Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Stem Cell Report

I discovered this morning that the little bedside TVs can also display DVDs or video tapes from the hospital's collection of more than 250 movies. I amused myself by watching "Cold Comfort Farm," one of the movies Paula recommended. I had just finished reading the book by Stella Gibbons, courtesy of Mrs. Duck. Both the book and the movie are hilarious. ("I saw something nasty in the woodshed.")

Between the movie, a rerun of Martha Stewart, an hour of cell phone chatting (before the battery died) and a half hour of pretending to read, the four and a half hours went pretty quickly this morning. All five of the other patients in the room spent the entire morning snoozing.

I didn't want to fall asleep until my stem cell counts from yesterday afternoon came in. Every time a nurse walked by with a piece of paper, I perked up, hoping to see my results.

The counts usually fall by 50% on the second day, but mine took a bit of a nose dive, falling from .64 to .14. Let's hope that today's harvest is more bountiful.

Another woman, at least 15 years older than I am, produced 1.78 million on her first day. I know, I know . . . it's not a competition.


Karen said...

Well, watching DVDs sounds a lot better than trying to read while your teeth must be chattering! Wow - I can't imagine why they don't re-warm the blood before they put it back in you, but I guess there must be some reason ...

Sounds like the stem cells are building up, slowly but surely.

Does it all have to be done in consecutive-day blood draws, or could you do on one week, off the next - to give the stem cells a chance to build up while your body rests for a while?

(the other) Karen
Go stem cells, go stem cells, it's your birthday, it's your birthday, go stem cells, go stem cells ....

Susan Carrier said...

I found out today that they do have the ability to warm the blood before sending it back to me. I don't know why they just don't automatically do that!

The timing for this stem cell collection is critical. It needs to begin ten days after my dose of Cytoxan and seven days after my first Neupogen injection.

So, no "days off," just consecutive collections.

My white cells were so high on Monday that the doctor told me to lay off the Neupogen for one night. The white cells plummeted the next day and the stem cells along with them. I'm back on a half-dose of the Neupogen tonight. It will be interesting to see what effect this will have on white cell and stem cell production.

Paula Johnson said...

Glad you liked Cold Comfort Farm. That "woodshed" bit will stay with you for years, trust me. You'll find yourself bellowing the line in a bad British accent whenever things don't go your way.

Karen said...

Wait - you have to REQUEST that the blood be re-warmed?! Does it cost extra or something?

I'm surprised they couldn't figure out that it would be a good idea when they saw you huddled under four blankets and shivering. ;-)

Weird ...