Some Basic Info

I was first diagnosed with malignant brain tumors on 11-20-08 and I finished treatment for those on 4-13-09. I was recently diagnosed with a recurrence on 12-08-09. I set up this blog so people could follow along with my progress and keep up with what is going on in my treatment. I also wanted to put up information from my first go round so people could learn a little bit about what happened to me before.
The blog is set up with the newest posts first. Sometimes I will post stories from my first experience, in which casse it will be slightly out of order, but the titles will let you know. If you want to look at older posts, which may provide a better idea of the whole picture, use the "Blog Archive" tool on the right side of the page to browse them. The titles of the posts should be pretty self-explanatory. If you don't really know that much about me, or what happened, you should check out these two posts first: this one about what's happening now, and this one about my first experience.
Feel free to leave comments, it should be open to everyone now. Thanks for visiting, I hope this little blurb clears up some confusion, and I hope you like the blog.

Monday, January 4, 2010

First Day of Stem Cell Harvest

Today was the first day of the stem cell harvest. Basically I had to lay in one position for about 7 hours with an IV in each arm. My blood went out my left arm, into this machine:

Stem Cell Harvester

Here's a picture of the whole set-up:

Me Being Harvested

It wasn't that bad actually. It was mostly just boring, I couldn't move my arms, so I couldn't really do anything except listen to my iPod, which is what I ended up doing. The only other issues were that I was really exhausted afterwards, which is really common, and I had tingling in m fingers and nose. The tingling is because they add an anticoagulant to the blood to keep it from clotting in the machine, so it goes into my body after it has moved through the machine. While in the body it bonds with calcium in my bloodstream, reducing the amount of calcium in my body, which can cause a tingling sensation in the extremities. To combat this I was on an IV drip of calcium, but I still didn't have enough in my system to completely stop the tingling.

Other than a few issues and being really boring, the first day of the stem cell harvest went pretty well. They won't know how many cells they got until they're able to get them under a microscope, which will be tomorrow morning when I have to go back or day two. Hopefully they were able to get a lot of cells today and they'll have enough by tomorrow.

1 comment:

Celeste said...

As a professional writer, I have to say that you are a very talent wordsmith. Your description of your experiences put me right there in the room with you.
And this is a very good idea to document all that is happening to you. I commend you for your efforts.
I once played soccer with you, your mom, and your little brother on the field at Mercy. So apparently you have many, many talents!
Keep up the good work. Hope you get back to 100 percent real soon.