Today Cole and I went to UCSF to do the stem cell collection. With the fact that we had to be up in the City by 7am, and due to my anxiety about the upcoming process, I had a great deal of trouble sleeping. I remember seeing the clock run the down the back side of 1am and I woke up at 4am. Thank you Peet’s for getting me going this morning. I would not have made it without you.
We made it to UCSF in time and met a wonderfully quirky nurse who got Cole ready for the installation of the new IV line in his leg. Cole was a little scared that it was going to hurt going in despite the fact that they kept telling him that it would not. I think Cole has hit that point where he understands that adults who speak to him like a child will always lie to him about how much it will hurt. In this case however, it really did not seem to hurt. They put some numbing cream on his legs and then injected some more numbing medicine, and then gave him an anti-anxiety relaxing medicine. Cole, the nurses, and I talked about Ipods while the doctor did his business. The tube they put in his leg was, to me at least, a ridiculously long tube given Cole’s small leg. I decided to not speak up and let doctor go ahead and install the line. I figured there was no need to embarrass the doctor with my clearly superior medical knowledge. I know that you are probably thinking that the doctor has been to medical school and has been doing this for a while. But for all I know he spent medical school researching pancake recipes. After it was all said and done, I had to accept, albeit grudgingly, that the doctor did an outstanding job and Cole never made his pain face.
We then headed down one floor to the collection room. As we walked out the door, one of the nurses had to run back to get an elevator key. I figured this was to activate the employee elevator. I was wrong, and the reality was way cooler than my imagination (which is something that has very rarely happened in my life). The key gave us priority to the elevators. Now when I say priority, I don’t mean that the elevator comes to us first. This super awesome magic key (totally have to get one) sends the closest elevator directly to you, and then tells all the other occupants that they have to immediately get out and let us do our business. AWESOME!!!!! Now I know what it feels like to be royalty.
Today is the day that should have been Cole’s birthday. Cole and I decided that he should celebrate his should have been birthday as well as his real birthday.
The collection was, as most procedures that give me a great deal of advance anxiety, pretty unremarkable. They hooked some tubes up to his new IV line and cycled his blood for a few hours. Cole played Ipad the entire time (have you noticed a continuing pattern with Cole and Ipad and getting through tough times? Thank Mr. Jobs), and before I knew it, we were all done. They came in and took out the IV line. The only part that hurt was when the doctor intern (or resident, not sure but I know that she was about 12 years old….Geez I am old) had to put a lot of pressure to stop the bleeding. That ten minutes aside, Cole had no problems and we were able to come home this evening. The goal was to collect 15M cells. If they were not able to get that many today, we would have had to stay overnight and do another collection tomorrow. My man said, “You want 15M from me. Here is 36M, keep the change.” OK maybe he did not say it out loud, but I know he was thinking it.
This evening Cole was introduced to the show Wipeout. He found it super funny. What we found funny was that he was sneeringly making fun of the contestants, saying that he could do the crazy activities so why couldn’t they. It was awesome.
Time for some quick shout outs. Please forgive me if I do not mention anyone specifically, but the amount of help has been so overwhelming and abundant that I could not possibly begin to name you all. You know who you are, and please understand that I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I would like to throw out a special thank you to the San Mateo Rotary Club for their generosity. In addition I would like to thank the schools (Cole’s, Elisa’s, and others) who stepped up and helped out Cole.
Many of you have asked how you can help. As many of you know, you can check out the dinner page as well as the donation page as possible ways to help. In addition, we ask that anyone who is able to give blood, please do so. Cole has had multiple transfusions, and will likely have many more. Now it is not possible to give blood directly to Cole, but if you can add to the general blood bank, it will ultimately help Cole.
Tomorrow we are heading down to Grandma and Grandpa’s house for some Corned Beef and Cabbage (for me. Cole, Logan, and Elisa will eat Irish Bread). For now; however, I ask you to raise your glasses and toast Cole, NCAA Champion winning Head Coach.