I had my new immune system installed on 16 February 2016.
It consisted of 5.5 million of my own blood stem cells, which were harvested via a process called Apheresis in October 2016. As I was quite unwell and unwilling/reluctant to continue to the next stage at that time, I agreed with my treating doctors that we would allow me time to recover for a period of time, and then get stuck back into it.
So here we are, four months later. All the meetings, appointments, phone calls, arrangements, calendars, favours, work hours, tears, worry. All done in 45 minutes. No drum roll, no ceremony, just me, two nurses, 5.5 million stem cells in liquid nitrogen and a lot of patience!
My wonderful transplant nurse practitioner here at Peter Mac, Trish, gave some bonus commentary in the video to explain a little more about the process. Trish has been absolutely wonderful in keeping me informed, delving into great detail and always remembering the small things. She has no doubt thousands of patients to remember, and I am deeply touched.
The infusion/transplant was not painful, as a nerd it was super cool to me. And we can only hope that my new immune system decides to stick, and give me a new lease of life.
When you have a transplant, you always talk in day +1,2 etc afterwards – to mark the days since transplant. My hope is to have no complications above the danger zones of 7,30,45,100 & continue with an abundance of health well past day +3,650.
So again, happy birthday to my new immune system! We just wait out the next 10-14 days in the hope I have no complications.