Tuesday, January 31, 2006

day -2

Today's day -2. The computer lost its Internet connection yesterday, which is why I was unable to update it. Thankfully, they were able to put me back online today.

Yesterday marked the end of the high-dose chemotherapy phase of my treatment when carmustine, the last of the three chemo drugs, was infused. What a relief. No more chemo! The carmustine was the only one infused from a glass bottle, which had the strange appearance of a wine cooler or white wine. I joked with my company and the nurse, Sarah, about this observation. So, with the chemo phase completed now today and tomorrow are identified as rest days, day-2 and day-1 respectively. Thursday will be day 0: the day I receive my transplant and thus, my harvested stem cells.

When the medical staff visited me this morning, they spoke about the transplant but my impression was that it was quite routine and not as dramatic an event (as least for them) as one might imagine. They're used to this. They do this all the time. For me of course, this transplant business is all new - exciting and strange. I'll be receiving the life force: my own stem cells and the key to the rejuvenation of my chemo ravaged bone marrow. Depending on the volume of the stem cells, they'll be infused over about 1-3 hours but before hand I will be medicated a bit (with Benadryl at least) to aid the process. In light of whatever grand visions or elaborate ideas I had surrounding the transplant, my BMT doctor described it in sum as a blood transfusion.

During this current period, I just must be careful as I have been about infection. Due to the chemotherapy, my counts continue to decline (which is what we want), but this leaves me more suspectible to an infection or fever. Even days after the chemo ended, my counts will continue to decline and the chemo will continue its magic on my body. The most common things to look out for during this period, Scott said, are fever, urinary infection, or mucositis (mouth sores). Of course, I may not experience any of these but these are just some of the problems that could arise and it's important I'm aware of their possibility.


Comment Anonymous Anonymous said...

well you are 1/3 of the way through it!!!

keep up the good work.

all of your fans are here to support you.


6:00 PM  

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