Week 18 – Wed 3rd – Transplant Day!

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.

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Chris Cabot from Wagga Air Centre flew Tony and Katy from Forbes to Melbourne on Tuesday evening.

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.

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Tony injects is last G-CSF before the collection procedure

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.

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Katy packs up the needles

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.

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Blood brothers!

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!

 

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Enroute to Canberra

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.

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Jan and Dougall celebrate the big day!

10 thoughts on “Week 18 – Wed 3rd – Transplant Day!

  1. Well done guys! Blood brothers for sure! What a happy new year you both have to look forward to. Wilbur fondly remembers Tony’s red Nissan pulsar sports hatch with pinstripes and reckons this is where the extra 20% came from. Happy trails. Leigh and Wilbur

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  2. A positive start 👍Good luck Geoff. We at ARCBS Wagga are following your progress and wishing you well. You will be pleased to hear that our wonderful Wagga Blood Donors have been coming in in great numbers over the holiday season .

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  3. I’ve been thinking of you all day and can’t believe you even did a blog post today!
    A fully overachieving family for sure. Thanks for keeping us all informed.
    Xx

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  4. You are looking deceptively well Geoff, although I feel for the mighty Jan and understand if she has acquired a few grey hairs.

    Persevere with your high spirits – every day is one day closer to the 100, after which you will have 40+ years to look forward to.

    My love to you and your crew
    Amanda xxx

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  5. Great news that all has gone to plan with the transplant. We wish you all the best and am following the process and your progress with great interest.

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  6. Well done mate, you are so fortunate to have such a supportive family getting around you. Lets look forward to some positive results!

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  7. Good news GEOFF. We have our fingers, toes and all other body bits crossed for a successful transplant !
    Best wishes to you, Jan and family for a great 2018 and beyond.
    Doug & Wendy

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  8. Hi Geoff and Jan. Great to see that things are progressing. We are presently in London and it is a reminder that great battles are so often won in very trying circumstances. No one ever expected the Battle of Britain to end up a RAF victory. Sharing your experience is an inspiration to us all. Thinking of you all and your fight to beat this challenge. Regards Bruce and Susie

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