Transplant days -3, -2: Total Body Irradiation (TBI)

I think my anxiety leading up to this procedure was probably disproportionate to what the actual experience was. Fear of the unknown. It was fairly simple: put me  on a table, close the door and a low-level buzz for about12 minutes. Then they came in, literally flipped me over and 12 minutes later I was done.

Now I’m definitely feeling some weariness but am not totally wiped out. Some nausea but Atavan has been helping.

And while I was roasting today, they were allo-cleaning my room — making it biologically safe for me. It’s a cleaning that takes 4 hours to do and everything is scrubbed down and reset and wiped down. And then my first thing upon coming back was taking an antimicrobial shower. (That will be every day now.)

Tomorrow’s the last day of TBI and then the transplant on Thursday. Will write again as time permits.

Strength and Love,
Seth

Please remember to support us for the Light the Night Walk:

To make a donation, please visit:
http://www.active.com/donate/ltnNewYo/2154_krpalmer

To join the team and walk with us in NYC on October 4th (of in Philadelphia on September 29th) – my mom and Voodoo are team captain (I’ll be in the hospital in the middle of the transplant procedure), please visit my recent blog entry with directions to join: https://survivingleukemia.wordpress.com/2007/09/09/light-the-night-walk-nyc-philla/
(it’s not the greatest user experience – my apologies in advance)

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Transplant day -4: Chemotherapy again

They are pumping me full of saline solution – liters and liters of the stuff – to keep my bladder irrigated which is the standard procedure to avoid infection. The corollary effect, however, is a lot of … uh … discharge. The Chemo is starting to make me queasy but it’s being managed. My appetite is already gone and I’m feeling sleepy and a little down, but generally still feel like I’m on a good track.

Tomorrow we start radiation. That scares the shit out of me. But I have CDs with me that they can play whilst I’m being zapped so hopefully that’ll be ok. It may be difficult to write for a couple of days given the upcoming procedure, but I’ll try.

Strength and love,
Seth

PS: Please remember to support us for the Light the Night Walk:

To make a donation, please visit:
http://www.active.com/donate/ltnNewYo/2154_krpalmer

To join the team and walk with us in NYC on October 4th – my mom and Voodoo are team captain (I’ll be in the hospital in the middle of the transplant procedure), please visit my recent blog entry with directions to join: https://survivingleukemia.wordpress.com/2007/09/09/light-the-night-walk-nyc-philla/
(it’s not the greatest user experience – my apologies in advance)

Thank you.

Transplant, day -5: Chemotherapy

It was a fairly uneventful day after getting a foley line installed. I received my chemo today along with anti-nauseau drugs, some magnesium and a bunch of vitamin E. I had a diuretic to help get some of the fluid out of my bladder which is being flushed and that’s worked well. I’m tired earlier than usual so I’m going to sleep. Will try to write to up the blog as I can through the process.

Strength and Love,
Seth

PS: Please remember to support us for the Light the Night Walk:

To make a donation, please visit:
http://www.active.com/donate/ltnNewYo/2154_krpalmer

To join the team and walk with us in NYC on October 4th – my mom and Voodoo are team captain (I’ll be in the hospital in the middle of the transplant procedure), please visit my recent blog entry with directions to join: https://survivingleukemia.wordpress.com/2007/09/09/light-the-night-walk-nyc-philla/
(it’s not the greatest user experience – my apologies in advance)

Thank you.

Back in hospital now

Was admitted this afternoon after some initial administrative issues. Had the procedure to install my hickman lines and am resting comfortably before moving me to my bed up on Rhoads 7. More to come.

Transplant dates set

After months of set backs and other various delays, we’ve finally set the dates for the bone marrow transplant. I return to the hospital on 14 September and begin two days of chemotherapy after that, then three days of radiation. On 20 September, I receive the transplant cells, and the count-down begins: 20 September will be Day 0. We expect the first 30 days I’ll be in hospital, and then another 70 at home. Then day 100 – that’s the magic day when I can start to resume a some-what normal life without isolation precautions. Day 100 happens to work out to be December 30th — so I’m looking forward to celebrating quite a bit come New Year’s.

Bone Marrow Biopsy no. 4

Friday I had my fourth bone marrow biopsy. We were testing to find out how much leukemia is still in my bones. Above a certain threshhold, and I’ll need to go back for another round of chemo before the transplant. This will improve my chances with the transplant. Of course, such a circumstance may also set back the date of the transplant. Now as I am often reminded by my friend/survivor, Gail, timing really sucks with cancer and you are nearly helpless to do anything about it. And this, in particular, could really suck – on several levels: 1) the next round of chemo is stronger than what I’ve received before, and 2) I just want the transplant so I work towards recovery and not put it off anymore.

So this weekend, while a lot fun seeing Voodoo, was particularly stressful. I chose to have the procedure on Friday because when presented with the option of Friday or Monday, I decided on Friday so I can just get started – no reason to put off the inevitable. But it was a whole two additional days of angst waiting for the results, which probably won’t come back until Tuesday or Wednesday.

Last time, the biopsy showed close to 70% leukemia in my bones. We have to get that number down. If there’s anything over 30%, it’s back for another round. And I’m tentatively scheduled to enter the hospital Thursday. And being the type-A personality that I am, I’m going to draw bloods Thursday morning at the oncologist’s clinic so we can do the blood cross-typing and matching so that after I get into my room we can start treatment right away — I just don’t want to wait. My impatience to move towards “cure” is becoming obsessive.

Anyway, my doctor told me I may not be on the same floor as I was the last time. To be honest, that really pisses me off. I really want to be in the same place … I never thought I’d feel that way … but the prospect of having to get accustomed to a whole new floor and staff just isn’t palatable. Send me back to Rhoads 7! We’ll see how that goes.

Update coming soon. Until then, strength and love …

Healthier today …

than I was when I was admitted in to the hospital. Take a at my blook numbers from the day I went to emergency room on February 9th, with those from this past Thursday.

Date Day WBC ANC Hgb PLT Transfusions
10 Feb Day -3 4.9 147 10.8 25
31 May Today 1.1 264 11.2 68  

Admittedly, I had a few more white blood cells back then, but remember that nearly every blood cell was a leukemia blast. And while they’re been showing up in minuscule amounts in my blood now, we’re not talking about anywhere near the amount when we started.