I've gotten a couple of questions about how much it will cost me to go to Denver for the donation. The answer: nothing.
The National Marrow Donation Program pays all travel expenses for me and a companion including airfare, mileage, hotel, meals and even dog boarding for Finnie. They book all the plane tickets and hotels, and I keep my receipts for the rest. I don't have to pay for one thing. Pretty cool, huh?
Today was just beautiful - sunny, 68 degrees, just a hint of autumn in the air. We don't get many of these days around here - it's either too hot or too cold or too wet - so we spent lots of time outside and doing errands around town. When we got back this afternoon, a large envelope from Be The Match was waiting on the porch. Inside was a book about the donation process, along with a stack of forms for me to read and sign.
I spent about an hour this evening reading through everything and signing where necessary. The booklet included was really informative and well done. You can read it in PDF form here: You're A Match PDF
I learned quite a bit while reading through the materials. First, I can exchange letters and small gifts with the patient, but under strict anonymity. I can tell her generally my occupation, but not where I work, for example. I can knit her a hat, but can't send her a bag of Roasterie coffee, as it's too local.
This is, of course, assuming that all goes well for her. Because another thing I read was that I have to be prepared for her to not survive. I hate this thought, but it's a very real possibility. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is really awful, and the older the patient is, the more difficult recovery becomes. So while I am sending good thoughts into the universe for the best possible outcome, I have to be prepared for the worst - if the worst happens, I've done all I can do.
An emotional roller coaster, I tell you.