Chronicle of a Stem Cell Transplant (and on through to the other side)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Reaping a Successful Harvest

So, last Thursday was the first day of my scheduled "stem cell harvest," during which my blood was taken for about 6 hours and whirled about in a centrifuge. The stem cells were kept and the "leftovers" were given back to me. It was really quite uneventful, if uncomfortable to sit still that long.

Fortunately, the Cell Separator Unit has an extensive collection of movies, so Ian and I watched Big Fish. It was like being at the drive-in, only, in a hospital bed, without the car, without the popcorn, and the absense of a big screen. OK, maybe it wasn't like the drive-in, but there was a little speaker box that rested by my head on the bed. It was only slighlty embarrassing for us both to be sobbing at the end of the movie...the nurses kept asking if I needed pain medication.

Anyway, to everyone's amazement, the 'ol harvest produced twice the number of stem cells necessary to go ahead with the transplant. I turned out something like 800 million of the suckers in one day which has me thinking I should do this competitively.