of the eyes.-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Yesterday was nearly a 12-hour day at City of Hope. We started the day with an 8:15 a.m. arrival for outpatient surgery and installation of the Hickman catheter through which I will receive the blood transfusion from my stem cell donor on August 22. This has been placed in the left side of my upper chest and will remain there for at least the next six months or longer.
Finished with the outpatient surgery around noon, so Dee Dee and I enjoyed a quick lunch before reporting to the COH Apheresis Center for a blood exchange when they began the conversion of my blood type from A+ to O+. Receiving six units of O+ blood while they removed the same number of units of my blood, this method is a "conditioning" step for the coming SCT. My blood is now about 60% O+ which means that the August 22 infusion of the stem cells will find my blood type about the same as the donor and that is suppose to help prevent possible adverse side effects. I learned that City of Hope was the first transplant center to develop this technique more than 20 years ago.
What about visitors while I am at City of Hope for the next month to six weeks? Dr. Nakamura says that there are no express restrictions on visitors at any time. The only requirement is that all visitors must be gowned, gloved, and masked when visiting my room. Also, there may be times when I am simply not feeling like receiving visitors, so Dee Dee and I recommend that you please call her cell, (909) 477-0262 to check on the status of visitation.