Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Great Harvest

Sue was on the dialysis machine for about five hours today. Dina, the nurse assigned to Sue, was very pleased with the amount and color of the bag of stem cell blood collected from Sue. Based on her experience, and without seeing the actual test results, Dina thought Sue had done very well. We left the hospital about 2:00 p.m. with an appointment to be back to meet with Bridget at 4 p.m.

Before we started the harvest process, Bridget had prepared Sue for the worst. Sometimes the harvest takes a number of days. It really depends on how many stem cells your body produces. The Neupogen is supposed to facilitate white blood/stem cell production, but they opted not to give Sue the super expensive (like $6,000 per shot) Plexifor. At 4 p.m. Bridget would tell us the results of today's harvest and determine the course of things for tomorrow.

A stem cell transplant takes about 3 units of stem cells (we don't know what the unit measure is). Dr. Wolf likes to collect at least 10 units of stem cells if possible, so that multiple stem cell transplants over a course of years are possible from one harvest. 6 units would be a minimum target, and sometimes it takes a week of harvesting to get that many. Because Sue did not get the Plexifor, all the staff were anticipating a multi-day harvest.

At 4:20 p.m. Bridget delivered the news: SUE DID GREAT! They harvested 15 units of stem cells from her in one day! That's enough for up to five stem cell transplants. The doctors on staff and Bridget were pretty amazed. Sue just might be a textbook case -- the good results kind.

We recognize this Great Harvest -- and the good results of Sue's whole course of treatments so far -- as the answer to the many prayers of our friends and families. We thank you all for your support and for walking this road with us.


  1. So, I guess it was indeed a miracle draught - a whole boatload of stem cells! Perhaps that "landlubber" is a good guy to have around. May he be close and a continuing comfort for you.


  2. maybe all that vampire reading got sue's blood going in the right direction. great news! will keep praying for you guys. james bergen

  3. I hadn't realized you will so near to Jamie. His apartment is at 4615 17th St., just 9 blocks from the Carl. Sue already called to get his number, but I'll give it again, in case this is handier. 408-677-7714. Thanks for taking such good care of Sue! Jill