The bone marrow transplant patient and caregiver class we went to this morning mostly reviewed info we already had, with some additional details.
Some good news: we can delay Mark's admission to the hospital from March 30 until April 4, which we are happy about. That will allow Mark to sing in church on Easter morning, April 4, before checking in to the hospital that afternoon; there is some resonance there, isn't there? Also, we can host Kelly and some of her friends the week before when they are in Portland during spring break from Grinnell.
Mark will have full body radiation and high dose chemotherapy for the first week in the hospital, which will wipe out his immune system as a side effect. (He will have a central line, either a Neostar or a PICC line, for intravenous access during the hospital stay and afterwards.) Mark will then get his own bone marrow stem cells transfused into his blood stream, and will have what the nurses call "a baby immune system" for a number of weeks. He'll stay in the hospital several more weeks with a lot of precautions against infection. When he comes home around May 1, he'll still be on lots of precautions, including that he can't cook because he can't handle - or eat - any raw food! We'll be on high alert for any signs of infection, and Mark will get his blood counts checked every few days at OHSU.
After the BMT class this morning, lunch at Olympic Provisions at 107 SE Washington (http://www.olympicprovisions.com - recommended!) and a stop at Portland Music to look at electric guitars raised our spirits quite a bit. (Mark seems to think a new Fender Telecaster would be a very good companion in the hospital...)
Next up: PET scan this Friday and appointment with radiation oncology on Monday.