Waiting, yes we are waiting. Waiting for the death of Wayne’s old white blood cells (WBC’s). I bet you thought those nasty chemo drugs had killed his old bad WBC’s before he received the transplant. Not quite. The goal of the chemo drugs was to stop Wayne’s bone marrow from producing any more cells, essentially to kill out his bone marrow so that the donor’s bone marrow could rule “the body of Wayne”. The cells that are already out in his body do not want to die, so we have to wait, wait for the old cells to die. For the young cells, and the tougher cells we have to flush them out of their hiding places with the help of drugs. A lot of these extra WBC’s have been hanging around in his enlarged spleen, there are even some stored on his blood vessel walls. So the first question we ask every morning is “what is Wayne’s WBC count?”
Now many of you may be asking, “Isn’t it possible that the chemo can also kill the newly transplanted stem cells? Good question! Because the chemo are strong but short acting drugs, they work quickly to clear out Wayne’s old bone marrow (or at least we pray that it does)- so that the new bone marrow will have a nice place to roost. So for now we are waiting.