We passed the time doing crafts, watching movies, walking a few laps.
Yeah, you don't care about any of that, do you!?
You want to know about the transplant.
SuperMensch gave a lot of cells. Which is amazing.
Donor Superpowers: Willingness to donate, and ability to give a lot of cells.
The very small downside of this (really, not a downside at all) is that it took all day to process the cells.
Do you hear me complaining? No way. This is a good problem to have.
We had hoped for sometime around 7pm, but by 7:30pm we heard from Dr. M that the processing was still going on. He looked practically giddy at the number of cells, so we knew it was a good thing. We had a short discussion about how many cells would actually go into Sam, and of course we all realized that since he was debating 15 million or 20 million....we should settle at 18 million.
Of course. 18....
(By the way, that's 18 million stem cells per kilo of Sam's weight. Don't try to think too hard about counting cells, it will hurt your brain.)
After that, we knew it was going to be a long night, so Sam settled down for some more body art:
|You can actually still see my bruises...don't look too closely.|
We waited and waited.
Finally at about 9:00pm, we officially were told that 10:30pm was the time. So they started the pre-medications for the transplant. Essentially, it's a blood transfusion, so they give Benadryl and Tylenol in advance just to make sure that no one has any reactions. They don't take chances with this bag of riches. Also he received one last high dose of steroids. All of these things are part of the whole cocktail of anti-rejection meds he's been on for the last few days to prep his body.
A little after 10:30pm, the cells arrived.
Sam met them:
After much consideration and adaptation of other prayers and words and thoughts, this is what we said (and with apologies to all those from whom I adapted these words -- I don't have my sources!)
This is the day that God has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118)
Wondrous God, Creator and Sustainer of Life,
We come before You, humbled by Your great gift of life. In Your infinite love You have planted within us tiny cells with the power to heal and renew. We are grateful for the miracles You have given us through medical research and the skill of our medical team and through the generosity of others and our donor in particular. Thank You for the potential and possibility of the miracle of this day. Grant Sam and all of us hope and patience as we await his restoration of body and spirit. Bless this day and every day with strength, courage, love and peace.
Blessed are You, our God, Ruler of the World, who has bestowed every goodness upon us.
Then I asked Sam if he wanted to say anything to the cells. Did he ever!
Here he is, in the photo below, chatting up his cells. He did that for quite a while. He welcomed them into his body and said he was going to give them a "nice family to live with." He told them, "I hope you like working with me," and he asked them to make themselves at home. Then he told them that once they are settled, they have to "go to war." (I gasped, I had no idea what he was talking about!) "Please go to war against the leukemia and when you win I will give you a big party and you can party until you're all partied out." I kid you not, he went on for quite some time talking...and then he held the line in front of his face and said the Shema to the cells. I nearly fell off the bed, I was so filled with amazement.
Cells in, vital signs checked over and over again to make sure he was alright.
His blood pressure went up a bit, which is very common and expected. A little medicine and he was down for the night:
Today we felt an immense outpouring of love and prayer from the whole wide world. Thank you thank you thank you.
This is the day that God has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.