Friday, March 7, 2014


many people have asked me lately why i decided to join the donor registry. i guess i have never really thought about why i joined. honestly, i saw robin roberts talk about her diagnosis and that is how i learned about be the match in the first place. after hearing her story and realizing that there are many individuals that do not have matches within their families, i decided to join the registry.

usually i am pretty terrible about making decisions. when someone asks me what i want to do...i tend to say "eh, i don't know" or "i don't care, you chose" indecisive. but this decision was an easy one for me to make.

i guess i joined because if i were in need of a bone marrow transplant i would only hope others would be willing to donate to me. so, this made my decision that much easier. signed up online, got my kit in the mail, swabbed my cheek, and sent it back. done.

another reason i joined is because i am very passionate about oncology. recently i completed my pediatrics and oncology clinical rotation and loved it. i'm pretty sure i first fell in love with this field because my aunt is a pediatric oncology nurse...which is my dream job. a lot of people usually respond with "wow, that's going to be tough and kinda depressing". i usually just tell them that if i can put a smile on my patient's face or make one day of their hospital stay a little better...then what is so sad and depressing about that?

well, that's all i've got for tonight.


ps. i don't proof read any of my blogs...these are just all my thoughts poured out. sorry for any grammar or punctuation errors :)

Monday, March 3, 2014

brown paper packages.

some of you may be wondering why i chose the title "brown paper packages" for my blog. well, in the sound of music they sing about brown paper packages being some of their favorite that is where it came from. and let's be honest, everyone loves getting gifts. for those of you who don't know, i will be giving the gift of life in about a month. now, i'm aware that my bone marrow won't be packaged in brown paper or tied up with string, but it is a least that's what everyone is calling it.

i joined the bone marrow registry a little over a year ago shortly after robin roberts shared her diagnosis with the all of america. it never even occurred to me that i could donate bone marrow to someone. sure, i have donated blood before...but that's as extreme as it gets. i have received a letter once before that i was a preliminary match, but nothing came of that one. then i received the letter. the letter that told me i was a match and needed to go in for further testing. so, i went into labcorp and got my arm sucked dry of blood and had a lovely little bruise (picture below). honestly, i did not think i would be this individual's match. pretty sure my exact thoughts were "sure, i'll go in for testing...doubt i'll actually donate. but sure." i didn't tell many people at first about it, just my family, a few close friends, and my course instructors (in case i was going to have to miss class for the collection). they told me it would be about 60 days before any decisions were made on whether i'd be donating or not. so, i waited. and waited. and then...

i received a phone call, email, and text message from my coordinator (who i cannot wait to meet soon) that i was a definite match and we needed to begin the process asap. you see, when someone is needs a bone marrow transplant, they are VERY sick. it is almost a last resort. i know a little bit about the basics of oncology from nursing courses, so this helped me understand it a little bit better. so i committed. i signed several consent forms and spoke with my coordinator for two hours about life, the donation process, and the recipient's diagnosis. she assured me numerous times that i could back out at any point in time. however, when you back out you must think about the recipient as well. once they get word that there is a donor, they undergo multiple treatments to "wipe their counts" out so they can receive the bone marrow transplant. so, if i do decide to back out at some point i would be putting the recipient at a huge risk for infection, illness, or even death. it is truly a life or death situation for the recipient.

so to sum it all up...i will be blogging about my experiences throughout this process. my hopes and goals are to spread the word about be the match. i would love to see numerous individuals join the registry from learning about my experience. and i hope that they can give the gift of life as well. three individuals have already joined the registry. amy h., brooke m, and erika f...i applaud each of you for your bravery and act of selflessness for joining the registry.

that's all for now.

                                                   photo from first blood draw.