JULY 4TH- Celebrating our birthdays (7/3/14) & our new lives – Day 20

Well, July 3rd came with little trepidation. It was the day of my reinfusion, or official transplant day.  I was excited, but still fatigued.  I had heard about all the scenarios that could make stem cell reinfusion a bit uncomfortable.  I had my camera team ready.  No immediate family were in the country.  So, Matt ‘volunterred’ to be my videographer and Anastasia ‘agreed’ to take photos. I had forgotten how the prep for the reinfusion is simpler and shorter than the actual procedure. 


                             The  extended prep time allowed me to use my laptop for a bit.

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Now, the team was ready, but I wanted to lay down and not be propped up on one pillow.


I asked Dr. Fedorenko about the liquid nitrogen process and he showed me how it would be thawed.




This is how simple it is to get your own stem cells back.  By the way, the whole time, Dr. Fedorenko was asking me about my symptoms.  Slight metallic taste at the back of my throat, I coughed a few times, and saw a few black dots. My stomach hurt a bit.  I wanted to go to sleep : )

No bone crushing men sitting on my chest, no smell of creamed corn.  It all went very smoothly and quickly. What I did not know until it was all over was my heart rate was all over the place during the procedure.  Another EKG was scheduled for the next morning.


One bag was already done.  Remember, it took me two days to collect the 2 million that I needed.   If you are squeamish, look away.  Remember, stem cells are bloody red!


The next bag was getting ready for reinfusion, by placing them into the vials.  Effortless reinfusion because of our wonderful jugular catheter.  Bag one is completed! Bag two went quickly too!


After a much needed nap, Sheila and I celebrated our new birthdays, on July 3, 2014.  We enjoyed the traditional throwing of the liquid nitrogen down the hallway.  IMG_0214

Dr. Fedorenko presented the New Life Pin to both of us. It’s the symbol of the Iris.
My dad used to plant many irises, so it has an extra significance of  importance to me! 


                     It was a very happy day and we celebrated by sharing chocolate, not vodka!


            Then we gathered the four of us who celebrated
our new birthdays in the last two days!



                                                            HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!!


 Last year we celebrated the fourth of July by enjoying  all our neighbors at the Millers driveway party : )





















We all knew today was a special day for Andrea and Stevie!  Stem cell transplantation day for both of them.  I woke up really early, had breakfast at 6:30 and promptly went back to sleep.  Many reports of people checking in on me -but no motion.  Had my first chemo cleansing drip and ate lunch  while Irrina cleaned and gave me another Russian lesson.  She is thorough with her cleaning, a patient teacher and helpful in every way possible.  Now, I was ready to gather whoever was interested in an outing.   Note:  Almost everyone who comes into the 3rd floor wing to visit must wear a hat and a gown. We caught Anastasia and Irrina as we assembled.


Anastasa, Nebahat, Nancy, Irrina, Hatice and Judi and John in the front

We gathered 4 of us for our adventure outside.  Dr. Fedorenko did not come out with us, but we we really happy to see him outside later on.


    Our destination, the church.



                                               This is nyet my motorcycyle! : ) Private joke – sorrry



With my limited hand skills, I helped Judi get her ‘antennas’ out of the way with her scarf.  They can be awkward at times.
More scarf lessons tomorrow!


         Both Hadice and Judi had their first stem cell collection done earlier that morning.
                                       I had forgotten how woozy it can make you feel.


Although the church was built in 2004, it is still not handicapped accessible




Church was closed.  That’s the guards hand saying, “No way today”.   Since I climbed the stairs,  I still wanted a group photo!




Met the delightful Brendan Friel, from  Whitefish, MT and his dad.  He is currently on the second floor until a space opens up for him.  We encourage him to visit the 3rd floor often.So nice to hear about Brendan’s flyflishing adventures.  He reminded me a lot of Pete McBride!


Steve’s new cup that Harry brought for him!   Oh yeah, party in Carol and Stevie’s room after he got his new stem cells, and I finally got to meet Gro Larson, from Norway and her family : )


DSCN3524  DSCN3525


Let the new birthday, new life celebration festivities begin.  Mine were not the best photos, but there will be others. 




                          Andrea gets her Iris pin, symbolizing new life. 



                                                                Anastastia runs to hug Stevie!!!



Dr. Fedorenko is so happy to through the final liquid nitrogen down the hallway!



Everyone enjoyed the celebration and we’ll have another one tomorrow!


For many of of us, it was our first liquid nitrogren, new life, birthday celebration.  It will be one to be remembered!!!!




Ooops, I was supposed to have my second chemo cleansing between 2 and 3 pm.  Did not remember until after the celebration, so I started about 9:30 pm.  Wake me when it’s time to give me my new immune system : )