Getting ready for the CAR-T trial requires that the folks at Dr. Frankenstein’s lab get some of my T-cells. The process itself isn’t too bad, much like donating plasma at your neighborhood blood bank. Getting the plumbing done is a pain in the neck though.
The plumbing part requires a Marhurkar (huge catheter) installation in your jugular so that you can both send and receive blood simultaneously to a filtering machine that takes out only the part of your blood that it needs. It’s not very comfortable, and that’s probably why they like to place it a day before it’s actually needed. 🙁 Needless to say, didn’t get much sleep Tuesday evening. You also need to be really careful for a few days after it’s removed, so that you don’t disturb the clot in your jugular.
The procedure went okay, got the catheter placed on the second try – which – all things considered – isn’t too bad. They chose to go into the left vein in order to avoid the permanent line (port) in my right vein. Apparently, the left is a more difficult path. It’s all done now, so I’m not quite as grumpy as I was earlier. 😉
It’s now up to the lab to decide if my stuff was good enough to work with, and if so probably 4-5 weeks of genetic manipulation before I get it back. And that’s the tricky part. Yet another line – this time a Picc – and 24/7 babysitting for signs of zombification. More on that later.