This has been a very busy couple of weeks!
Yesterday Keith was finally ready to have the stem cells harvested. He had been receiving two injections daily since last Friday. (The shots left his with bone pain and headaches which was to be expected.) He was hooked up to the machine with both arms immobile for three hours. (I was kept busy changing the TV stations, taking pictures with our phones, etc.) We got the good news today that there were over 6 million stem cells collected and only 4 million are needed to proceed. So, everything is a go and Reid will be admitted to the hospital on Friday. Tomorrow he has some chemo on an out patient basis and then will receive more when admitted. This is to hopefully destroy any remaining cancer and also destroy his bone marrow so there is room for Keith's stem cells.
What is happening is pretty much the same thing Robin Roberts of Good Morning America has gone through. I've been following her story with interest on GMA. It was very encouraging to see her a few day ago celebrating Christmas with her co-workers when they visited her apartment. She is definitely starting to look better.
We do have to worry about infection when Reid's immune system is destroyed. It will take time for Keith's stem cells to take over and there is a small risk that they won't. He will also have to be carefully followed for any signs of host vs graft disease. And he'll be more susceptible to infection for six months to a year. But the big concern is just getting rid of his cancer once and for all. He has a more resistant type of Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
Reid is scheduled to receive Keith's stem cells on December 20th. That will be day 0.
I'm sorry that I still haven't had time to catch up with E-mail or post some of the pictures I've taken the last couple of days. When things slow down and I have a burst of energy I'll try and get caught up.
Thank you for your warm thoughts and prayers.