Day 0 – Infusion

Stem Cell Terms:

Transplant – To transfer tissue or an organ from one body or body part to another.

Infusion – introduction of a solution into the body through a vein for therapeutic purposes.

Engraftment – To plant firmly; establish.

I get my stem cells back today, known as infusion. It only takes about 15 minutes. Then I just have to make it through the next two weeks while the chemo does its destructive work and my cells engraft, i.e. migrate to the bone marrow and start producing new white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets.

Infusion is a painless but stinky business. Short-term side effects include bad breath and body odor caused by the DMSO solution used to keep the frozen stem cells from crystallizing. Poor Susan!

Starting tomorrow I’ll go to the clinic every morning for blood tests and will be treated according to my daily deficiencies. I’ll be on anti-everything drugs and will get transfusions as needed.

Until engraftment is complete, a transplant recipient is susceptible to infection, anemia, and bleeding caused by low blood cell counts. Therefore, special precautions are necessary during recovery. Patients may be given red blood cell and platelet transfusions during the recovery period to help prevent anemia and bleeding . . . On the average, it takes about 2 to 3 months to recover normal physical performance after an autologous procedure. However, it can take as long as a year for a patient to get back to his or her normal routine.”

I’m focusing on one day at a time. That’s all any of us has, whether we think we are in good health or are struggling for survival.

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” – James 4:13-15


3 thoughts on “Day 0 – Infusion

  1. May I offer a very sincere “happy NEW Birthday” Mike- A date you share with my daughter who got re-infused yesterday. I offer prayers of joy and healing for both of you!

    I was a simple, but far more emtional event than I had anticipated. We are trying our hardest to “germ proof” a house with two wonderful kiddos-4 an 2, while Grandma and I live on ibuprofon.
    Best wishes

  2. Our hearts and prayers are with you. May God use the miracle of drugs and the wisdom of your doctors and His mighty power for your healing.

  3. Mike, I’m praying that each of those little stem cells will find their proper place and start doing the job they’re meant to do. God’s works are mighty, and I pray that he’ll pay special attention to your body today.

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