Stem Cell Harvest

A stem cell harvest. That sounds exciting and high tech, doesn’t it?

A pity, then, that it just involves me sitting hooked up to a machine for six (possibly 12) hours. Oh the fun.

For the last 10 days I’ve been having GCSF injected into me. The idea is to give my bone marrow a kick up the arse (or leg, as the case may be) and produce a crapload of blood stem cells. Normally these blood stem cells would turn into whatever was required in the bone marrow – red blood cells, white blood cells or whatever. However, this GCSF stuff makes my bone marrow make so many blood stem cells that they spill out into the peripheral blood, meaning when I have this tube in my leg they can pump the blood through a machine which does some black magic and sorts out these excess cells from the rest of my blood and store them.

All the while I get to lie there doing bugger all. And if they don’t get enough first time round, they hook me up again until they get as many as they need. 6 hours (at least) straight without internet (no wireless remember >_<) I’m going to have withdrawal symptoms.

Talking of internet, I know I shouldn’t have said “yes” to doing a video for jimmyteens. Instead of “Adam” I’m being referred to by relatives as “our resident music maestro!” or similarly embarrassing titles, all because of a 2 minute video of me making a hash of playing the guitar. And I’m being put on the “Southampton DVD” as well…I guess it’s only 2 minutes of pain. I blame my sister mainly; she’d told all of her friends literally hours after it was put on the internet – so I’m getting messages from people I barely know saying “nice video” with a smirk. I know I shouldn’t have hyped it up or mentioned it here either. Oh well, it’ll blow over, hopefully sooner than later.

Yesterday was the Sixth Form induction day. I didn’t go for all of it, just for a talk in the morning and one in the afternoon. Our school’s sixth form is broken up between two schools – I go to Elizabeth College, an all-boys school, and up the road is Ladies’ College which, as the name implies, is an all-girls school. In the sixth form the two combine, meaning I have lessons both at Elizabeth and Ladies’ Colleges, as do most other people in the year. This would be good if I was at full health, as I’d be able to have lessons with friends at Ladies’, meet new people, etc. However, neither of the schools are accessible at all for wheelchairs/crutches (steps galore, especially for all the subjects I’m doing), and my timetable has 11 movements at least between the two colleges. This may or may not be a problem, depending on how much I get to school post-op, but you can see the potential difficulties.

The actual induction day itself was quite surreal really. I’d hardly seen any of my friends since the end of May, and then suddenly everyone was there, in suits no less. It was weird seeing old faces, seeing how people had changed (or hadn’t) and catching up with what people had been doing, their GCSE results etc. I also got singled out in the second talk for wearing a hat (I’d been given permission by my school, but not Ladies’) and had to suppress the urge to play the ultimate guilt trip on the person by saying I had both permission and cancer. To be fair, she did apologise afterwards when she realised.

Anyway, that’s what’s been happening recently, and what will be happening, so that’s that really.

8 thoughts on “Stem Cell Harvest

  1. Yesterday was a very action packed dey for you Adam. Very nice to see all your colleagues again and like you say all in suits, real gentlemen! I am sure you will meet alot of new friends from the Ladies College. Take it one step at a time, with your deterination I’m sure it wont be long before you are on your feet again and giving it your best shot. You are going through a long dark tunnel at the moment but after your operation it will be all down hill and you will soon be out the other side. Your GCSE results were excellent, we are all very proud of you and best of luck for the future.

  2. Now I feel inclined to leave a very long message.
    I am disappointed at the lack of mention of me, your glamorous tour guide, without which you would have been lost.
    It was really great seeing you after exactly three months.
    How time flies!
    I assume you’ve heard about your “presence” at Louise’s party? You were very entertaining and we enjoyed your company.

  3. I was so annoyed about induction day because i didn’t get to chat to you and i was muttering about that all the way through the tour of elizabeth college (where the tour guide conveniently missed out half of the tour)… as you may know, ‘paper gilly’ is becoming quite the celebrity,
    it sucked not having you at my party but your paper counterpart is quite the entertainer as you can see by the numerous photos you feature in.
    l x

  4. You love me really!!!! feel quite chuffed i’ve made it into your blog though. But do feel compelled to correct your little ‘observation’. No one was *made* to leave comments on your video you old toad (or forced to watch it for that matter). Comments were left because they ENJOYED it!! Honestly… xxx

    P.S. your cat vomited all over my bed last night. At the moment I cannot be responsible for my actions. Suffice to say he is not my favourite living creature at the moment.

  5. Hey, are you back from harvesting? did they use a combine harvester!!!!???? no seriously, what did you experienced? are you sore?

  6. heya, I cant belive I’m going to say this but unfortunately u beat me on the stem cell harvest!!! 🙁 The annoying thing is i was on the machine longer than you!! grrr!! sorry didn’t get to say goodbye to you hope we get to see you after surgery!! xxx

  7. This is david from stanmore hospital i came after you and left before you, hope you remember me. anyway i am writing to ask you how you are doing and i am hoping you heal very quikly.

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