Tuesday, March 16, 2010

1,000,000 Stem Cells!

The final collection of Mark's bone marrow stem cells this morning yielded over 1 million cells. This is compared to a total of 1.9 million collected in January in 4 consecutive days, so it was a bonanza harvest today! I can only conclude that the Telecaster is indeed working its "stimulating" magic. To prepare for the harvest (in addition to rocking out with the Tele) Mark had 3 shots of Neupogen each of the last five days, and a booster shot at the clinic last night. He now has sufficient stem cells in the freezer to proceed with the transplant (not our personal freezer...).

Dr. Maziarz, BMT guru, showed up for a brief bedside chat this morning and presented the papers for Mark to sign to consent to the transplant. We were a bit taken aback, since we understood we would get one more detailed conversation about the transplant, timing, alternatives, etc. before giving the final go-ahead. We are 99% convinced that the transplant is necessary, but now have a March 31 appointment with Dr. M to get that last 1% of questions and doubts answered before signing the papers.

Dr. M confirmed that the treatment plan in the hospital prior to the transplant will no longer include full body radiation (due to the radiation already given to Mark's eyes). Instead, Mark will be given 6 days of the chemotherapy regimen BEAM, which is a combination of 4 chemo drugs. Mark will check into the OHSU hospital on April 5 or 6 instead of April 4, due to some differences in timing of the regimens.

There is now a stretch of two weeks with no doctor's appointments - hooray! We are taking off this weekend for Skamania Lodge in the Columbia Gorge. Check it out:


  1. Have a fabulous gorgeous weekend in the gorge!! And Kelly whizzing by next week will be fun. Just remember Julie doesn't find the tele as sexy as you do, so maybe leave it home this weekend. Go healthcare reform. Sorry about the frustration getting your docs in a row. love you . Susan

  2. Have a great time at Skamania Lodge. I love that place and its tough, through the woods golf course. The weather is expected to be spring like and warm. Willow and I have the kids over Spring Break. Willow working part-time means I'm going to be spending time at OMSI, the zoo, movies, Children Museum, reading books, etc.
    You two soldier-on in your valiant efforts to restore Mark to health once again - Dick

  3. Susan, I like the phrase "getting our docs in a row". Our doctors, our documents and our ducks -- all in a row, please!

    Dick, have fun with the kids this week. There were a ton of families at Skamania to kick off spring break.