Friday, December 17, 2010

Rarin' to go

Tomorrow (Friday) is the big day.  It's funny how when people hear 'transplant,' they immediately think surgery.  I'm trying to imagine a doctor performing a stem cell transplant surgically - I'm assuming it would look something like them cutting open your pelvis, scooping out some bone marrow, and then shoving in new bone marrow.  In this imaginary transplant, the marrow is a thick, chalky paste, like toothpaste, that is grayish in color.

That, of course, is not what happens.  The stem cell transplant is basically like a blood transfusion, which is  similar to receiving an IV drug.  The infusion of the new cells will take between 1 and 2 hours.  Many patients sleep through it.  I think it will be curious that once it's done, we'll just have to have faith that something is happening.  There won't be incision to look at and say "yup, that happened."  Nothin.  Not until about 2 weeks after the infusion will we see that anything is happening.  When her white blood cell count rises three days in a row, that's when we know the cells have 'engrafted' and that the donor's cells did their job.  Interesting stuff.

We got a little more information about the donor.  As we said before, he is 22 and has lived or is living abroad.  We found out today that he is also the same blood type (O+), which is another plus in mom's column, because that means that they don't have to do more processing on the harvested stem cells to make the transplant successful.  As a reminder, if you haven't added yourself to the stem cell registry, you should.  They will mail a kit to you that you send back to them for processing.  You, too, could be the Superman that swoops in to save someone's life by giving just 6 hours of your time in a chair, watching your blood go through a machine.  

Finally, the support crew has increased in size.  Dad and Callie got in tonight.  It's nice to have the company and extra support.  My beautiful wife will be arriving here on Saturday (I haven't seen her in 4 weeks!) and Kit & Mike will arrive on the 23rd.  We're all looking forward to the time together.


  1. The support crew extends far beyond Nashville! It is so good you can all be there together for your mom. You are ALL in our thoughts and prayers. Thanks for keeping us updated!

  2. Right on David and Andree - we are all members of the support team - with you in spirit, Wantda, our collective prayers embracing you with love.

    Case, thank you not only for keeping us informed about you Mom's progress but also for educating us about the medical process. Glad the support troups are there or on the way.

    peace @

  3. Godspeed, Wanda. Happy new year! It looks like everything is working in your favor. And, Case, thanks for keeping us informed. Your blog has demystified the process for all of us. Hope today goes well.