Texas or bust

11.17.2015

The cutest Curty you ever did see! 
Throughout the months and years around this space I have written quite a bit about my dad and his journey with Follicular Non Hodgkins lymphoma. Dad was diagnosed in 2011, right before I graduated from nursing school. My first job was on an oncology (cancer) unit and I fell in love with the people, the survivors and the families of those who had passed. You could say cancer has become part of my daily life.

Since diagnosis, dad has endured countless rounds of chemotherapy, and hours of sitting in doctor's office chairs. As you may, or may not know, lymphoma is a cancer of the blood and one without a cure...yet. After each cycle and too short of remission the cancer has come back now for the 4th time. We have always known that transplant is an end of the treatment road option, but had hoped we wouldn't see this day so soon. Yes, don't get me wrong a little over 4 years is great! But typical response before transplant can often be up to 12 years.

Anyway, the reason for my absence this past week was because all transplant details were being determined which also includes, notifying employers, buying plane tickets, and making packing lists which will require belongings for 6-8 weeks...over the holidays.

The day after Thanksgiving, I hop on a plane and "move" back into the Freeman household as a family of four, like the good old days. During the time I am home, dad will be admitted to the hospital for multiple days of high dose chemotherapy, high dose radiation and the end goal of receiving a bone marrow transplant. I am excited, anxious, and uncertain all at once, but so thankful that I will get to be home for it all.

What I want to share is the thanks I have for dad's bone marrow donor. When searching for marrow donors, the doctors look for the recipient's "twin" but not biological. Dad's twin comes in the form of a 23 year old man who has the same blood type and matches 8/8 of the tests needed for transplant. When we were first told of dad's match, we were over the moon excited until the office told us that the young man still needed to be contacted and ultimately still had to say yes.

We prayed hard that this young man would be willing to inflict a margin of pain on himself, in order to benefit another human. We prayed that he would say yes, even though it was so incredibly close to the holidays. We prayed for his family and that they would be supportive of his decision no matter the outcome. This past Friday we got the news that this young man said YES!

Again we prayed prayers of thanks for his selfless gift, one which he didn't have to give. I hope that we will either get to meet or contact the donor after this process is over. To personally thank him for giving my hero more time.

I will hope to be able to give you more frequent updates on dad's condition as he will be in the hospital for multiple weeks. I have set up another blog space for friends and family to access which will be updated regularly by yours truly. I hope you will keep my dad in your prayers, and follow along as he takes his journey to day zero and beyond!

I'm coming for you Daddy!
Your baby blue

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7 comments:

  1. oh my goodness, what a way to start the holidays. lots of good cheer with the good news, but a lot of crazy feelings I imagine. I am SO HAPPY that your dad found a marrow donor! my sister runs the social media for Be The Match, the bone marrow registry, and so we have learned a ton about it. I joined the donor registry earlier this year, as did most of my HUGE family, and already I have a cousin who's been contacted twice, he will be donating soon, and another sister has been contacted as a potential match as well. What a blessing that your dad's donor said yes.

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  2. What a wonderful blessing! I was a bone marrow donor for my aunt in 1996, and it was the greatest gift I could have ever been able to give. I wish you and your family all the joy and healthy in the world. Prayers coming your way :)

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  3. Casey Aslan you just made me well up with tears at work!! I am so happy a match has been found and have been keeping you all in my prayers, not only for your dad and the procedure but for you and Joe as you live apart during one of the hardest things!! xo love you!!

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  4. Praying for you and your sweet family during this time! What a truly beautiful blessing and during the holidays - I'm tearing up just thinking about it. I'm so happy that you'll be with your family during the transplant and will be able to cheer on your dad and support him and be supported by your loved ones. Such joy! And I pray that everything goes smoothly!

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  5. What a beautiful, selfless thing that guy did by agreeing to donate his bone marrow. Wow!!!! What a reflection of Jesus. I'll be praying for your Dad!!!! Keep us posted, please.

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  6. Prayers for your father, yourself, your family and his donor! I care for tons of oncology patients myself and they really do have a way of becoming so near and dear! Hugs sweet girl!

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  7. I teared up reading this, Casey. You and your family are incredibly brave, and I hope you know that my household will be keeping you and your Dad in our prayers. You are loved.

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