Thursday, December 4, 2008

Collection Day


Each day we have been going into the Huntsman for lab-work to determine if the stem cell concentration in my blood is high enough to begin collection. The metric used is called a CD34 test and it has to be at a 10 for a productive collection. On Wednesday it was at 8 and we were a little disappointed that it was coming up so slowly. However, the shot they had given me that stimulates the release of stem cells from the marrow really kicked in overnight, because on Thursday morning my CD34 count was at 49. So today was my first day of collection and it went very well. The process involves hooking me up to a machine that becomes part of my circulatory system for about five hours. Blood is pumped out of my body, into the machine that separates out the stem cells through a centrifugal process, and then returns the rest to me. We won’t know how many cells were actually collected today until tomorrow morning, but with my high CD34 count they were optimistic that we can complete collection (20 million cells) in 2 to 3 days.

Going home

My white cell count is on the rebound so Wednesday we were cleared to go home. What a relief it is to be able to come home at night. Lynn and I were getting a touch of cabin fever being locked up in the hotel room for the last week. Upon our return we picked up our mail from the neighbors and there was a card from everyone at work that really lifted my spirits. I have always said the greatest thing about working where I do is the people I get to work with. You guys are the best and I really miss seeing your shining faces very day. Thanks for your support.

5 comments:

Sarah said...

Hi Steve,
I think your new hair style really suits you! Just think of all the time you will save not having to do your hair each morning! I'm happy to hear that your stem cell collection is going well. Keep that count up! Below are some new jokes for you.......

---Religious Battle Golf
The Pope met with the College of Cardinals to discuss a proposal from Shimon Peres, the former leader of Israel. "Your holiness," said one of the Cardinals, "Mr. Peres wants to determine whether Jews or Catholics are superior, by challenging you to a golf match." The Pope was greatly disturbed, as he had never held a golf club in his life.

"Not to worry," said the Cardinal, "we'll call America and talk to Jack Nicklaus. We'll make him a Cardinal, he can play Shimon Peres... We can't lose!" Everyone agreed it was a good idea. The call was made and, of course, Jack was honored and agreed to play.

The day after the match, Nicklaus reported to the Vatican to inform the Pope of his success in the match. "I came in second, your Holiness," said Nicklaus.

"Second?!!" exclaimed the surprised Pope. "You came in second to Shimon Peres?!!"

"No," said Nicklaus, "second to Rabbi Woods."

---Golfing With an Older Man
A young man who was also an avid golfer found himself with a few hours to spare one afternoon. He figured if he hurried and played very fast, he could get in nine holes before he had to head home. Just as he was about to tee off an old gentleman shuffled onto the tee and asked if he could accompany the young man as he was golfing alone. Not being able to say no, he allowed the old gent to join him.

To his surprise the old man played fairly quickly. He didn't hit the ball far, but plodded along consistently and didn't waste much time. Finally, they reached the 9th fairway and the young man found himself with a tough shot. There was a large pine tree right in front of his ball - and directly between his ball and the green.

After several minutes of debating how to hit the shot the old man finally said, "You know, when I was your age I'd hit the ball right over that tree."

With that challenge placed before him, the youngster swung hard, hit the ball up, right smack into the top of the tree trunk and it thudded back on the ground not a foot from where it had originally lay.

The old man offered one more comment, "Of course, when I was your age that pine tree was only three feet tall."

Take Care!
Sarah

Larry Osterhout said...

Hi Steve how are you doing? I checked out this site on Thursday when we got home and saw that you had already got your hair cut. I tried to leave a comment but didn't know what I was doing so my daughter in law is helping me do it today. We should be back in Salt Lake either the 5th or 6th of January to start DonaJo's chemo treatments so maybe we can visit then. You are in our thoughts and prayers and we wish the best for you. Hope everything works out for the best.
Larry Osterhout

Cindy said...

Steve, I love your new hair do. You fit right in with all the young boys. That will help keep you young.
It is fine to take a nap because I have a feeling when this is all over you will be pretty busy with the family so enjoy it while you can.
Glad that you and Lynn had an okay Thanksgiving. It will be even better next year. Thanks Marie!!
I am so glad that your count is coming up. Way to go keep it up.
Tell Lynn hi and thanks so much for taking the time to blog. It is a great way to keep us all informed without having your phone going crazy.
Have a great week and now that things have settled down a little I will get in to read more often.

Love
Cindy

deanne said...

Hey Steve,

Bald is beautiful! . . . I've been telling that to Ron for years. It's the bumps and knots on your head that concern me! :)

We don't get to see enough of friends of old that we've had history with. This means YOU. I'm so glad that there are tools that we can utilize in order to re-connect with those we care about. You are one of those special people we care about.

Please know that our prayers are with you and your family.

Hugs,

Deanne

Mike B from RC said...

Steve,

We all miss you here at work. I see your hair style is getting closer to my style. It is not quite the same without your sense of humor. Thanks for doing the blog. I have been following it. I hope the treatment continues to go as well as can be expected. Hang it there.

You are missing some of the repainting and carpeting of the building. (Don’t worry it is just a different shade of beige.) The smell is lovely. I may starve to death with all the dieting still going on.

I hope your treatment progresses and you can return in due time.

Mike