Rob is on day 2 of 5 of G-CSF shots (3 per day) for his stem cell harvest next week. We had an early morning at Levine today, and another one tomorrow, followed by a busy next week.
So what exactly are these shots, and why does he have to have them?
For a much better explanation, please see the following text copied from the Leukemia and Bone Marrow Transplant Program of British Columbia website, followed by the apple tree analogy, which was explained by the Levine pharmacist.
“What is G-CSF?
“G-CSF is a colony stimulating factor. Colony stimulating factors are naturally occurring special proteins in the human body that stimulate blood cell production and growth. G-CSF helps increase the number of stem cells in your blood stream.
These naturally occurring proteins can also be manufactured as a drug. The G-CSF used in our Program is Neupogen®. The generic name is filgrastim.
Why is G-CSF given?
In order to limit the number of times you have to undergo stem cell collection, the transplant doctor will try to move your stem cells out of your bone marrow and into your blood stream. This process is called mobilization. The G-CSF you will receive will encourage the growth of stem cells in your body and mobilize them into your blood stream for collection.”
Source: Leukemia and Bone Marrow Transplant Program of British Columbia website:
Apple Tree Analogy:
Another way to understand this process is to think of an apple tree.
The G-CSF shots grow the apples (i.e. stem cells), and then the mobilizer on Monday shakes the tree to get the apples ready to harvest. In this case, the mobilizer moves the stem cells into the blood stream from the bone marrow. This makes the collection process much easier.
Please pray that Rob continues to do well with his port, and there continues to be no major complications.
Please also pray that these shots (aka apple growers) are helping increase his stem cell production for the stem cell harvest on Tuesday. The collected stem cells will be sent to a lab to be processed and frozen until transplant day.
You all have been so kind to add us to your prayer lists, and we appreciate it beyond words. Please let us know if there is anyone we may add to ours.
Thank you for being there, Keep Pounding Rob team!!