Wednesday, February 2, 2011

More Tidbits on Bone Marrow

I'm tired. I haven't been sleeping well, but that's no surprise. We are still waiting for the yucky side effects of the chemo to show up, i.e, mouth sores, fevers, increased nausea and weight loss. From what the doctors and nurses tell us, it's not if, but when. And we're not quite to the anticipated "when". That should hit about Day +4 or 5 (Friday or Saturday).

The weather here was gorgeous: 60 degrees, breezy and sunny. It sounds like that's quite the contrast from the majority of the country right now. I took a needed fresh air break and took a walk at lunch time while William worked with the school teacher. The trees already have pink, fragrant blossoms. And it's the beginning of February! There is something calming and nostalgic in the sweet smell of spring blossoms. But I was lonely and I missed my children.

When I was talking to the doctor about William's blood counts and what was going on in his body right now, he explained that all his bone marrow was gone. If I was to look inside any of his bones, they would be empty. All the spongy, marrow substance is gone, dead. I find that fascinating. So now the transplanted stem cells are finding their way back to the marrow space to engraft into the bone and start reproducing themselves and eventually produce daughter cells (the white and red blood cells, platelets, etc.). Oh, and the stem cells are specifically bone marrow stem cells and they have receptors so when the blood passes through the bone marrow space, the specific stem cells know to attach to the bone while the rest of the blood cells and particles continue right on through. Isn't that amazing?

If I had my college Anatomy class to do over, I think I would find it much more fascinating and relevant today than I did way back then. I liked observing them, but had a hard time with the smell and touching them. Little did I know that motherhood would provide ample opportunity to deal with grosser, smellier things than a well-preserved body. Oh, how we change.

1 comment:

  1. Hang in there guys! You are an inspiration to us!
    Dave & Jennie & family