Made it through the Prelims

Now on to the Finals in two weeks.  Jill and I are both ready to head home tomorrow.  We’ve spent two weeks here with the goal of generating this little bag:

There’s a couple million of my stem cells in there that will be reimplanted on February 7 after they kill off my existing immune system.  I have to say that the process is pretty intriguing to an engineer like me.  Jill was less than enthused about the temporary catheters hanging out of the side of my neck.  The procedure to insert the catheters is the worst part of the process and even that is only an hour.  From that point it’s pretty much plug and play.  Book (my nurse) hooked me up to this apheresis machine.

Essentially a very sophisticated centrifuge that spins my blood into layers with the red blood cells near the top, the platelets and white blood cells near the bottom, and other components separated into layers based upon their specific gravity.  It automatically finds the stem cell layer and draws it off into the bag. Four and a half hours later they disconnect me and I go home.

In the two weeks leading up to today, I did get a pretty solid dose of chemotherapy (cyclophosphamide) followed by several days of neupogen injections designed to stimulate stem cell development.  The only side effect I had was some bone pain, but even that was pretty manageable.  I think I had a pretty easy go of it compared to some accounts I’ve read.  Anyway… on to the next phase!


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1 Response to Made it through the Prelims

  1. Leo says:

    Wow… that’s a lot of “science”! You’ve done all you can do and in typical Kurtz style you’ve done it with excellence – praying that the harvest is a good one (and there is all the hope in the world that there may be 2x the estimated stem cells in that bag)!

    Rest up – and take comfort in knowing that you’ve given this 110% and you are prepared – as the Ironman you are – you’ve got this! (Ps don’t forget to give Jill a hug) ☺️

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