Journal entry by Dave Clark

Well the second day of stem cell harvesting went about the same as the first.  The really big difference being, that this second time around, I knew what was coming, and hence was much better prepared for each step in the process.  

I have to give great credit to Joann and Michelle -- two of the most caring and patient ladies I have ever encountered.  These gals have taken me through these two days of travel over uncharted waters, with gentle good humor and patience and of course complete expertise.  

The "Out" needle which is placed in one arm, HAS to be inserted into a large vein located at the inside of the elbow.  Which is a big long steel needle.  And consequently that arm and elbow joint MUST remain immobile for the entire procedure.  But the other arm -- where the somewhat less intrusive smaller needle goes, today they were able to get that into a vein in my upper arm, above the elbow joint, and consequently today that permitted some movement in that arm. 

What a treat that was, to be able to scratch my nose, or eat a cookie, or take a swallow of apple juice without outside assistance.  But not many swallows, as that would lead to problematic consequences.  As I'd discovered the previous day -- I'll spare you the gory details, and just say I've not a shred of dignity left.  LOL

I'm not any kind of an addict of daytime TV fare.  So what is one to do with oneself for six solid hours of being strapped down like that?   Well since the stem cell collection process requires almost constant monitoring and adjustments to the machine and levels of fluid additives and so on, Michelle spent almost the entire day with me, and we got to know one another quite well.  Great conversation, which kept my mind off the various indignities being inflicted upon me.

I reported to the Aphaeresis clinic at 7:30 in the morning, and walked out at 3:30 in the afternoon.  That's a pretty full day.  So an Uber to the downtown Chicago Metra station, and then the 45 mile commuter train ride back home.  Great to be back on familiar turf, after more than two full days on the University of Chicago campus in Hyde Park.

Overall, a very interesting and enlightening adventure over these two days -- but one that I'm certainly not eager to repeat, anytime soon.  While there were no major side effects resulting from the various drugs I was given for this process, I finished very tired and with blotches here and there all over me.  And my arms look pretty battle-scarred.  And, and despite having eaten very little, apparently somehow gained almost 10 pounds since I left home Monday afternoon.  Guessing mebbe that's fluid retention.  I'm pretty puffy all over -- found my non-expanding watchband was very uncomfortable, so put my watch in my pocket instead to go home.

Now I've got four gloriously drug-free days ahead of me, to recover from these last six days of Stem Cell harvesting.  Then next Monday it's back to the University of Chicago Hospital downtown again, for the main event itself. 

While my intention over these past few days was to focus on PT for my recovering shoulder fracture, in retrospect I find that my attention has been completely overtaken by to this stem cell harvest.  So back to the local PT clinic this afternoon, for more "Pain and Torture".

Thank you to all the followers here for your continued prayers and support.  So far we're doing pretty good, and hoping that trend continues in the coming weeks.

Will pick up this narrative early next week.

Dave Clark

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