Creamed Corn

28 Jun

I got out of the hospital this morning after an uneventful day and evening yesterday. I was hospitalized for pains that turned out not to be a big deal. Better to be precautionary these days. I landed the same room of the transplant unit with the same beeping IV pole, the same mid-night and early morning wake-ups, the same unwilling menu, but the same smashing team of doctors and nurses (minus Dr. Arndt, plus Dr. Rodriguez, that is). My mom and I were so grateful to enjoy the sunshine-y day today in the outdoors, not behind the thick pane of our window.

Only at the Transplant House: Earlier this week I walked by my ol’ neighbor Joe on the way out of my room. He had just returned from the hospital earlier that morning after receiving a stem cell transplant.

“You smell me?” he asked.

I leaned in and sniffed, but I didn’t have to inhale much. “Yeah. What is that?” I replied.

“Smells like creamed corn, eh?”

I considered, not wanting to admit that the scent was uncannily similar to my Aunt Sue’s renowned Thanksgiving creamed corn. “Yeah, that’s exactly it. What’s the story, Joe?”

Apparently when stem cell transplant recipients are treated with stem cells harvested from their own body to treat a disease (don’t ask me how that works), they smell like creamed corn for a few days after their transplant. It has something to do with the preservatives they use to store the cells. 

We both kept walking in opposite directions and sure enough, there was a trail of Del Monte-esque canned cream corn wafting down the hallway.

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7 Responses to “Creamed Corn”

  1. Sally Squires June 28, 2011 at 10:27 pm #

    Think of it as early Thanksgiving! You go Jenna!

  2. Sue Dommeyer June 28, 2011 at 10:31 pm #

    Hey, I like to call it “Scalloped Corn”! But you know you love it!

    – Aunt Sue

  3. Lori Thom June 28, 2011 at 11:14 pm #

    Amazing the things you learn! Glad to hear you are doing well. I miss seeing your mom at work. Thinking when I came home from work & no post from Jenna!!! Look forward to hearing how you are doing & wishing you the best!! Lori

  4. Rose Forst June 29, 2011 at 8:37 am #

    Hey Jenna,

    so creamed corn?? you know what they say about that at the canning factory…glad you are doing ok. Thinking of you often,

  5. Julie June 30, 2011 at 9:10 pm #

    Jenna, Another great update. Wishing you the best!

  6. Clare July 3, 2011 at 9:23 am #

    Hey there. I wanted you to know that I am running in memory of Ben and in your honor on Sept. 4th in my half marathon for the Leukemia Society. I added your name to my website:, then click on my name. You are an inspiration for all of us!! Hang in there, babe!

  7. wlpdrpat July 3, 2017 at 8:10 am #

    The stem cell preservative is called DMSO and most often causes the creamed corn smell but in some cases will cause a garlic smell.

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