Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Nitty Gritty

The transplant procedure yesterday afternoon could not have gone better! There were 6 - 8 doctors and nurses in the room, and Mark was hooked up to various monitors to check his heart, blood pressure, etc. during the 90 minute infusion. In order to be as gentle as possible with the stem cells, they were infused into Mark's central line with a hand held syringe. So a nurse was sloooowly pushing and refilling this syringe for 90 minutes! (I couldn't help but think of how tired my hand gets after 2-3 minutes of whipping egg whites or whipped cream by hand...)

Mark was carefully watched for any adverse side effects and there was a shelf full of medications at the ready, if needed. But none were needed. Mark was wearing his Superman Tshirt, after all. One of the odd side effects of the DSMO used to preserve the stem cells is a distinctive odor, - like creamed corn (think "grade school cafeteria"). It was a bit unpleasant, but not bad. The process was a little tense, and after it was over and all the team members had congratulated Mark and left the room, Mark and I were exhausted and took a nap.

Mark is a little tired today, but still doing great, and so am I. Thanks for all the love and support; it means more than you can know.

Hugs -- Julie


  1. wooooo-hooooo!!! Ain't nothing like the real thing!! Hope to get to the lounge this week to do my dance to the stem cell gods. Glad everyone is being great; I have such hope for medicine at its best. Concert was great but take home message is "never wear new shoes without socks".We missed having you at the table, Mark, but would rather listen to you sing and eat your food anyway. All you need is love.


  2. Congratulations, Mark, on your successful launch! While the rest of us were juggling silly deadlines and putting laundry in the machine and wondering what we'd have for dinner, you were in your Superman mode, getting ready for the rest of your life. We're in awe!

    Big hugs to you and Julie. Wish Pete and I could join the crowd that promises to line up at your door to help when you get home!


  3. I am so glad to hear that things are going all right! I'm thinking of getting one of those Superman T-shirts.

  4. Good news, Julie--So relieved it went well. Love you both, and hope to see you soon.


  5. Apparently what I posted yesterday didn't really post, because I am a Luddite. I embrace my Ludditness. Mostly what I wanted to say was how much Armin and I love you guys and how you are doing this with more grace and power than anyone else I know and, unfortunately I know lot of folks who have done it. You are indeed Superman and Julie, you are The Goddess of all Goddesses. You are in our nightly prayers, part christian, part Jewish, part pagan and all there for you. See you May 10th. xxooo Kitty

  6. Hi Mark and Julie - CHEERS on your successful first day! You two and the doctors and nurses are quite a team! We are so happy to hear that all went so well. By the way, what is DSMO and we wonder why it has such a strange fragrance.... Last night at dinner a friend here told us of a musician friend of hers who has had a similar transplant and is now well and very active. So continue to go for it, Mark! Love, Doris and John

  7. DMSO is a strange compound that has many uses... specifically here it is used to suspend the stem-cells in liquid nitrogen - DMSO helps keep the cells viable during this phase.

    This compound has a long and storied history actually - with much of its original research being done in Oregon.

    Here's the WIKIPedia link: