Wednesday, August 15, 2007

day -6

Well, day -6 is almost over. My hospital stay began yesterday with day -7. Transplant day is considered day 0 and every day thereafter is identified by positive integers.

So, how did day -6 go? Quite well. Throughout the morning, members of the transplant team trickled in to ask me the usual questions and examine my body. When Dr. Jakubowski entered the room, she was accompanied by an impressive entourage of at least 10 doctors. I was so focused on her instructions and questions and the individuals immediately next to her that I didn't have the chance to look at the others but Su saw them. Though I couldn't see them from my position in the bed, Su said that perhaps 3-5 more members of the medical staff were standing just outside the door to my room unable to enter because of the limited space.

Dr. Jakubowski ordered an X-ray of my chest, so they'll have something to which they can compare in the event of a problem in the future. Soon after the team's visit, I was brought down to the floor where X-rays and other tests are conducted. I was told that the X-ray was fine.

The team members have been very interested in learning more about my history of WPW (Wolf-Parkinson-White). At different times, a few of them have asked me the same questions regarding any known symptoms. In speaking to them, we learned that the drug ATG (Anti-Thymocyte Globulin), which I will receive as part of my chemotherapy cocktail, can cause an increased heart rate and a drop or rise in blood pressure. Fever, chills, and/or hives are also possible side effects. Out of concern for what could happen when my heart arrhythmia and the ATG dance, the transplant team has been very mindful of my WPW. Therefore, it seems that on the days, Saturday and Sunday, when I'm scheduled to receive ATG I will be transferred to the ICU for special monitoring.

For breakfast, I ate pancakes with maple syrup, a banana, and drank a cup of coffee. The regular menu at Sloan is quite impressive. For those whose diets are not restricted, they can choose from a diverse array of choices. Though I'm not neutropenic yet, I will be in due time at which time my options will be limited.

In the early afternoon, I started treatment. Fludarabine was first and then, it was followed by cytoxan. I didn't have any immediate side effects from the fludarabine, but the cytoxan caused light-headedness and nasal stuffness which went away after about 1-2 hours. Since then, I've been on constant hydration which will continue throughout the night and morning, which of course force me to make regular bathroom visits.

During the mid-afternoon, one of the massage therapists from Integrative Medicine stopped by to offer a massage. Was I going to resist? Of course not! Not I! For about 20 minutes, she worked on my neck, shoulders, and back. And a bit later, another member of the Integrative Medicine team came by to see if I was interested in meditating, which Su and I did together.


Comment Blogger Veronica said...

Duane.............just wanted you to know you are in our thoughts every day. May the allo-transplant go smoothly and you get back to full strength as soon as possible.

AND......pancakes and maple syrup are my favourite breakfast combo!!!

Take care..........Veronica and Wullie (aka Wullieswife and Timbhoy from Lymphoma forums)........xx

2:48 PM  
Comment Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems like you're in good hands. Lots of positive thoughts and prayers out to you.


3:38 PM  
Comment Anonymous Anonymous said...

All of are thinking of you as you undergo this next phase and we send you all of our love.
EFG and family

8:16 PM  
Comment Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Duane,

Are they considering an ablation before transplant for WPW? I'm glad to hear things are going well. Good luck and keep us up to date.


11:04 PM  
Comment Blogger Gregory said...


Instructions always seem to be contradictory, don't they: Stay well-hydrated and get lots of sleep at the same time -- good grief!

I'm glad all is going well, and good luck!

Gregory (Melancholy Bloud)

8:18 AM  
Comment Blogger Duane said...

Thanks Veronica and Wullie.

In fact, I had pancakes again this morning. Yummie.

Thanks for your kind words.

11:51 AM  
Comment Blogger Duane said...

Thanks Anne. Love and prayers to you too. Thanks again.

11:52 AM  
Comment Blogger Duane said...

Thanks Eileen. I know you and your family are right there. Thanks for everything! Enough can't be said.

11:52 AM  
Comment Blogger Duane said...

Hey there Chris,

No, they won't do an ablation. My cardiologists haven't thought that my case of WPW is severe enough for ablation, but the transplant team just is very cautious because of what the ATG can do. I hope it goes relatively smoothly.

Thanks for checking in. I hope you and the family are well.

11:54 AM  
Comment Blogger Duane said...

Hey Gregory,

Thanks for your warm, encouraging words! Keep the faith.

11:59 AM  

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