The stimulation process is complete and me stem cells were extracted. This part of the treatment is not that bad. I did not have any side effects from the shots. After getting the four days of shots the extraction begins. This is pretty cool, but takes a long time. The device they use actually comes from the US and it separates the different parts of the blood and collects the stem cells. I was hooked up to this machine around 8am and did not stop until 1:30pm. The doctor said they are going to send them to the lab to find out how many we collected. The goal is to collect 2 million stem cells per kg or body weight. The doctor returned at 5pm and said we only got 1.5 mil per kg and we will have to do some more the next day (yesterday).
At 8am yesterday, I was hooked back up to the machine for another 4 hours. He said he’ll get a count for this batch and let me know. During that time it was time to install my Hickman line. This was one of my fears because it is not every day you have someone putting something in your neck. The installation was uncomfortable, but not unbearable. They numb you, but you can feel some pressure and an occasional pinch. This process takes about 20 mins or so.
The doctor came back at 5 and let me know that we got over 600,000 per kg. We have enough stem cells to proceed.
I had pain and some discomfort during the night due to the line. I should’ve asked for pain meds like the doc said I could, but I toughed it out like the good soldier that I am. I won’t do that again. When he came in this morning he got me some pain meds and it doesn’t feel that bad.
Tomorrow is the big day with the start of 4 days of chemo. Who knows how I will be feeling, but if I feel bad rest easy that I will be letting it known.
The treatment has been what I expected to this point. Hopefully the next 4 days will go by quickly and smoothly. Mahalo for staying tuned and I will try to update over the next couple of days since this is what people want to know about. Take care!