Team Margot Ambassador and bone marrow donor, Katrina Krishnan Doyle (KKD) continues to take us through the next steps of her donor journey below.
If you scroll down to the section headed ‘Recent Blog Posts’ you can identify her earlier posts which are all preceded by ‘KKD’ in the heading.
As ever, thank you Katrina for sharing your experiences !
Together, saving lives
Having survived the first blood test, I felt pretty proud of myself. The blood taken was sent from London’s St Thomas’ Hospital to Delete Blood Cancer so that they could confirm the match. However, I still had to complete a questionnaire about my health and send that too.
It seemed like a lot when I counted the pages but, as a tick-box exercise, only took 10 minutes. I did it on the train that evening and posted it the following day.
What was striking about the questionnaire was that it focused on my health and wellbeing. I’ve mentioned before that I have a busy, unconventional lifestyle so often assume, like many others, that I must be abusing myself because I don’t make enough time for exercise and rest. That first questionnaire was the beginning of a full and thorough health check, which is something I would never have sought out for myself.
After Delete Blood Cancer UK confirmed the match, the Anthony Nolan Trust took over the role of handling me through the donation process. We identified the London Clinic as the hospital to conduct the procedure and set a date for my full medical.
It involved the second lot of bloods and an interview with a doctor about my lifestyle, a series of x-rays to check my frame and bone density and a sound monitoring session that listened to the noises that my organs make.
You already know about me and giving blood but in terms of x-rays I’m an old hand. You shouldn’t have too many in a lifetime but they’re painless and nothing to worry about. However, the procedure used to listen to the noises of my heart, lungs and other organs in my body was completely new to me. It involves lying on a bed and the nurse puts some sticky pads on you. You’re then asked to breathe normally so they can record your rhythms. Again nothing to be scared of but, seriously, is that why they call them organs? Do they sing like an internal orchestra?
Clearly, I got a clean bill of health or I wouldn’t have continued with the donation. The information gathered was primarily taken for the transplant centre to test alongside my genetic match’s statistics. However, the insight it gave me into my own health was more than reassuring.
Juicing carrots and going for the occasional run used to feel like rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic, as a last gasp effort to ensure I didn’t sink! Now I feel proud of my little body and have been running, swimming and juicing more as a result. Even though it’s sporadic, it all adds up.
I found it reassuring that so many checks were done in advance of my donation. As soon as I was connected to the London Clinic I realised that they were my team who were there to know, understand and protect my health through the donation, which made me feel safe.
There were some legal considerations too, which I’ll come on to later…
Team Margot Ambassador & Donor
Please click here to see the next blog from Katrina.