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      09-05-2017, 04:22 PM   #29
stooker
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Drives: '18 F80 / '06 S2K
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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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