Today, February 14, Valentine’s Day, is day zero as they call it in the bone marrow transplant wing of Moffitt. Day zero because the chemotherapy has killed Jean’s white blood cells, along with other collateral damage, and the transplant of her stem cells will take place. As a matter of fact, they are prepping her for that right now, 1:15. She is in her hospital bed, hooked up to a machine to her port. The lab specialist just brought in her stem cells, three bags of them. They will hang from a hook attached to the monitoring machine and will drip into her port. They take about 15 minutes per bag. And….. that is the transplant, baby stem cells that will divide and become white blood cells, platelets, and red blood cells. It takes about ten days for her immune system to rebuild enough not to be severely at risk. It takes about a year for it to rebuild to normal.
Jean is doing well. She hasn’t had a lot of reaction to the chemotherapy yet. We have been told that it takes about 5 days for her to not feel well from that. Also, it takes 5 to 10 days for her to lose her hair. She has arranged for a buzz cut on Monday. She continues her let’s just get it done attitude, and sees herself well at the end of it all.
I’m sitting off to the side of the room typing this, my wife is lying in bed getting a stem cell transplant, talking to the nurses, laughing with them, refusing medications for nervousness because she “doesn’t need them”, and just being amazing.
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