Friday, October 1, 2010

Platelet Transfusion

Hi Everyone!
Well, as most of you know already I managed to survive the platelet extraction!  Mom was with me the whole time THANK GOD and witnessed it getting a little shaky a few times but the nurses were really sweet and the important thing is that we successfully completed it! ;) The nurse that that I had really clear buttery colored healthy platelets and a really good volume of them - in fact, she said she could tell by the color and clarity of my platelets that I eat really healthy :) Here are some pics from the whole ordeal:
The first one is obviously me during the extraction - super cute i know- HA HA!
The next are the platelets - the all important platelets!!

Then this one is the next morning after they got my platelets to the room- mom, dad, and I all held hands and put the platelet tube in the circle too and prayed over the cells- that God would bless them and let them be well accepted and healing in dad's body!  And then I headed back home to my hubby and pup, and while I was still on the road mom had already sent me the last pic of dad up in the chair and working on the puzzle to show me that my donation was already making a difference - this whole last week has been really really really rough on dad and so just seeing him able to sit up in that position and feeling well enough to focus on something other than feeling bad was REALLY REALLY good to see!!!  Last night when they checked his platelet count it was only up to a 9 which we were (in our heads) hoping for a more dramatically high number... they had to give him another mixed bag in the evening.  Then his count this morning was an 8.  But, the doctor said that they feel like my platelets ARE making a difference b/c it is making the platelets HOLD - and he has now gone 24 hours with no blood in his urine, no bladder spasms, and no blood clots in the bladder - which is a HUGE improvement!  The doctor only wants dad to have single donor bags of platelets now b/c it is so crucial that we keep this hold going so that he can hopefully get this catheter OUT in the next 48 hours or so....... SO- that comes with a HUGE REQUEST to any of you - our friends and family in the Houston area - PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE if you are able to go to MD Anderson or to there other location at 2555 Holly Hall Street (that is where we did it and they were WONDERFUL!) and donate platelets in Dad's Name and with his medical record number we would REALLY REALLY REALLY appreciate it!!!!  The blood bank is almost ALWAYS out of them and the only way dad can get the bags he needs is if people go and donate in his name!  We are in a really unique situation where by our whole family and many of our extended family were all in the Domincan Republic for Bradley and I's wedding last november - - - that DIS-qualifies you from being able to donate for an entire year - the ONLY exception that they are making is for dan and i to have our platelets go directly to dad b/c of our high genetic HLA match with him.  They will not make that exception for any one else and so mom, brad, kay, etc can't even give in his name to get him credits b/c they won't accept their cells.  So, we are asking anyone who is able to donate (that was not on the trip with us) if you could please donate for him we would be SO GRATEFUL!   Already my aunt diane has stepped up and offered to donate for him and she already has her appointment set-up and everything and we want to send her a HUGE THANK YOU!!!!!!  Please email me, text me, or comment here if you are able to do this for us or if you have any questions :) - If you are going to do it I need to give you his medical records number and we want to know about it so that we can THANK YOU but also so that we can make SURE he IS getting the credit and the single donor bags as a result of your donation :) Thank you so so so much in advance - We love you all and we will update again soon! 


  1. Jessica - I am soooooo proud of you! You did great - nothing to it. We continue to pray for Melvin, mom, Dan and you. Keep us posted.
    Claudia S

  2. Jessica,

    First, thanks again for the fantastic job you're doing of keeping us all informed.

    I have a few questions regarding platelets donations:

    1.) Is there ANY way we can donte in N.O.?

    2.) How often can it be done?

    3.) How many sessions does it take to fill a single donor bag?

    4.) Can this be done on a Saturday?

    The reason I ask is that Danny, Greg and I are planning on coming up next weekend for a visit and we'd be glad to leave as many platelets as possible. Let us know what we can do.



  3. Hey Kory!! Thanks! and here are you answers :)
    1- i do not think there is any way to donate from nola - BUT i will double check and let you know :)
    2- you can donate every 72 hours
    3- it only takes one session to fill a single donor bag :) - it takes about 2 hours
    4- yes you can donate on saturdays - the hours are just a little more restrictive
    there are two places you can do it - at the actual hospital in the Mays Clinic (connected to the main building by skywalk) but that is only m-f 10am-5pm but you have to be there an hour before close for platelet donations b/c it takes so long.
    the other location (the one we went to and REALLY liked) is 2555 Holly Hall Street and there is free parking and very easy to get to.
    their hours are m-f 10am- 7pm & s-s 10am- 5pm and again for platelets you have to be there an hour before close.
    the number to set up appointments to donate is 713-792-7777 and you have to specify which location you want to use and give them dad's name :)
    thanks and please let me know if i missed anything or if you have any other questions :)
    and thank you SOOOOOOOOOO much it would be SO AWESOME if yall could donate while you are in town!!

  4. Well if Kory, Greg and I go to Houston next weekend maybe we could donate on Saturday. But we will make sure to go out and drink a few gin and tonics so Peb's body won't reject our platlets.


  5. LOL Danny!!! Thanks!!! and i just posted all the donation center details! :)

  6. I will find out about Saturdays, it took about 1 ½ hours for Jessica to fill one bag. MD Anderson will only take platelets donated at their facilities. Mel has quite a bit of credit at the blood bank at home which really helped for the Blood he received prior to the transplant at St. Tammany Hospital but MD Anderson does not accept those credits. I hope Mel is up to company by next weekend. Not sure if he’ll still be in the hospital or not. We felt very encouraged after the doctors left this morning, they are trying a few new things to help him hold and build cells and the amount of fluid he is retaining is a little decreased he lost 10lbs of fluid this week. The doctor did tell us that he is very comfortable with the amount of growth his donor cells have grown he is now at 87%, and wants to concentrate on helping his cells grow; white, red and platelets. Mel’s coloring is much better, his eyes are brighter and his outlook is much more positive.
    We really, really believe that all the prayers from our family and friends have been instrumental in the beginning of this turn around.
    Love and Appreciation to all,

  7. Danny I think that is just what Mel needs :)

  8. Do you trust the Holly Hall St. screening process? I know Greg didn't go to D.R., but it wouldn't surprise me if his platelets are tainted;)


  9. LOL, ya'll are just what we need commic relief ;)