Monday, August 15th
I woke up Monday feelin’ fine. No fever, no nausea, and no bone pain! Apparently, bone pain stops once the hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) (that the neupogen is working so hard to multiply, and that will be used in the transplant) are released from the bone marrow, into the peripheral blood. They then float around in the blood stream until they are collected using aphaeresis (think a process similar to dialysis).
Interestingly (hey, the more you know!), HSCs look and behave in culture like ordinary white blood cells (WBCs), and laboratory scientists use markers that appear on the surface of the cells to find them. This process is neither easy, or cheap.
So, for our purposes at this point, we were looking for a high white blood cell count. It stands to reason that, the more cells that look like WBCs (easier/cheaper to see), the more HSCs there will be when it comes to selecting them out. Finally, a normal, healthy WBC is between 4.5 and 11 x 109/L.
Well, when Dr. Atkins came to see me in the late morning, he informed me that my WBC count was high enough that we didn’t have to wait until Wednesday to do the collection and that we would be doing it a day early (tomorrow/Tuesday)!!
The rest of the day was spent visiting with mom in the afternoon, then the hubs in the evening, and finally getting a blog update posted before bed.