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Sir, Your Stem Cells are Ready

by Tom on March 24th, 2010

Today is “day zero”. A few hours ago a woman arrived with some serious refrigeration hardware that contained two little sacks of blood, and in that blood, stem cells.

The nurse prepared me by giving me really large amounts of Benadryl and Zofran to try and keep me from getting nauseated during the actual process. The preservative that the stem cells “chill” with can make people’s bodies do weird stuff.

During the actual infusion I felt a scratchiness in my mouth and throat around where some of the lining has been weak. It really hurt! I’m glad that I collected quickly in the beginning, and so didn’t have as many bags to retake.

Want to know how the cryopreservation works? You see, when water gets really cold it crystallizes (i.e. ice). Our cells are full of water. Deep-freeze ‘em and they get all broken.

DMSO, however, doesn’t crystallize at the same temperature. Collected stem cells are bathed in DMSO as they’re frozen. As the temp drops, the cells suck in some of the DMSO and spit out some of their water. And this is how cryopreservation works.

You can put this blog post in your CV if you want to start looking for jobs.

The pain from earlier today is gone, and the cells are delivered. All that is left is for them to activate and take their places.

From → Treatment Phase

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