Taking my blood for a spin

Tomorrow morning, I’ll be returning to the City of Hope. I’ll be spending my mornings hooked up to an apheresis machine, getting stem cells extracted from my blood. I’m scheduled to do this all week.

When I signed up to donate platelets back in the early 1990s, I was registered in the bone marrow donor database. So I’ve always had the notion in the back of my head that I might someday be a bone marrow donor. It never occurred to me that I’d also be the recipient.

The stem cells being extracted will be put back in after I’ve had a massive dose of chemo to kill off my bone marrow, and the cancer that is residing in it. Once it’s been thoroughly poisoned, the stem cells will be dribbled in, and will replace my bone marrow. This treatment is generally considered a way of buying time, but my transplant doctor thinks he’s cured at least a couple of patients with this technique.

I won’t mind being number three. Or even number four.