I donated stem cells via the newer blood filtering procedure just over a year ago. You can return to lifting weights or exercising within a day or two. I routinely give blood every 8 weeks and this was no worse than that from a recovery standpoint. Just take a day or two off at most and youll be fine. I have no idea what the doctors official recommendation was though. As a donor you will get some shots starting about a week before you donation to stimulate your bones into making more stem cells. This can cause a little bit of bone / joint pain similar to what you feel when you have flu so be prepared for that as well.
Also as you mentioned the recipient will start an irreversible procedure about 10 days before your donation. Even though it rarely happens, if for whatever reason on the day of your donation, they are not able to harvest your stem cells via the blood filtering procedure you will be asked to donate the traditional way. This is what more people are familiar with (several large needles into your hip / pelvis). This may take a few weeks to recover from. Of course as a donor you can decline to go through with this procedure but I cant imagine anyone being that much of a pussy knowing the outcome for the recipient.
Going to the donor center and seeing people (esp the young kids) struggle every day just to do the things you and I take for granted was a very humbling experience indeed. If you are fortunate enough to be selected as a donor just do it, you wont regret it. In the grand scheme of things a couple of days (or even) weeks away from the gym is not that big of a deal.
Feel free to ask any other questions you may have.
Good Jesus, several large needles into my HIP … i sincerely hope it doesn’t come to that, though i agree with your sentiment that backing out would be un-thinkable.
And my younger sister when she was born needed one, she was one of the 1st people ever operated on in 1986 she had to go to Great Ormond St. in London as they couldn’t do it in Ireland, so that’s why i put myself in the list, some randomer was kind enough to help her live so if i can help then it’s the least i can do.