Saturday, January 10, 2015

First Part of CR's New Treatment

Well the take blood out, put blood not used back in happened yesterday.  Poor Cliff was strapped in this chair and not able to move from 10:30am till 2:00pm

The arm with the blood pressure cuff, used to keep that vain nice and plump and ready to give was the arm the blood came out of, the other arm was where the blood was put back in.  Sadly no coffee was administered and he really would have liked some.  He could have had some, but he couldn't get up to "go" so he just suffered for the sake of the treatment, poor guy.
The purpose of this procedure is to take out white blood cells and platelets, and give him red cells and anything they don't need back.  He did really well, but man was he stiff when they finally let him get up.

Blood going out and blood going back in minus the white blood cells they are capturing
This is the machine that is used to do the magic of separating the platelet, white, cells, etc.

The machine that does it all

The bag on the left is saline, the bag in the middle with the yellow fluid - platelets and the bag on the right is the white blood cells.  They can’t totally separate red and white, so the bag looks red.

They also warm the blood to body temp before it’s returned to him, which we thought was cool.  Also included in the process is calcium that is put into the returned blood.  There is a concern about depleting calcium, so I'm making sure he gets not only his usual supplements, but also more in his food.

The white cells fill the bag to where you see the bottom of the label, then they mix the platelets into the bag of white cells to nourish the white cells for the trip to California. 

You should see the huge and very well secured and padded box that is used.  A room temp cool pack is set in a slot with the white cells, then on either side of the middle slot are slots for true cold packs.  It’s all very fascinating.  And all very precise.

So that is the blood draw or as they call it a “mononuclear cell collection by apheresis” or just Apheresis for short – which the first time you hear them say that it’s like – what? 

The 2 ladies who do this process monitor it at all times, watching the centrifuge as well as the color of the returned blood, etc.  They were great and explained everything to us with every step.

It was an exhausting day, but good to know what to expect for the next 2 times.  Monday Cliff will have an Infusion of the white cells after the lab in California gets done with them.  That process is about 1&1/2 to 2 hours.
Today we are just plain tuckered out.  We were up at 5:30am, on the road about 7 and not home till 6:30.  It was a long day.  We are just praying that it's the answer we are looking for and when we see the Oncologist again we are going to ask her how she will measure if the treatment is indeed working.  We've been told that his PSA may not be an indicator and may not go down.  It's presently at 167, so if it doesn't go down, how will they know?  I'll let you know when we know. 
I hope you find it as fascinating as we did.  The ladies told us they do this same type of thing for exchanging platelets that helps with some diseases, for collecting stem cells and a multitude of diseases that can be helped with an exchange like this.
Happy Stitches and Hugs,



Jennifer said...

Isn't medical science amazing these days? What I really find incredible is the blood work that be done on babies in utero, so problems can be sorted out before they are born.

Carline said...

Very interesting, thanks for sharing that. I sure hope and pray that it does the trick.