Wednesday, September 05, 2007

day +15

I thought I'd take a brief break from watching Troy and post this before it gets too late.

My discharge date remains set for tomorrow. It's difficult to predict at about what time I'll leave the hospital, but it's expected to be at some point in the afternoon. In my experience, you can't go by what the hospital says. One can bet generally that the discharge time will be later than what was told.

My Hickman catheter, which I've had for close to six months will be removed first I assume. I can't wait. I was told that I'd stay in the recovery room for observation for about one hour before things can continue to move forward. Next, I'd suppose I will receive the rest of my medications from the hospital pharmacy as well learn more of the discharge instructions from the medical staff and find out when I must report to clinic for my first outpatient post-transplant visit. I believe, however, that it will be on Monday.

This afternoon I was given my complete medication list. For starters, there are of course the ever important anti-GVHD drugs, Tacrolimus and Sirolimus, the former of which I received from the hospital pharmacy today in preparation for my discharge tomorrow. Tacrolimus (liquid form) is taken every 12 hours whereas the Sirolimus is taken daily. The doses can fluctuate depending on my blood labs, but at the moment the Sirolimus is 2mg and the Tacrolimus is 1mg.

The next drug is the anti-viral Acyclovir at 200mg every 8 hours. There's also the anti-fungal Voriconazole at 200mg every 12 hours.

I've been prescribed 3 supplements: folic acid (5mg) daily; magnesium (3 tabs) twice daily; and a multivitamin (1 tab) daily.

There's Penicillin VK at 250mg taken twice daily to give me the immunity that was lost with the removal of my spleen. Dr. Hsu said I'll take this forever.

I was scripted for Prevacid (Medicaid didn't cover Protonix) at 30 mg daily. And finally, Ativan 0.5mg and Ambien 5mg are there too as needed for nausea and insomnia respectively.

Lots of meds, hey. That's the deal. Oh, Dr. Hsu also recommended that I not receive a teeth cleaning despite the plaque buildup. I could use a soft waterpik but still not floss. In a few months, I'll be ready for a dentist visit. A three month wait isn't too comforting.

In other news, my hair continues to fall out. While showering this morning, a significant amount came out but a lot remains. I'm sure the rest will continue to fall out in the coming days.

My mom spoke to Annamma, the inpatient social worker, and Carmen, the case manager, for awhile this morning going over some of the general discharge instructions provided in the hospital literature. Both suggested that at least for the next two weeks I not be alone. Both of my folks work full-time, so we're going to see if at least a few of our closest neighbors in our apartment building can be on standby when my parents are at work. She also spoke to Annamma about how to go about applying to some of the institutions that offer patient assistance, such as the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the Marrow Foundation, and Sloan-Kettering's own philanthropic programs. When I underwent my autologous stem cell transplant last year, I applied for assistance from the LLS and the Marrow Foundation, both of which delivered, so the applications should be pretty straight-forward.

Clare was here with my mom for the transplant team's morning visit and she returned again to check-up on me in the afternoon after work. Su spent the night, but left around noon and Eileen stopped by for awhile.

Denise, the massage therapist, from Integrative Medicine worked on my upper back and legs this afternoon. She said all the patients today were asking for work on the same exact parts. With my expected discharge tomorrow, today's massage will probably be the last one while here. I took every possible advantage of the Integrative Medicine program and I'm glad I did. It helped to make my stay here just that much easier. It's really a wonderful program. I'm glad Sloan offers it.

My WBC was 6.2 (ANC 2.8) ; HGB 11.2; and platelets 266.


Comment Anonymous Sarah from up the street said...

You're doing great, Duane!

Keep it up! :D

6:56 PM  

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