Day 0… Happy Transplant DayTransplant!
It’s been a journey to get to this day with all of the rounds of chemo, nausea, hospital stays, bloodwork, and transfusions I’m so happy to finally receive the fresh cells to hopefully eliminate cancer that has turned my life upside down.
My gracious donor is from Germany and is a 12 out of 12 matches allogenic match. That’s pretty incredible, to say the least. A man who was kind enough to take the time to go through the donation process to save someone’s life he has never met. I am truly blessed to be his match.
If you’re interested in the process here are the steps from Cancer.net.
How does an ALLO transplant work?
Step 1: Donor identification. A matched donor must be found before the ALLO transplant process can begin. Your HLA type will be found through blood testing. Then, your health care team will work with you to do HLA testing on potential donors in your family, and if needed, to search a volunteer registry of unrelated donors.
Step 2: Collecting stem cells from your donor. Your health care team will collect cells from either your donor’s blood or bone marrow. If the cells are coming from the bloodstream, your donor will get daily injections (shots) of medication to increase white cells in their blood for a few days before the collection. Then, the stem cells are collected from their bloodstream. If the cells are coming from bone marrow, your donor has a procedure called a bone marrow harvest in a hospital’s operating room.
Step 3: Pre-transplant treatment. This step takes 5 to 7 days. You will get chemotherapy, with or without radiation therapy, to prepare your body to receive the donor’s cells.
Step 4: Getting the donor cells. This step is your transplant day. Your health care team puts or infuses, the donor’s stem cells into your bloodstream through the catheter. Getting the donor cells usually takes less than an hour.
Step 5: Recovery. During your initial recovery, you will get antibiotics to reduce your risk of infection and other drugs, including medications to prevent and/or manage GVHD. Your health care team will also treat any side effects from the transplant.