting the outbound traffic (we're in downtown St. Louis), we decided to grab something to eat and take the time to post something on the blog.

Our day started very early as the alarm went off at 3:45 so we could take Julie to the airport. She was such a blessing to us this weekend, but she had to get back to Louisville and go back to work. Her flight left at 6:20 and we headed east for the four-hour drive. It took a little longer because of construction in St. Louis, but we got to the hospital in plenty of time.

Tammy had lab work done at 1 p.m. and then we went over to the doctors' wing. We went in to see the doctor at about 2:45 and left at 5 p.m. We got lots of questions answered, but left a lot of things still to be determined.

The doctors definitely agree that Tammy needs a bone-marrow transplant. She is the perfect candidate for that, because she is still pretty young and otherwise healthy. The other options are temporary and only mask the problem. A transplant is curative.

The next step is to see if Tammy's brothers are matches. They are the most likely to be matches as they share the same genetic structure because they have the same parents. If they are not matches, we will look at the worldwide donor pool to find the match. That could take a few months, but they were pretty confident they could find a match.

Once a match is found, they will determine if Tammy needs pre-procedural chemotherapy or can go straight to a transplant. Thus, there are several questions left to be answered.

One thing we are praying for is a possible successful appeal of the insurance company's decision to not cover Tammy at KU Med Center, the only hospital in Kansas City that does bone-marrow transplants. We plan to appeal this through the hemotologist. This would save a lot of time traveling to and from St. Louis for treatments, plus time Tammy would not have to be alone during the month-long treatment once the transplant is scheduled. We would appreciate your prayers for this as well.

We are still very much at peace about where we are right now. It is our desire to have it done in Kansas City, if at all possible. If not, we're pleased with the level of care we would get here in St. Louis. Please pray for safe travel for us home tonight. We're both tired from a long, stressful day, and we've got a four-hour ride ahead of us.

We'll update more tomorrow. We love you all and appreciate your prayers. As always, we feel like we're being carried on a pillow of prayers.

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