Stem Cell Harvesting (Early March)

March 6, 2024 | Reading time: 1 minutes

This week at MD Anderson I went through one of my rougher treatments, certainly the most uncomfortable so far this year.

My arm veins were far too small to handle the catheter, so I had to get a Central Line down my right neck. Even with the local, the pressure was certainly noticeable and uncomfortable. Once it was installed it wasn’t so bad and I was able lie still for the nearly four hours of harvest.

Stem Cell Harvesting #4

This is a machine which works a lot like dialysis. My blood is taken from my body, processed - in this case ran through a centrifuge to separate the heavier element - then returned to my body.

Stem Cell Harvesting #1

After the process was complete they removed the enormous (to me) catheter. I felt drained from the ordeal. I’m not sure if it was because my blood was “thinner” or just fatigue from the whole process.

Stem Cell Harvesting #2

In the end quite a bit of biomass was removed from my circulatory system. I’m estimating about a quarter to half a unit.

Stem Cell Harvesting #3

Next Week: Surgery to remove a tumor and various tumor samples.