Skip to main content

Two-day Donation

I am scheduled to go back to the hospital tomorrow for the second collection of blood stem cells. This should be it for a while. If all goes well, this could be cure for the young man. He may, in the future, need more blood products and that is something I need to consider.

My day started with a breakfast of sorts at about 4:30 AM. My dad picked me up at 5:30 and we made the one hour drive to The James Cancer Hospital. At the Apheresis center they took more blood samples, about 9 vials. The human body has about 6 quarts of blood in it. I think the hospital has about that much from me by now! The nurse then gave me the final shots of Nuepogen and sent me to get something to drink or eat while they waited on the blood tests.

When I returned to the unit they took my vitals and began hooking me up to the machine. In my left arm they placed a stainless steel needle in my arm at the bend. This needle is the exit spot where the blood would exit my body and head toward the machine. Since it is a slightly larger needle I was unable to move that arm for the entire duration.

They then placed another needle in my right arm on the top part of the forearm. This spot is for the blood to return after the stem cells were removed. Surprisingly this poke was worse than the other. The nurse blamed it on my tough skin!

The first two hours laying there weren't too bad. The final hour was a bit more trying as my left arm, the one I couldn't move, felt like it was asleep. There weren't any "pins and needles" just a dull constant ache that worsened when I tried to move my fingers.

After three hours it was time to disconnect me from the machine. This, I must say, was the worst of it all. After that long in the bed my body had begun to heal around the needle sites and as the needles left my arms it felt like burning iron.

So, what did I do for three hours? They have TV's but I brought my Mp3 player and listened to John Eldredge's Waking the Dead: The Glory of a Heart Fully Alive. It is another great book by Mr. John Eldrege that I'll have to post about some other time.

I was pretty tired after the whole procedure and was happy to get home to the couch and a book and the family. I'll be up again early tomorrow for the final saga of this experience. Please pray for the young man receiving these cells and for his family. Pray for me that I might unite my sufferings with Our Lord's for the salvation of souls.


scmom (Barbara) said…
God bless you for your sacrifice, Jim. Just think of today's Gospel and realize how closely you have come to creating a miracle. Good stuff!

I think I mentioned that I used to donate white cells and platelets through apheresis -- oh, about 20 years ago. Back then you had a needle in the bend of each arm and had to call a nurse over just to scratch your nose. Ugh! Just thought I'd say that so you can appreciate your loose arm today!

Popular posts from this blog

2016 Rosary-A-Day Giveaway

That's right!  For the month of October we will be giving away one of our handcrafted cord knot rosaries each day during the month of October, the month of the Rosary.

For your chance to win, simply send an email to ( with the words "Rosary-A-Day" in the subject line.  Each day we'll randomly pick a name to win a free "surprise me" (our choice of colors) rosary.  We'll also be giving away some copies of Rosary Meditations for Real Life throughout the month from those names submitted.  Make sure to not be selfish, share the love and let others know!  Good luck!

One winner per household.  Please enter only once, you will receive an email confirming your entry.  Multiple entries from one email address will be deleted. Any order through our site will qualify you for a second entry. Your email will stay in until you win or until the end of the month.  US residents only please unless you are willing to pay the $15 shipping.  Than…

Catherine's Mobile Stander

I've once again learned to not underestimate this girl.  At school she has been receiving therapy using this stander to help her gain strength and stamina.  We brought it home for the summer and I'm simply blown away.

I'm amazed at how proficient she is at maneuvering such a device.  She is able to roll around corners, through doorways, over carpet and more.  Catherine makes it look easy and she does so with the hand-eye coordination of a professional gamer.

However, what really amazes me is her disposition when she is in this contraption.  There are tons of books and videos addressing the power of posture, the power of physical positioning and it's influence on the mental position and mental health.  
These short (35 minute) sessions that Catherine experiences twice per day confirms the theories.  Each time she is placed in the stander her demeanor changes.  She's happy, smiles more (if that's possible) and is more outgoing.  She wheels around the house greet…

Take Up Your Cross

Thursday after Ash Wednesday

In the First Reading, Moses challenges the people, and us, to "choose life". He says, "choose life, that you and your descendants may live." This seems pretty practical. If we choose life, we and our descendants will go on. If not, well...

However, I think we need to look deeper. In fact, I would encourage you to insert a word here in the scriptures, if only mentally - "choose eternal life." For most of us, choosing life is not much of a choice in the arena of our daily lives. Most of us do not rise in the morning with the thought of I'm going to choose to live this day racing through our brains. Yet choosing eternal life must be an everyday, and in fact every moment, choice. It is an effort to make those choices day after day and minute after minute. In some degree, every choice we make throughout our day is a choice for either eternal life or eternal death - therefore choose life!

So how then do we "choo…