Yesterday Kim had her stem cell collection and it was a long and tiring day. It was also a very successful day. They needed to collect 5 million cells and were able to get 6 million so they have plenty to spare. The procedure itself was pretty easy. It's very similar to dialysis. They take blood out of one arm, run it through a centrifuge to separate out the stem cells and then put the remaining parts of the blood back into Kim through her other arm. They cycle her entire blood supply through the machine multiple times. It took about three hours to do the actual collection plus another three to four hours of prep time and waiting time.
The biggest side-effect with all the collection stuff so far has been bone pain. After the mobilization chemotherapy Kim had to get daily injections of Neupogen to help increase the number of stem cells floating around her blood stream. The injections worked extremely well but unfortunately the better the drug works the more it causes pain in the bones (where the cells are generated). The effects should subside in a few days though.
Next week Kim will get her third round of R-GDP and then if all is good they'll do the transplant.
In other news, Patrick and Toni and their beautiful 15 month old daughter Kiera are visiting us from Australia and we couldn't be happier to see them. It's a very nice change of pace from all the cancer stuff.