Today was the day of my blood draw for confirmatory testing for the National Marrow Donor Program. Because I live so far from the nearest center, they sent a nurse to my home. I thought it would be a vial or two. It was 11 vials. I wish I'd had the presence of mind to take some pictures, but as she kept unpacking vials I got a little overwhelmed.
But now listen -- it took less than five minutes to fill those vials up. Less than five minutes to continue to be a potential candidate for someone whose life is running out of options. It was not that big of a deal.
Was it a little creepy to see them all lined up on my kitchen table? Well, of course, it was. I didn't really want to look at it or watch her draw the blood and I ran out of places to look. But -- I started to think about it this way -- that was perfectly healthy blood in those vials. Someone needs perfectly healthy blood.
As far as I know it's perfectly healthy. I was able to answer no to the awkward questions about my (ahem) history* on the forms I had to fill out prior to this point. They will tell me if there's an "abnormal" result. They are testing for HIV, Hepatitis B and C, Human T-Lymphotropic Virus, Cytomegalovirus, syphilis and "other infectious diseases that could affect the patient's outcome."
*Think hard. What kinds of questions would they ask if they wanted to rule out HIV/AIDS or syphilis, for example. Good. Now assume in addition to those, there are questions you haven't even thought of yet.
TGRJ: .5 mile with Fritz who really wanted to go but didn't want to run -- so basically .5 mile dragging dog.