My donor brother, Tony and his wife flew down from Forbes late on the Tuesday afternoon and were picked up at Essendon airport by Dougall on his way back from a few days water skiing at Echuca with friends.
Tony dropped into the hospital for a quick catch up prior to the big donation day today. He also made his last injection of the growth factor for the stem cell production.
He was up early today for a swim in the Melbourne baths prior to arriving at the hospital at 8.15am,
For him the process was straight forward – one line in each arm and then an extraction of red blood cells, plasma and the all important ‘Tequila” coloured stem cells. The red blood cells and plasma were returned to him once the stem cells had been removed.
Early on the in the process the medical team took a blood sample to check on the saturation of the stem cells in the retained fluid. This gave them an indication that in the five hours of the process they would obtain sufficient blood cells for my transplant.
The aim was to collect 5,000,000 stem cells per kilo of my body weight. To do this they have to cycle almost three times his total blood capacity of about 5 litres through the machine.
Chris Cabot dropped in during the morning for a good old chat on aeroplanes and all things aviation. And we had a surprise visit from Andrew and Beverle Irvine who are in Melbourne at present house sitting for a month.
Then followed a long waiting game. Tony was taken off the aphoresis machine after just over 5 hours. We had to wait a further two hours before the stem cell tests were completed.
And when the news came in it was all good – Tony had produced 20% more stem cells than I needed (he always was an overachiever). This allowed the team to take off a sixth for freezing and further use if required.
Tony and Katy stayed around for the initial transplant procedure and then headed off to the airport to return to Canberra where had a vehicle needing to be driven back to Forbes (tomorrow).
Tony you are my hero! Thankyou so much for your kind and loving donation – it will save my life!
On my side I did not experience any significant reactions during the transplant which was a huge relief. No nausea, no headaches or pains.
From this point on we wait and watch…….one day at a time!
Thankyou so much to everyone who sent wonderful wishes this week – your support has meant a lot to me, and to my family.