Well, today was a long, long day, but hopefully a productive one. My blood counts continue to rebound – WBC is at 7,900 and the platelets are up to 33 (see a couple of posts down for the proper ranges). The best part? We were go for stem cell harvest!
Here’s the way the stem cell counting thing works. Dr. C’s magic stem cell number for me is 5 million. When the harvest is done, it takes a count of 10 million cells to have an actual harvest of 1 million. Therefore, my counts would need to be higher than 50 million to be able to do the harvest in one swell foop. My count? 57 million, baby.
Now, this doesn’t mean they have all that they need, so don’t uncross your fingers just yet. I find out tomorrow morning if I have to come back in for more harvesting. They were able to get the machine hooked up through my antecubitals (that inside part of your elbow where they draw blood), so they didn’t have to insert a line into my neck. Barb took many pictures which we’ll have up here in a bit.
Before the collection, I got another couple of Neupogen shots, which might help boost that 57 a bit, as well as one unit of blood.
Now, I have no problem seeing a big water balloon of blood above my head. I have no problem seeing the line come down and go into my port. I had no problem seeing the blood go in one arm, into the machine and back into the other arm. At some point, I had to move the tubes around a little bit, and that red bllod tube in my arm? It was… warm… That was quite unsettling to me, as we all know that warm = body temperature = HOLY CRAP, THIS IS THE BLOOD FROM MY BODY!!!
I felt I handled the revelation well, though. No screaming, no puking, no crying, just an occasional muffled whimper.
Oh, and I also realized what an idiot I was today. At one point during the collection, I had to go to the bathroom. When you’re hooked up to a huge filtration machine, you can’t just toddle off to the toidy any time you get the urge. I told my keeper and she brought me a urinal and pulled the drapes. Just before she left me to my business, she helped me get off of the stretcher and stand up. Shortly afterwards, the bright light of idiocy shined down upon my bald pate.
You see, I have rather limited hospital stay experience. My first extended stay and use of one of those handy dandy urinals was when my hip was dislocated back in ’94. I couldn’t move out of bed, so they gave me the bucket and I figured out how to use it. Thus it was when I was in the hospital for my last round of chemo. They had given me a strong diuretic in the middle of the night to try to calm my asthma attack, so they lined up a couple of urinals for me so I wouldn’t have to keep dragging my IV pole over to the bathroom. Working from prior experience, I… did my business… lying down like I had when my hip was dislocated. Only today did I realize : If my legs work, I can stand UP and use one of these! SO much easier!