He did it! He’s harvested!

WHOA!  A very very very early morning.  Due to steroids from yesterday, Tony was wired all night.  Didn’t sleep much.  I’m sure the excitement of today was part of it.  Me?  I was soooo exhausted, that I did sleep.
Up at 5am.
At Toronto General Hospital before 7am.
They first collected some blood for testing to see how many cells he had and confirm that it would be enough to collect for the machine to do it’s job.
Then we reported to the actual clinic where it’s performed.  Second Floor. I pushed him with a wheelchair. Too much walking inside the hospital.  Can’t blame him.  He was tired.  Once there, they confirmed it was a go.  Blood work was good.
While waiting for his special chair, we met a couple.  The husband was donating.  Fifteen years ago, he put his name down on a registry for a donation.  Fifteen years later, he got the call.  Someone in the world needed his stem cells.  We thanked him for his selfless donation.  Truly, lots of great people out there.  The gentlemen sharing the room with Tony was a perfect match for his brother who has a very rare aggressive type of leukemia.  He was donating for his brother.  Warmed my heart.
I wish I knew how to post pictures on this blog!  This room had two chairs, two machines and two technicians.  Each patient had their own technician taking care of them.  They had one IV line in his right arm taking the blood. It went through all the tubing and into the machine which filtered out his plasma in one bag and his stem cells in another.  When completed it went to his left arm with another IV line and given back to him.  At any given time he was missing less than half a cup of blood.  As Tony said “I am one with this machine”.  Very cool to watch.  Science has come such a long way.  His technician was wonderful. Obviously loved her job.  Tony mentioned that he remembered reading an article about Stem Cell Collection in Readers’ Digest.  Who would have thought that he would be part of this incredible miracle.
He was connected at 10:15am and done by 1:15pm.  Three hours. Enough was collected for two transplants.  We had to wait an hour for them to retest the collection before we could go home.  During the procedure, Tony’s sister visited and then while waiting for the final news, my brother visited.  It actually made the day go faster and the support from everyone via texts throughout the day was great.
Got home at 5:30pm.  Another long day.  A good day.
Our evening ended with both our boys having dinner at our home with us.  So proud of both of them!

Our next appointment is Thursday, with Dr. C.  I guess we find out the next step.
We suspect he will need more D-pace chemo treatments to shrink those tumors in abdominal area.  Once those are gone, the next step is transplant.  Still have a battle, but he can do this!  I know he can!
Keep those prayers and positive energy coming our way.  So far, it’s working everyone!
God bless Tony
Hugs to everyone!