Wednesday, April 1, 2009

At the Hospital

Here are some photos from the infusion lab at UW Hospital. We had a successful "harvest" yesterday! With my injecting the growth hormone, neupogen, at home, Sabine went from 400 then to 900 in her white blood cells (WBC) -- then within 24 hours (and why she felt she had been run over by a truck!), her WBC count jumped to 11,000, we got the call that she was ready. We headed for the hospital yesterday morning and the harvest was on!

The machine is a fantastic miracle, it does other things besides spin stem cells out of your blood. For instance, folks who just had an organ transplant, and are having rejection problems,can come up here and have the antibodies taken out!

This is the "magic machine." You can see the stem cells starting to be harvested in the tomato-soup colored bag above the machine.

Looks like a good run and enough cells for this coming transplant plus one in the freezer for future use.

Sabine is with Jan our transplant coordinator and has been with us since Sabine started the process last week.

Friends from our support group, Tony and Darlene, came down for a visit. Darlene received her stem cell transplant the day Sabine went in for her first step -- the cytoxan hit!

All things going well, Darlene should be able to go home this coming weekend. She has been in the hospital for about 12 days now.

So, step two has been completed (harvesting). Sabine is now home recovering! She will have a couple of weeks until about April 20th to build up her bone marrow and white blood cells. Step three occurs when Sabine checks back in the hospital, gets a hit of melphalan (another powerful chemo drug) and gets her bone marrow wiped out again -- but this time the harvested cells (which have been frozen in waiting) will be put back into her. As these are undifferentiated cells, they should take root and form non-cancerous cells in her bone marrow. (At least that's how I understand it!).

This coming Sunday is Palm Sunday and our birthday. Easter will have special significance for those of us seeking resurrection and new life!

Thanks for all your prayers, concern and support. As they say up nort', "you done good!"