I thought it might be helpful to have a website updating everyone about how thing's are going with Mom's health. This way you won't have emails clogging up your inbox, but you can check in on how we're doing whenever you want online.
Good news and bad news, I guess. Surgery is tentatively scheduled for 4/23/08, however we don't have a definite suitable donor.
As you know, Matt and I are undergoing the work up to donate a kidney to Mom. We have the initial results of our blood work. Matt and I are both 4/6 HLA matches (tissue type).
Unfortunately, Mom has antibodies that attack Matt's cells. This "cytotoxicity" index should be less than 49 and it was 104. These antibodies can be a risk factor for rejection of the kidney, requiring that it be removed and Mom start dialysis. The risk of having antibodies increases with subsequent transplants. We are waiting for my results for this test.
Mothers often have antibodies to their children because while they are pregnant a tiny amount of the baby's blood can cross the placenta through small breaks. We're certainly hoping that Mom doesn't have antibodies to my blood. To receive a transplant from someone to whom she has antibodies she would have to undergo a relatively invasive procedure called plamapheresis. Unfortunately, this procedure isn't a complete fix, and her body can still make new antibodies after the procedure.
On a more humorous note, March is National Kidney Month, and the Onion had a hysterical (but kind of gross) video: Anonymous Philanthropist Donates 200 Human Kidneys To Hospital
Tomorrow I will start two weeks of NICU service, followed by a week of night shifts, so I'll post more as time allows.