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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Stem Cells Infused

Yesterday, I got my second melphalan treatment.  It was a bit scary knowing that the chemo was totally destroying all my body's defenses.  Surprisingly, I still felt fine, probably due to the anti-nausea meds I was given.

Today was a whirlwind of activity.  I had more visits than I can count from nurses, aides, attending physicians, interns, teaching assistants, physical therapists, dentists, nutritionists, and volunteers, to name a few.  I am certainly getting an intensive level of care here.  It's really great, but I have to admit it can get annoying to have a continuing procession of staff visitors hovering over me.  There are times I want to be able to just lock the door.

Apparently I passed the test of not being allergic to sulfa drugs.  Yay!  I was on bactrim for almost 3 days with no visible reaction.  That's good to know.

Today was the big day to get my stem cells back.  They started at around 12:30.  The whole process was somewhat anticlimactic, as it only took about half an hour to inject them into my Hickman port.  They also gave me benadryl, tylenol, and ativan, so I was pretty sleepy all afternoon.  However, I'm feeling fine now, still with no signs of nausea.  Today is the first day of my new life with a new immune system, so Happy Birthday to me!

The stem cells came in two bags, one with 3.2 million/kg and the other with 2.2 million/kg.  So it appears that Dr. Richardson decided to give me more than half of what was collected, leaving about 4.5 million/kg in reserve for a possible future transplant, unlikely as that may be.  I'm comfortable with that.

I'll try to update this blog regularly over the next couple of weeks, depending on how I feel.


  1. Congratulations on the new immune system. It seems appropriate that this took place on the first day of spring!

  2. Happy Birthday! Keep updating us on your progress.

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  4. Congratulations Bill, progress sounds amazing!

    - Ryan

  5. Thank you all. I really appreciate the support. I'm happy everything is going well so far.

  6. Happy Birthday,Happy Spring,Happy New Beginnings!

    New York Marilyn