Tuesday, March 15, 2011

cobe borg lives!

Here I am at the infusion center, being a happy little Borg. Specifically, I am hooked up to a Cobe Spectra, which is now my BFF of the stem cell transplant world:
The bag on the upper right contains my happy little white blood cells, which will be frozen and given back to me. But no! You want more of a close up of the whole vampire operation? Ask, and you shall receive:
My finger is pointing at the line going out of me. The other line is going back into me (minus some WBCs). The whole thing is really quite amazing. It's quite a specialized hotel here - I have access to room service, which I have already used to get a mid-morning snack (english muffin and fruit). Wireless access is good and Susan and I are both happily typing away at our keyboards as I type this:

The only issue is that you are connected to this machine for five hours. And if you have to go to the BR during this process? Well, you're peeing in a bottle. So, the key is to pee before you start, and minimize your fluid intake and hope for the best! I guess it's a good test of your prostate health to see if you can make it five hours without having to take care of business. We'll see how that goes!

Ok, that's it for now. I'm not sure if we'll get all the cells we need today (5 million) or if I'll need to come back tomorrow. The lab will look at the blood collected today and decide later this afternoon if I need another day of collection.  Much as I enjoy sitting here in my Borg alcove it would be nice to get this done in one day. Again, we're in wait and see mode. A big part of getting through this process is being flexible and not getting freaked out when schedules change. So we'll finish today about 1:30, go home and recharge and see where things from there. More news as it happens!


  1. late breaking news. Looks like I will be back tomorrow. Apparently my stem cells are shy little fellows and we'll probably only get about 1.5 million of them today. Since the goal is to get 4-5 million, I'll be back in the big chair tomorrow. My WBC is currently 52.8 (normal is 4.5-11) so I've got lots of WBCs circulating in my peripheral blood supply. But we're hunting for the elusive stem cell which typically only lives in your bone marrow. I've been getting some medicine to get those guys to release into my blood stream so we're getting there but won't be done today. The only problem with the medicine is that it does tend to make your GI tract rock and roll a little bit but it's not too bad so I'll just grin and bear it.

    I've ordered room service (garden burger, hmmm...) have attended two meetings virtually, worked on a training plan for a new hire and written a little code. So even amongst stem cell collection, life goes on!

  2. Enjoying your humor. So, since this is so often mentioned on blogspots worldwide: what exactly is a Borg? Yes, I am ignorant of Borg terminology. I admit it. So, if you have time, in that wireless access domain that is Boulder County, please enlighten me. I'll even throw in a Unity-Of-Boulder: OM Shanti OOOOOOOMMM.

  3. Ah, yes. The Borg. A Sci-fi reference (Star Trek). Check out the details at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borg_(Star_Trek)

  4. What? Not everyone was raised on Star Trek references? Shocking. Only kidding. Turns out us Trekkie spawn are in the minority. Good thing I am keeping the Trek-culture strong in Montana; dinner on local deer followed by Star Trek movie viewing. Love you Dad! You and your WBC keep it real...and keep us updated! besos, Caitlyn

  5. Wow, carnivore dead hoofed animal consumption followed by mythical imaginary fantasy character viewing! Quite an evening :)