Friday, August 24, 2007

day +3

I got another relatively decent sleep last night. That's decent, of course, for being in a hospital. Before going to bed, however, I watched Flags of Our Fathers on DVD. Compared to the sequel, I didn't find it as impressive though I do not dislike it. The fighting scenes were gripping. I thought Ryan Phillippe, Barry Pepper, and Adam Beach did stellar jobs in their portrayals. In particular, I found myself very interested in the scenes of racial discrimination that the Native American member of the trio suffered while on tour back home not to mention while he was in his unit fighting abroad. Those scenes I found to be so disturbing but enlightening, because they were real for the various minority groups who served. But overall, I just think the story of the sequel was, for me, more powerful.

I woke up earlier than I had done the past days and likewise, had an earlier than usual breakfast. The team came in around 11 and reported that all continues to look well. No pain anywhere. My feet feel increasingly better and my mouth has remained in surprisingly good shape. No mucositis. No sores yet. I continue to have loose bowels (though improved), which has been annoying especially at times when I think I'm about to pass gas because it unexpectedly turns out to be diarrhea. So, I need to change my underwear more than I'd like. Dr. Koehne believes the loose bowels are side effects of the chemotherapy.

I'm officially neutropenic. For some strange reason, I was excited to learn this news having anticipated its coming for days. I guess it's a sign that things are moving in the direction in which they're supposed to do so. That's good, right. My counts today are: WBC 0.7, HGB 12.0, platelets 31.

I was told that I'd receive my second dose of the immunosuppressive drug, Methotrexate, which I received about 30 minutes ago. Dr. Koehne said Methotrexate like ATG and another drug I can't remember are all aimed to aid donor engraftment and prevent GVHD. He told me that Dr. Castro-Malaspina was keen to prescribe a number of immunosuppressive drugs for me since my donor was a 9/10 match. He also reminded me that I'd be on a variant of these immunosuppressive drugs for 6-12 months following my discharge. TPN, which is infused around the clock, would start later today too I was informed.

Judy came to spend part of her lunch break with me beginning at around 2PM. At about 4, Denise, one of the massage therapists from Integrative Medicine visited and I received yet another massage. Man, this great! My 5th is less than 2 weeks! Hell yeah!

In between the events that I detailed above, I played video games for a significant amount of time. Ben is supposed to come around 7 to watch some of tonight's Yankees' game with me before Su comes at about 8, but other than Judy I didn't have any other visitors this afternoon which was nice. I was a bit tired yesterday with so many visitors.


Comment Blogger adrienne said...

My (late, sorry to say) husband did a stem cell transfer back in the day (probably about five years ago now), and I remember it sucking pretty hard for him for some of time but I also remember a lot of movie watching and Internetting and videogame playing and board game playing. I hadn't thought of it in a while, but a wonderful human thing to take a situation that's sucky and make the best of it, maybe even have a little fun now and again. I am glad to see you're managing it, and I'm sending you all the best thoughts.

4:02 AM  
Comment Blogger Veronica said...

Glad to hear things are progressing smoothly. A (belated) Happy Stem Cell Day to you, Duane. Onwards and upwards from here on (well, after the downwards slide of your WBCs ;0) !!). We're continuing to think of you and Su and hope the rest of your stay continues to go to plan.........xx

7:18 AM  
Comment Blogger Duane said...

Thanks Adrienne and Veronica! Thank you.

1:51 PM  
Comment Anonymous Emily said...

Hi Duane.

I'm glad that you're keeping your spirits up and having some fun in the midst of the ups and downs of treatment. Your positive attitude never ceases to impress me. Love you and Su! Keep kickin' cancer's ass!

Em and Tim

4:20 PM  

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