Friday, July 3, 2009

Transplant Part I. The Donor

As you all know Amanda, Robert's sister, was able to be his donor again. She has been getting neupogen shots (they stimulate the stem cells to grow) since Sunday. They collected her stem cells yesterday and today. They ended up needing to do two days to get enough of the goods for Robert.

Bright eyed and bushy tailed, they started collecting her stem cells at 7:00 am both days. (Don't tell her, but Robert and I were still sleeping ;)

They had to put in her IV's and get everything set up. Big scary machine on right, it's okay Amanda, don't be afraid. Okay, really she isn't afraid, she's a champ. Champest of champs, even.

I don't know this nurses name (How rude) but all the nurses around here are awesome.

Justin, Amanda's boyfriend came up to SLC to party and mountain bike. Okay, not really. He came up to be with Amanda. He is a sweet guy. Good thing he came too, someone had to guard the door while she went pee. (TMI again? Sorry. It's totally natural.)

They brought movies to watch and pass the time. Both days it took about 5 hours to collect. Like I said, she is a champ.

Linda, offering a little TLC. She says Robert doesn't let her do things for him (Ha, except tickle his feet, he'll let anyone tickle his feet) so Amanda is nice and lets her. It makes Linda feel loved. Watch this be the only post she reads... she it a little bit computer illiterate.

She will even admit to "hovering". She is awesome though. I have a great mother-in-law.

People always ask if this is a painful procedure for Amanda, and the answer is: only a little. She gets an IV put in, well two really. One pulls out her blood and it gets taken into a special machine that spins out the stem cells and then returns the rest of her blood back into the 2nd IV. There is no drilling in bones or anything horrific like that. It's not the most comfortable thing in the world, but it is relatively painless. The neupogen shots give her headaches and make her bones ache a little bit because of the quick growth of her stem cells. Amanda just ends up feeling tired and worn out after donating. 

All of Amanda's blood runs through this loop thing and through the machine.

Cradling her babies and keeping em' safe until they can make their way to Robert. He got 2 bags about that size.

They transport the Stem cells in this nifty cooler. I am sure it is high tech and special, but I am not quite sure how. Maybe it isn't... how boring.

All smiles. Staying happy and positive so those Stem cells will be too!

Ta Dah! Magic really. How fabulous that we have the technology for this kind of thing. I am grateful for medical technology everyday. It's amazing. I am also grateful that everything went well for Amanda. She is recovering nicely. She is going back to the Clinic tomorrow to get her blood counts checked and make sure everything looks good. She is doing great. She is definitely the super hero's HERO!

Robert received Amanda's stem cells around 5:00 pm today and he is doing well so far. He is getting really bad mucusitis from the TBI and chemotherapy. It is basically a breakdown of the mucus membranes in your mouth, esophagus, and GI track. It is not fun, at all. It makes it super tender and already Robert isn't able to eat much. So please keep praying for a quick recovery and that his graph will take soon so his numbers will start climbing.

This sunday is fast sunday, so again I am inviting all those who would like to, to include Robert in your fast. It means a lot to both of us. This next couple weeks will probably be the most difficult for him, so please pray for him often as well. Thank you so much. It means so much.

All our love.


  1. This post bring tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. Amanda is a brave and selfless young woman. What a beautiful gift to give your brother.

  2. Wow, you're really takin us there, huh? Ok. Great monster post, dedicated to keeping us informed. If there's anything I can't stand, it's sore throats and nausea. I'm feelin ya!