Friday, February 27, 2009


Day -14 Health Score 82
Today I underwent my 1st apheresis. This is a process by which my stem cells are removed from my blood and then frozen. They will be given back to me on March 13 after my bone marrow has been wiped out. The goal is to harvest at least 2,000,000 cells. I am not sure exactly how the machine does this, but I imagine it is like when you put your loose change into a coin sorter; as it spins the coins drop according to their size. Whole blood is pumped out of me through one of the ports of my Hickman catheter. The machine then runs it through a centrifuge which separates the cells by size and collects just the stem cells. The remaining blood is is then returned through the other port. Because I have amyloidosis, it is their protocol to also monitor my heart because of potential fluid shifts that would stress the heart. (although, with a heart transplant, that risk is low).
As the nurse began today, I sensed that they were having some trouble with the machine. The one nurse kept saying, "The interface is labile." This sounded more like something you would hear on Star Trek as Scotty calls up to the bridge exclaiming, "Captain, we can't hold on much longer; the interface is labile!!" I assume is was nothing as the next fourhours of collection were uneventful. Soon they will let us know the count to see if another collection tomorrow is necessary.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello Dr. Anderson-this is John Castiglia. I doubt you remember me (because of the sheer number of patients you have). I am the marathon runner who ran a race with kidney stones, you also performed 2 procedures on me for kidney stones, and I see you every 6 months for a KUB. Yesterday, I just found out about your medical leave.
I just wanted to send you an e-mail to let you know I was thinking about you and I hope to see you back at Kaiser real soon. I always enjoyed our appointments and wanted to expres my gratitude to you.