Today’s post is brought to you by Ellie – my words, not Mark’s, so put away those expectations of humor, †Mark is feeling too wiped out to write (dictate I should say) but it is such an historic day that I couldn’t let it go unnoticed.
What a simple routine procedure for such a life-saving event! Yesterday , somewhere across the country, bone marrow cells were collected from our 19 year old donor. A volunteer flew across the country to pick them up. When we “checked in” to the Wilmot Hilton this morning, they told us that the cells arrived late last night and were being kept fresh for Mark. He was started on IV fluids for several hours and then hooked up to monitors for his blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygenation. Then the cells were brought into the room – in a cooler just like you would take on a picnic!! They looked like any bag of blood and were given to him just like a routine blood transfusion. In just over 60 minutes, Mark was infused with five million (!) cells. Two million is considered the minimal. It was so routine, he slept through most of it (probably due to the Benadryl and Atavan cocktail they gave him). Once in his body, the cells mysteriously know to travel through the body and migrate to the bone marrow. Pretty darn amazing, wouldn’t you agree?
The doctor explained to us that within 30-90 days, Mark will convert to the donor’s blood type and he will have his DNA. So they consider today his second birth.
So Happy Birthday my love!!!
Nurse Allison getting the cells out of the cooler