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By Dave Christenson on Tuesday, May 20, 2008 5:31 PM
(Note: New photos to be added shortly) The harvesting achieved the needed stem cells and the show goes on!The five days were spent with a very much routine process. I was fortunate to have Angie as a nurse with 15 years on the unit and 30 years at Northwestern. Angie's knowledge was appreciated when there were any questions or needs. The pictures show my present appearance, only a few gray hairs left! Those few hairs will be gone when the final chemo is given 24 hours prior to transplant and my body will be cleansed of any new cancer cell growth. The cancer cells divide rapidly while the marrow stem cells take a minimum of 14 days to divide which will then bring about new red and white blood cells to be produced. The original cause for the imbalance is that the cancer cells would crowd out the white cells bringing about the anemic state; anemia being another indicator of possible myeloma. The extraction of the stem cells from the body allow for the high level of chemo to be given without the destruction of the...
By Dave Christenson on Tuesday, May 06, 2008 9:40 AM
Emotions continue to be on edge with the side effects of treatment. The steroids are known to do exactly that when taking one’s mind to the point of depression and anxiety. Each day is not without some moment of tearful thought. On Friday I returned home after five days of stay at Northwestern. The second round of chemo was less intense than the first but not without constant discomfort and restlessness with aching pain. During this time I have daily blood draws for count regulation since I will begin harvesting on Monday (May 12th, Happy 60th birthday!) I think of it as a fresh start to a new beginning. Four to five days are allotted to harvest about 30 million cells and sometimes is achieved the first day or two. I was given an injection today that helps for the marrow stem cells to be released into the blood stream from which the harvesting will be done through a port just above the heart in the neck. After another stay at home I will return on the 28th for the transplant. The doctors are all comfortable with...
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