38 million

This morning at 7.15h I left the Spaarne Hospital to go by taxi to the VUmc for the stem cell harvesting. I arrived there at 7.50 am. I waited until 8.30h to be finally helped by a nurse. They started with a count of CD34 positive cells, CD34 is a protein that is expressed on the cell membrane of stem cells. With a count they make a guess whether stem cell apheresis is going to be successful that day, they also check whether the number of red and white blood cells are high enough and whether you have enough platelets. In my case, the nurse told me that she had never seen a stem cell count that was so high.
I started the apheresis around 11.30h. To attach me to the machine she stuck a big IV needle on the inside of my left elbow (the cubital fossa) from which blood is sucked out into the machine and an IV on my wrist of the right hand through which the blood is pumped back. They took the wrist here because it allowed me to move my right arm (pumping back blood requires a smaller vein).
The complex apheresis machine essentially is a big centrifuge. Based on the mass it filters out blood plasma and stem cells. I was attached to the machine until 15.30h. In that time they filtered twice my blood volume (in my case about 12 liters of blood went through the machine). I found the procedure painless. I was unhooked from the machine and had to wait for the stem cell count of the extract so that they would know whether or not I would have to return for another harvest tomorrow. They would need 2 million stem cells (I think this is per kg of body weight).
At 17.05h the nurse informed me that they had more than enough. The yield of my extract was a staggering 38 million stem cells, an amazingly high amount.
I finally could take the taxi home to see the kids, whom I hadn’t seen for four weeks since they left for the Philippines on the 1st of August.


Goed jou zo blij te zien! Wat een geweldige oogst! En wat zul je genieten van het weer thuis zijn!

Wat goed! Hopelijk is het weerzien thuis heel fijn!

Bram you’re a lean, mean, stem cell machine!
OK, not mean 🙂

Who! 38 miljoen ipv de noodzakelijke 2 miljoen…uitslover!! 😉

Kunnen er eigenlijk nog andere mensen geholpen worden met het overschot?

Je kunt maar ergens goed in zijn… Maar ik weet niet wat ze met die stamcellen doen, of dan mijn herstel misschien sneller is, ik heb geen idee. Ik geloof niet dat iemand mijn stamcellen wil hebben, ik ben natuurlijk geen gezonde donor.

The smile of an overachiever 🙂

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