First 24 Hours Post SCT

Gratitude looks to the past and love to the present.
C. S. Lewis

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After months of anticipation, yesterday's stem cell transplant took only 2 hours, from noon until 2 p.m. Two units (about 2 pints) of the donor's stem cells were infused.

One of the miracles of this procedure is that these stem cells now automatically know their job of of producing new white cells and new bone marrow in my system. At the time of the transplant, my pathology was depleted of both white cells and bone marrow. These elements are needed for a health immune system and a healthy immune system is about to seek out and destroy the mantle cell lymphoma.

My doctors are expecting my lab results in two to three weeks to reveal that the donor's cells have successfully grafted to begin the work of fighting the cancer. Actually, there is now a 100-day count in progress to not only monitor the success of the transplant, but to also monitor the evidence of graft to host disease and other side effects. I may be able to go home in four to six weeks, but I will be required to have twice weekly checkups at COH for the next six months, perhaps longer.

By this calendar, we should be back to "normal" near the end end of February 2008.

Today, I received an infusion of red cells (type 0+) because those counts are down, as are the white cells, but the donor's stems cells are due to remedy that problem within two to three weeks. Otherwise, the only other side effects in the first 24 hours are nausea, headaches, and fatigue, all expected and tolerable.

My doctor's say that the best thing that can happen for the remaining 100 day watch is that the time is boring and uneventful. That means that everything is working according to plan and that we are gradually reaching the goal of permanent remission of the lymphoma. Let's pray for that outcome. I don't mind boredom, if that's what boredom means.


Susan Carrier said…
Hi Mike, I just came across your blog. I too have mantle cell lymphoma and am a patient at the City of Hope.

Once I get enough stem cells harvested, I'll have an auto SCT. (Two tries haven't reaped enough.)

I'm rooting for you as you recover from your Allo SCT.

Larry Craddick said…
Hello Mike,
I've missed seeing you over the last few weeks. Although I understand that the isolation was necessary to protect your immune system and avoid any delays in the stem cell transplant.
Yours and Dee Dee’s absence is noticed.
Wow, I'm amazed that it only took two hours for the transplant. That’s encouraging news. It won’t be long before your immune system is at full strength and the mantel cell lymphoma is in full remission.
I hope that the side effects are minimal and you are comfortable and not too bored. I look forward to hearing more about your healing progression.
Thinking of you often,
Al said…
Hi Mike, This is Al Wells, as in Al, and Peggy Wells (I'm the tall one) that usually sits in front of you in Church on Sundays..Peggy spoke with Dee Dee last night and got the web site. So glad you're on your way now with new stem cells. I'll make this short for now, but just wanted to say hello, and let you know we're praying for you....lets play golf next year !!! Peggy, and I just got back from the "Old Course" in St. Andrews. From one Hillsider to another! Al, and Peggy Wells

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