Christmas 2016

Christmas 2016
Celebrating Christmas at Grandmor & Grandpa Bob's

Friday, October 10, 2014

My Stem Cell Transplant

Terri and I thought you might be interested in what actually happened when I had my stem cell transplant. She and Elizabeth were fascinated by the process and took pictures as it occurred which we are sharing. I was just happy to lie on the bed and let things happen. Please note that although it is not shown we did have the stem cells blessed just before the infusion by the hospital chaplain, Jeanne Wirpsa, who has become a good friend of ours after my 2011 stay in the hospital. It transformed the transplant into a holy event given the significance of new life it is offering to me in the reintroduction of healthy stem cells into my system.

A stem cell transplant is NOT surgery. And it was done with my own stem cells harvested back in 2011 and kept frozen since then. It was done in my hospital room by the attending nurse and the stem cell transplant technician through a pic line in my arm. I can liken it to getting an IV, but I know that it is much more complicated than that. It is all quite painless, but when we think about what is happening we realize that it is not just a standard medical procedure but quite an amazing event. Over 6.6 million of my own stem cells were reintroduced to my body. And I still have over 6 million still on ice.

Of course, I couldn't show you these pictures without letting you know that the bloated look of me that you see is the result of lots of hydration prior to the transplant. Even a guy can be vain once in awhile.

1.  Getting ready for transplant

2. Delivering my cells from 2011 harvest in dry ice shipper

3. Opening shipper to retrieve cell bags

4.  Thawing frozen cells in hot water bath

5.  Massaging the cells to speed up thawing

6.  Hanging the first bag of thawed cells

7.  Hooking up the bag for stem cell transplanting

8.  Preparing 2nd bag of stem cells

9.  Finishing up with the stem cell transplant

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