A place where I can chronicle my family's journey through cancer. A place where WE can discuss our concerns. A place where WE can inspire each other. A place for hope.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Harvest

Bed at 2am. Up at 5am. Today is the day. Well...maybe. We are going in for a blood test to see if my mom has enough stem cells in her blood for transplant(s). Prayer Warriors, God has heard you from above. So far, this process has been actually quite lackluster and uneventful, which is a GOOD thing. Everything is going very smoothly and we are facing this massive procedure one step, one day at a time. Please unite again and pray that the remainder of this process go quickly, efficiently, effectively, and successfully. Please pray that my moms body will be able to produce enough stem cells, enough little warriors, for two to three transplants! Thank you. Ill keep you posted.

Transplant is a-go-go! The machine looks like a map of the London Tube! I'm going into this with a couple reservations... This is a REALLY important procedure, and I feel like we are rushing it for some reason. From my understanding, the more stem cells collected, the better no? I know that the standard for these things are to collect enough stem cells for about two transplants, but if you have the chance to, wouldn't it be better to collect for three (if possible)? Why not wait another week and take more G-CSF (stem-cell stimulating) shots to increase production? I asked the nurse this and she said that most myeloma patients don't even use a second transplant and that if a third one is needed, a transplant is probably not the best option anyway? On one hand, my gut tells me that she is misinformed... On the other, I know that these doctors and nurses know what they are doing and have had plenty of practice. Just a little confused. Any thoughts on this my wonderful readers?

I feel like I need to get a bottle of wine or something for every nurse we work with. They are THAT awesome! There really should be a nurse appreciation day. These guys are IMPECCABLE and absolute angels. How they do their jobs, I really don't know.

Nice View :)

THIS is what LIFE IN A BAG looks like, my friends (literally)! Inside that beautiful bag is an army of little warrior stem cells just WAITING to be put back into mama bear's body!

For SUCH a critical procedure, today has been quite uneventful. Despite the horrendously early morning, today has been very low-key. Mama bear has been lying on the bed while Dad and I float in and out of the room. Basically what happens is the machine circulates her blood out of her body, filters out the stem cells, and puts the blood back in. From my understanding, it is like...an incredible hulk version of a dialysis machine. Kind of. There's only so much amusement you can get from watching a bunch of tubes circulate blood before the novelty wears off (a.k.a the first 20 minutes of a 6 hour process). So basically, one must learn to improvise. THAT included a chit-chat party with our hilariously sarcastic nurse, walks, and two of my most favourite-ist activities in the world: eating and sleeping (obvi). At this rate, I will have gone from moderately in-shape pre-transplant to incredibly obese post-transplant. God gifted me with the ability to emotionally eat and ill be damned if I don't take FULL advantage of that. Just give me a cake and let me be, and ill be as happy as a clam (ADD moment: why ARE they so happy anyway?) It is ironic, though, no? There is so much D.R.A.M.A that comes with this process and yet the most exciting moment of a 6hour day was a 20 minute moment. But I like to think that great things come in small, humble packages. Mama bear's little stem cells quietly got together for a K.S.A. (Kick Some Ass) meeting and decided to rally together and march off into a hospital IV bag. It's almost as if they were like, "we'll leave quietly so you can rest mama bear. Don't worry about us, because we'll be there for you when you need us". They are like her Little Warriors. I like to think of it like that :) or maybe that is my sleep deprivation talking... WHO KNOWS!?

We are done Day 1 of 2. Amazingly enough, mama bear collected enough stem cells today for an entire transplant. So, we've got that covered. Tomorrow's collection will be more of a "just-in-case".
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

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