Things will be relatively quiet for the next week, and then I start giving myself shots to stimulate the production of stem cells in my bone marrow, and taking medications to get those stem cells to move to my blood stream. And then, next Monday, the 24th we begin collecting them. That harvesting procedure will be outpatient for a few hours each day, and most likely over the course of two or three days. I was going to explain the whole process on here, but actually got a bit sqeamish, so if you'd like more information, I found this link which is pretty comprehensive. I also found a picture of the machine used for the stem cell collection on flickr. I especially enjoy the expression on the face of the technician or doctor next to it. My thoughts exactly, guy.
If timing works out as I hope, I will be able to join my family and friends for Thanksgiving, before repeating diagnostic scans the following week which will determine whether we're proceeding with the stem cell transplant immediately, or doing additional rounds of chemotherapy before the transplant.
Thanks to everyone for being in touch. It's been really nice to hear from all of you, and see those of you here in Chicago. I hope you all have a very nice thanksgiving!