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taken 8/4/07

Courtney and her kids

Courtney and her kids
taken 8/4/07

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

D -1 Collection Day

2.1 million stems cells were needed from Tracy. The goal, however, was to collect 5 million. There’s a chance that the first round of cells don’t do what they’re supposed to, so they like to have a second dose to give. For Courtney, they’ll have almost four doses to give, as they were able to harvest 8 million stem cells from Tracy. Now that’s what you call generosity.

Needless to say, the day went quite well. Courtney experience a little more nausea, but other than that she had a good day. Tracy’s was a little rougher. She got two Neupogen shots to the gut, and then spent over five hours hooked up to the apheresis machine watching her blood leave her body out one tube and return through another, while leaving behind the valuable stem cells. It’s quite an amazing process. While not nearly as painful as the old way of extracting bone marrow, it’s not an altogether pleasant process either. The Neupogen causes a flu-like achiness, and, in Tracy’s case, caused considerable pain in bones. The other main discomfort that she experienced was numbness of her lips and fingers. This is caused by a reduction of calcium in her blood. They mix her blood with an anticoagulant as it leaves her body (for obvious reasons) and the anti-coagulant happens to bind to calcium. To offset that side-effect they gave her some calcium through her IV and instructed to try to consume foods high in calcium for the next couple of days.

How do you pay someone for the gift of life, especially when that life is as priceless as Courtney’s? I’m sure Tracy feels that she’s only doing what any good sister would do, but that doesn’t lessen the value of what she’s done. The truth is, there is no way to compensate Tracy enough for her gift to Courtney. Fortunately, that’s the value of love – it doesn’t demand payment.

Thank you Tracy.

"And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness." - Col. 3: 14


Anonymous said...

Today is the day!!!!! when I left the hospital last night from work around midnight I said a special prayer because, when it is so cold outside your nose sticks together when you breathe in deep, the stars are shining so bright along with the moon you can wear your sunglasses, the deer are in the field thank goodness not on the road, God can hear and feel your prayers because of the beauty around you. Courtney and Todd I left work this morning around 5am and guess what the outside was just as beautiful as it was around midnight so I said my prayers all over again.
You are in my thoughts all day and every day.
God Bless
Rhonda, WI

Marla said...

Praying for you today, Courtney. Also praying that Tracy is feeling better. Both of you take care.


Amy said...

The story you tell is so touching. It is hard to read do to my leaky eyes. Thank you for that beautiful scripture verse. Hugs and prayers sent your way!

The Lassen Family said...

I just sent an email to you with my contact information. I had AML 5 years ago, my sister was my donor for my transplant too. I would love to talk to you :)
Dani Lassen


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