Tuesday, March 29, 2011

2nd birthday photos

Morning, all! Down in the infusion center here at 18th and Williams in Denver for the 2nd day of the homecoming for my little white cells. Just sitting here getting a bag of fluids before they march the 2nd set of my BFFs up my chest and into my superior vena cava, so I thought I would share some birthday photos from yesterday.

Pre-party activities start with getting the warming bath going:
The blood is frozen and needs to be warmed up before it goes back into me. Pushing a blood slushy through the tubing wouldn't work too well and I suspect it might give you the ultimate Popsicle headache.

The party starts when the delivery service rolls in the super-cooled bathtub with my cells:

Put on the big gloves, dive in and pull out some super-cooled Geo blood:
If you look closely, you can see the condensation as a white cloud running down below the package. Hoping they REALLY warm that up before it goes into me.

Next, they give me this:
Hmm. Not a good sign. Your blood is stored with DMSO, which is a solvent that keeps the blood from getting damaged when it's frozen. But, when you get the DMSO/blood mixture it can make you a bit nauseated.  Right! On to the next step, thawing the blood out:

While the blood is warming up, get the plumbing prepped for the actual transfer operation:
Ok, the blood is warmed up and we're ready to go:
But let's just wait a second and double, double, double check that this is actually my blood. Since I'm not a vampire, I'm pretty sure the only blood I'd like to get is my own. Consult the paperwork:
Ok, it's mine, we're set to go. Here come's The Big Push of Life back into me:
And a view from the wing-woman's seat of the festivities:

And it goes in - and I barf. Instantly. Well, maybe not instantly, but < 60 seconds from the start. Ah, well. But out of it you get to wear a cute little dishrag on your head:

Through it all, of course, Susan is here to cheer me on, defend my interests and kick ass as required:

The whole procedure goes pretty quickly - probably < an hour for the transplant. And at the end of it, I have more healthy blood cells then when I started:

So, hope you enjoyed the tour! It was a good day, only tempered by the fact that I was definitely feeling a bit beat up from getting 18 doses of chemo last week. I suspect that I'll be feeling intermittently yucky for the next week or so while my body heals from the chemo. But along with that healing I will be getting my immune system reset which is super exciting!

1 comment:

  1. Have you ever been called cold-blooded? Bittersweet that you say hello to your stem cells and goodbye to your breakfast in one sitting.