I got my stem cells back this afternoon – no drama just a quiet transfusion over an hour or so.
Roman V. was here visiting during the procedure which was a very pleasant distraction and we researched stem cell engraftment online while it took place. We now know as much as any layman needs to know about bone vascular systems but are still left guessing as to how the stem cells on being pumped gently through the bone marrow know they are in the right place and stay there. Presumably the mysterious world of chemicals and receptors…
Anyway, that’s the end of this phase: the harvesting, high dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplant. But not the end of the care because, as I think I outlined, I’m still on the down of the big dipper and wont start to come up for a week or so. And that makes sense as I’m feeling very toxic now, brim full with chemicals, and quite nauseous. It’ll pass. Now my job is to keep clear of infections and complications, take the pills and drink water all day.
Day Zero. The ‘new beginning’ of the hospital transplant advice guides. It was good to have my stem cells back. I wish them well in there as they struggle to re-colonise the wasteland of my bone marrow after the chemical shock troops have seeped away. It’s a task of reconstruction and rebuilding. I can relate to that as it’s something I do a lot of in the practical way of buildings, buses and boats. It takes time, there can be set backs, but care and patience and time will do it.
I think I’ll reset the Day counter and like the hospital count away from this moment. Day Zero, Day+1, Day+2 etc.