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Brien Lee > Blog > BMT > Bone Marrow Transplant: Progress

Bone Marrow Transplant: Progress

Better Numbers and a “Boost”

@faaphoto via Twenty20

The Bone Marrow Transplant recovery process is a game of numbers involving blood’s basic components:

  • White Blood Cells: the core of your immune system
  • Hemoglobin: red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout your body
  • Platelets: instrumental in blood clotting.

At the beginning of my post-hospital recovery, I was getting both platelets and blood, because my numbers indicated I didn’t have enough of either (we’re talking post-operative numbers, not compared to your average citizen numbers).

The “game” is to grow these numbers — not yet to normal levels, but to levels that give you the energy and protection to get through the day.

My white blood cells hover around a 2.0. Not great, but these are often the last to grow.

My hemoglobin has been in the 8+ range for ten days now, so as of this Friday I will have gone 13 days without a blood transfusion (Less than 7.0 guarantees one, and I’ve stayed above 8).

And platelets are around 60, and 100 is the low end of human normal, so that’s showing a positive trend.

Last Thursday I had a “boost”, an extra transfusion of donor cells “cleaned up” to take out any aberrations or characteristics the doctors deem negative. This boost itself — a small brownish bag of “stuff” took about 10 minutes but the prep, doctor approval, and post-patient watch for any negative reactions to the slurry took much longer.

All went well. It takes 2 weeks or so to see a response from the body, and I’m looking forward to any good news I can get!

 

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