Mark and I visited the Transplant Clinic this week for a final appointment before surgery. I completed a split-function renal scan, blood work, and met the Urologist who will be removing my kidney. The split-function renal scan, an exam in which a small amount of radioactive material is injected through an IV and watched as it travels through the body, was completed to give the Transplant Team insight into which of my kidneys has the best filtration rate. This information is used to determine which kidney will be donated to Mark. While at the clinic, we also completed our final "HLA crossmatch test." This is the blood test we completed back in December that entails mixing our blood to make sure that Mark's body does not respond adversely to my blood. A "positive HLA crossmatch" indicates that Mark's body formed antibodies in response to my blood. Forming antibodies is a signal of an immune response and can indicate his body may reject my kidney. If you remember, back in December, our blood testing indicated a "negative crossmatch." The Transplant Team repeats the crossmatch within 7 days of the transplant as a precaution. As I mentioned above, we also met the Urologist who will be completing my surgery. Although we had to wait over 3 hours to see him, Dr. Strup was well worth the wait. He had a great bedside manner and really took the time to educate us both on exactly what would happen. He showed us where my incisions would be made and gave me a choice of two sites for the incisions (a vertical incision starting at the naval and going down about 3 inches or a horizontal incision lower than the "belt line" that is about 5 to 6 inches in length). After all of this, I signed the consent form for donation.
We spoke with the Transplant Team yesterday. The results of the Split-function scan were complete. My left kidney will be the kidney donated to Mark. The results of the crossmatch test was not ready. We should hear back from the Nurse on Monday with the results and should also receive our orders from the OR. We will post more information as soon as we know all of the exact details.
While it is really unlikely for a donor to pass the HLA crossmatch initially and then fail it just before the transplant, I am still really nervous about the test. I am trying to remind myself to trust in God as I know He is continuing to watch over us. Please continue to pray for us!