out with the old, in with the new
August 5, 2012
Am I surprised that I didn’t start the stem cell transplant two weeks ago as planned? Maybe I would be if it were the first time things didn’t happen like we thought they would. For those of you who don’t know, I unexpectedly got a fever and infection two weeks ago and had to stay in the hospital for a few days, thus delaying my stem cell transplant until this weekend.
I have been hesitant to write on my blog the past couple of weeks and decided to wait a bit longer to avoid posting another potentially inaccurate update; although, the SCT schedule from the last entry is still accurate since I didn’t provide exact dates. There was talk last week among the group of doctors that are working on my case of the possibility of getting radiation before or after the stem cell transplant. The doctors had a meeting to discuss whether or not I should have radiation and they decided it was best to just go on with the SCT for now and leave the decision to do radiation after the SCT for further discussion in the future. Due to the risks associated particularly with being a young female getting radiation to the chest, I’m not really comfortable with the idea of having it and hope that it won’t be necessary.
As I’ve mentioned before, I will be going to the hospital pretty much everyday for the next month and half, so I had to move into an apartment designated for Vanderbilt patients in downtown Nashville that is close to the hospital. I moved into my new place a couple of days ago. I was fortunate to get a two bedroom so that my Mom (caretaker) can have her own room too. It’s pretty spacious, and it’s nice to have a change of scenery. I have gotten to enjoy the past few days of feeling good, hanging out with friends, and having my own place in the city.
As weird as it is to have a doctor’s appointment on a Sunday, I had my first of the shots that grow my stem cells this morning which I will be continuing daily throughout this week. Getting a needle in the stomach sounds terrible, but I have to admit that it’s not as awful as it sounds. The side effects haven’t kicked in yet, but I can expect bone pain and flu-like aches this week, which actually means the shots are working like they are supposed to.
Tomorrow morning after my shot, I am getting surgery to put a catheter in my chest that acts similar to an I.V. that will stay there until I am finished with the SCT. This will give the nurses quicker and easier access to drawing blood, giving me medicines, etc. (And I won’t have to get stuck every time anymore!)
It’s nice be in a new place to start working on a new health. As much as I’ve been dreading the SCT since I found out more about it, it’s lifted my spirits a little bit to be able to move in and move forward.
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”
For those of you who were asking or wondering, here are the restrictions during my stem cell transplant:
- No raw fruits or vegetables
- No leftovers (You are allowed to bring me meals that can be frozen and cooked, we just aren’t supposed to reheat it over and over again.)
- No live flowers/plants
- I can have (100% healthy) visitors at certain times with limited direct contact
IN A NUTSHELL
- I moved into a my new apartment in Nashville a few days ago to be closer to the hospital
- I started the SCT transplant process today by getting a shot that helps harvest the stem cells for collection
- Tomorrow morning I am having a line/catheter surgically placed in my chest
- Over the next several days I will continue to receive shots daily to build up my stem cells for collection at the end of the week