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      05-22-2017, 03:27 PM   #23
griz31
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I too donated Bone Marrow, approximately 3 years ago to the day. Mine was the giant needles to hip bone method as well.

The recipient was my Father, so a much different situation, but will offer my 2 cents from a different perspective.

I am a naturally anxious person and chronic over-thinker. The hardest part of this process was the unknown and the guilt associated with that. Having heard of the "pain" associated with the procedure, I was extremely nervous if not somewhat reluctant. I never had any doubt that I would go through with it, but even just the thought of reluctance gave me a feeling of guilt. It was my DAD after all, I was ashamed for even having that thought. It is a very odd feeling to know you would do whatever it takes, yet still have some self doubt in the process. To the OP - Obviously much different when a family member is involved, but just be aware of the emotional side of it as well.

Your procedure sounds much different than the needle in the hip, and from Rygel's description, doesn't seem to have the same "side effects"

From my procedure, I will say knowing what I know now, I wouldn't hesitate to do it again. It is a painful few days, but a manageable pain. If you have ever worked out really hard and had that muscle soreness the next day where you almost couldn't move, its a magnitude of that feeling. Hopefully that will help someone reading this thinking of that procedure.

Always happy to chat about it more, please feel free to PM me. It's such a great thing that I am sure more people would volunteer for if they understood it better.

Saving my Father's life is my proudest moment by far. While I don't think I am a hero by any stretch of the imagination, you are certainly a hero to those who's lives you can save.



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      05-23-2017, 09:34 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by griz31 View Post
I too donated Bone Marrow, approximately 3 years ago to the day. Mine was the giant needles to hip bone method as well.

The recipient was my Father, so a much different situation, but will offer my 2 cents from a different perspective.

I am a naturally anxious person and chronic over-thinker. The hardest part of this process was the unknown and the guilt associated with that. Having heard of the "pain" associated with the procedure, I was extremely nervous if not somewhat reluctant. I never had any doubt that I would go through with it, but even just the thought of reluctance gave me a feeling of guilt. It was my DAD after all, I was ashamed for even having that thought. It is a very odd feeling to know you would do whatever it takes, yet still have some self doubt in the process. To the OP - Obviously much different when a family member is involved, but just be aware of the emotional side of it as well.

Your procedure sounds much different than the needle in the hip, and from Rygel's description, doesn't seem to have the same "side effects"

From my procedure, I will say knowing what I know now, I wouldn't hesitate to do it again. It is a painful few days, but a manageable pain. If you have ever worked out really hard and had that muscle soreness the next day where you almost couldn't move, its a magnitude of that feeling. Hopefully that will help someone reading this thinking of that procedure.

Always happy to chat about it more, please feel free to PM me. It's such a great thing that I am sure more people would volunteer for if they understood it better.

Saving my Father's life is my proudest moment by far. While I don't think I am a hero by any stretch of the imagination, you are certainly a hero to those who's lives you can save.
Awesome, thank for sharing your story. Yea, the stem cell donation seems a lot painless (by a large measure). Great to hear your father is doing well. What a way to provide to someone who has given you so much over your lifetime!
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      05-31-2017, 10:48 AM   #25
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I just got back from Cologne last night. Flew in on Monday night, went through the health exam Tuesday Morning, and was back in the UK by dinner time. There was a liaison, Carl, that met me at the airport and got me situated to make things easy.



At the exam, I started with answering a ton of questions regarding my health history, family's health, liftestyle, etc., and they took basic vitals. Then they hooked me up to an EKG to check my heart beat, followed by an ultrasound of my vital organs to make sure everything was healthy. Finally, they drew 15 vials of blood samples (crap that was a lot of vials) for infectious disease testing. Fortunately I have gigantic veins that the techs love when they poke and prod.

I didn't learn too much more than what I already know from the literature they sent me ahead of the exam and through my own independent research. I think the only new thing of note to me that I learned was they add citric acid to my blood stream to prevent coagulation when they pull the stem cells, which will likely make my face and extremities tingle. They will counteract that with calcium during the donation.



Here's the building where they did the exam (the one with the giant "6" in front). The actual donation will be a couple buildings down. I wanted to take some pictures inside the clinic, but they politely asked me not to. Honestly, it wasn't all that interesting in there, but I at least wanted to take a picture during the ultrasound, as I've never done one before and have never "seen" my internal organs.

After I was done with the exam, I had a few hours to explore the city and grab lunch before heading back to the hotel. I roamed around the main cathedral area, about a 20 minute walk from the clinic, and scarfed down the best schnitzel I've ever had (been to Germany several times), promptly chased down with some tasty Kölsch brewed by the restaurant.



Now I wait to get the final green light after all the blood tests come back. I'm scheduled for mid-June, which will be about a week-long trip.
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      05-31-2017, 10:13 PM   #26
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thats awesome guys!
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      06-12-2017, 07:03 AM   #27
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I guess I owe an update as I should have been getting ready now for my trip back to Cologne to start the injections.

However, late last week (and just after I got the final clearance to donate), the treatment center on the recipient side advised us that the patient is not ready and needs further treatment before they can receive the marrow. I'm on hold for a month or two...
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      08-02-2017, 02:30 PM   #28
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Update: the recipient is ready and the donation is back on! They're trying to schedule me for the first week of September. I have to get some of the pre-donation tests redone since so much time has passed since the end of May, but hopefully everything goes smoothly this time!
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      09-05-2017, 04:22 PM   #29
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Not sure if anyone is still following this thread, but wanted to give an update:

Today was day four of my injections to boost bone marrow stem cell production. I arrived in Cologne on Friday, after a long delayed flight, and then the airline lost my luggage. Not a great start to my trip, but I'm not here to vacation.

I started the injections on Saturday, have been going in every morning since. Saturday I had to go out and buy some essential supplies, since I had no clue when my luggage would show up.

The side effects of the Filgastrim have been steadily increasing, and I'm only allowed to take Ibuprofin, which isn't helping all the much any more. The worst of it is the shooting pain from my middle lower back down through my legs, similar to sciatic pain. I have mild to moderate sciatica already, so I'm familiar with the pain, but it's been persistent and worse that what I'm used to. I'm not sure if the injections are magnifying existing pain, or what. Other lesser symptoms are mild headache, joint aches, fatigue, and loss of appetite, but all fairly minor. I get three injections in the stomach each day, and if you saw my stomach, you might think I'm a heroin junky. Good thing needles don't make me squeamish.

I've been able to walk around a lot and see a lot of Cologne (great city), as well as the towns of Bonn and Remagen by train, but starting today I decided to lay low and hang around the hotel. The prospect of walking around is unappealing. I was hoping to get out to Aachen, but I guess it's not in the cards at the moment.

I stayed local the first three days before venturing out to the other towns because I didn't want to soil my clothes travelling all over the place. I would come back to the hotel frequently to take showers and rest up before going back out. I finally got my luggage three days in (yesterday, Monday), and took the opportunity to get out to Bonn and Remagen.

Tomorrow is the fifth and final day of injections, immediately followed by the actual stem cell collection. I'll be hooked up to a machine to extract it out of my bloodstream for several hours. If they get enough, I'll be heading back home on Thursday. If they need more, it's another day of injections and the machine.

It's been a good trip so far. Although I was allowed a companion to come out with me, I opted to go at alone because I didn't want to bug anyone back at home. My wife had to stay back to watch the kids... it would have been great to have her here, but I've had a lot of time to reflect on what I'm doing, and the little bit of ass pain is well worth knowing that I'll be hopefully saving someones life, or at least extending it so they can be with loved ones longer. Life is short enough, I can't imagine the pain people have to endure waiting for a suitable marrow donor.

Several people have asked if I want to know the recipient. I don't. Not anymore after thinking about it some. I know the recipient will likely want to thank me, but that's not necessary for me. I haven't even told many people that I'm doing this, to be honest. My parents didn't even know I was in Germany until day 2. I've typed out more details here on this forum to a bunch of strangers than I've told to the small number of people who even know about, aside from my wife, brother, and best friend.
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      09-05-2017, 05:32 PM   #30
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Dude, your unselfishness is commendable.
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      09-07-2017, 04:38 AM   #31
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Dude, your unselfishness is commendable.
I have my health (although approaching 40 has not been pleasant ) and anything I can do to help another person improve their own health... just the decent thing to do. I'm sure almost everyone who is able to would do it if they matched up with a recipient.

***********

Anyways, yesterday I got hooked up to the machine and in three hours they had enough to give to the recipient, so I'm flying back home this afternoon. Had a good time seeing the Cologne area and had the opportunity to reflect on my own health and mortality while travelling alone.

Here's the only picture I managed to take yesterday while hooked up to the apheresis machine. I would have taken a better shot, but the one arm I should have been able to move around I really wasn't able to, because the machine would start beeping like crazy each time, causing all the nurses to have to fiddle with it.

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      10-11-2017, 07:44 AM   #32
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All I can say is "wow" Stooker. But I will come up with a few more words anyway. I hope you reconsider meeting the recipient one day. I think it will be as important to them as it was when receiving the actual transplant from you. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story.
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      10-11-2017, 10:45 AM   #33
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Wait, weren't you just in Paris?
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      10-11-2017, 10:53 AM   #34
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All I can say is "wow" Stooker. But I will come up with a few more words anyway. I hope you reconsider meeting the recipient one day. I think it will be as important to them as it was when receiving the actual transplant from you. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story.
Hadn't thought of it that perspective... I'll reconsider after they give me the routine updates (still anonymous) on progress of the recipient.


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Wait, weren't you just in Paris?
Aside from that post, I really was in Paris this past weekend, haha! Cologne in September, Paris in October... got a flight booked to Reykjavik for November! Times running short before I head back to the US next year, so I gotta get as much European travel in. First world problems, I know...
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      10-11-2017, 12:08 PM   #35
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Aside from that post, I really was in Paris this past weekend, haha! Cologne in September, Paris in October... got a flight booked to Reykjavik for November! Times running short before I head back to the US next year, so I gotta get as much European travel in. First world problems, I know...
DANG, you spent some time, after the donation, in some serious tanning beds! OR is the beach in the south of France just that good?
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      10-11-2017, 01:16 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by BOOF-M3 View Post
All I can say is "wow" Stooker. But I will come up with a few more words anyway. I hope you reconsider meeting the recipient one day. I think it will be as important to them as it was when receiving the actual transplant from you. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story.
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Wait, weren't you just in Paris?
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DANG, you spent some time, after the donation, in some serious tanning beds! OR is the beach in the south of France just that good?


That's too funny!
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      10-11-2017, 01:21 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stooker View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by BOOF-M3 View Post
All I can say is "wow" Stooker. But I will come up with a few more words anyway. I hope you reconsider meeting the recipient one day. I think it will be as important to them as it was when receiving the actual transplant from you. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story.
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Originally Posted by UncleWede View Post
Wait, weren't you just in Paris?
Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleWede View Post
DANG, you spent some time, after the donation, in some serious tanning beds! OR is the beach in the south of France just that good?


That's too funny!
We know you are but what are we? Oh yea, too funny!
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