Day Zero

So, today was pretty uneventful. <happy dance> I mean, other than Dad getting his transplant. </happy dance>

We got the word around 8:30 pm that we were all systems go. The actual transplant began at about 10:40 pm and was all wrapped up by 10:56 pm. (The cover photo for this post is the stopwatch Bekah asked me to run during the procedure.) Were told it would be anti-climactic, which is a strange way to describe a procedure that’s life-giving—but maybe I’m just a little sentimental. Anyway, Dad experienced zero side effects, and he was feeling great when we finally tore ourselves away a little after midnight.

Those 7 million stem cells (which now belong to Dad, not his donor) have a lot to do, and while they’re busy replicating—at a mind-boggling rate—Dad’s body will be all, “Waaaaaait just a minute here. What’s going on? Am I supposed to be okay with this? Ooooor am I supposed to be fighting against the… okay, no really, settle down. Stop multiplying for crying out loud! I need to think!” In other words, his body’s going to be working really, really hard, and he’s going to be wiped out. But then over the next few weeks, as the stem cells engraft, his immune system will crank into gear and his white blood cells, then platelets, then red blood cells will build back up.

Tomorrow, Dad will continue with his 20-hour/day anti-rejection drip, and he’ll add some new meds: an anti-fungal, an anti-herpes, and the chemo med that’s finally going to separate him from his lovely white hair. (I told him I’d shave my head if that happens. I might just do it.)

Oh, and in case you’re wondering what a bag of 7 million stem cells looks like… think tomato juice. It’s about that color and consistency. I’ll spare you the full color photo.

And I’ll leave you with that, because I’ve gotta get some sleep. Thank you, so very much, for all your good vibes. Don’t stop now. XO

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