Verfasst von: melscholz | 8. Mai 2012

Words cannot describe…

how happy I am!

…(I’m writing this a little later than usual and English will have to wait until Tuesday because I just skyped with my kids for an hour and it was so awesome great! I didn’t want to hang up -and neither did they!)

The final count won’t be in until tomorrow but Shlomi, the lab technician said it looks good :-§

It’s almost hard to remember the details of the day, I’m so euphoric.

In the morning, Tom, one of our first Israeli exchange students from 6 years ago joined us for a quick open air breakfast. It was great to see him and since we have stayed in touch over the years, we had plenty to talk about.

Sonja and I packed all that we considered to be essentials for getting through the long stretch of apheresis -books, snacks, beverages, I-Pod, loudspeaker and a whole bunch of other stuff..following the great suggestions from the HSCT Facebook group apheresis veterans- and headed up to the clinic.

Once we got there, Dr. Nadir decided that I hadn’t drunk enough and gave me a huge (1 liter) IV of fluid. I really didn’t want to have a lot fluids in me before being immobilized by the apheresis machine for 5 hours, but I guess if it helps…

Tali brought us over to the hospital once again. This time it was the 9th floor, very modern and tastefully done.

Aviva and Jenny, the two technicians, gave us a typical friendly Israeli greeting, which put us right at ease and started hooking me up to the apheresis machine, which is like dialysis and centrifugally separates the blood so that the necessary component can be collected. They adjusted a bit here and there and the machine started doing its job.

It took a long time but time flew, if that makes any sense. Simi from CTCI stopped by after a few minutes to make sure all was ok, we chatted about this and that with Jenny, then she got off work and Shlomi took over. He explained the details of apheresis to us, using some laminated cards to demonstrate, Sonja took a bunch of pictures for my scrapbook, a TV showing US news was runing in the background, then Samira came by and spent an hour with us. And all the while, those little stem cells were crawling into the bag. We didn’t need any of the good stuff we brought with us – a guy with a cart full of food and drinks even came by to make sure we weren’t getting hungry. It was what we are learning is typical Israeli hospitality.

(And in case you’re wondering, they have a bed pan for those who have to go but can’t get up…worked just fine.)

After 5 hours, the procedure was over, my arms and butt had pretty much fallen asleep but the bag of goodies was full! 200ml ( a cup or so) of plasma is also collected for the stem cells to be gently mixed into with another chemical preservation agent before they are cryopreserved.

Nadir had said before hand that I might feel light-headed and a little weak afterwards and prefer to use a wheelchair but NO WAY! I walked back to the hotel on sunshine!

Rarely, if ever, have I enjoyed a sunset as much as I did tonight. It’s almost incredible to me that I have finally reached this stage after working so long and so hard to get here. And your support is making the whole thing easier – THANKS :-§ (Mel with mask)


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