numbering the days
August 25, 2012
The past two weeks I endured the 5 days of chemo followed by the Stem Cell Transplant referred to as “Day 0. As expected, this chemo has definitely been the roughest. Due to the harsh side effects from the toxicities of the chemo, they decided to keep me in the hospital last Saturday until Wednesday to better monitor my condition and control my nausea intravenously. Miraculously, out of all the chemo I’ve had in the past year and a half, I’ve battled nausea and managed to hold my stomach. But this chemo finally did me in.
I also experienced my first blood transfusion. It was weird being on the other side of the bag of blood, as in, receiving rather than giving. Back in the day when I was healthy and not terrified of needles, I gave blood a few times. Little did I know that one day I would be needing one of those bags of O positive. So now I’m an even bigger fan of the American Red Cross; therefore, I encourage everyone to volunteer or donate sometime because that one person who decided to give a bag of blood helped me.
Since Wednesday, I have been able to stay at the apartment while visiting the SCT clinic daily to check my blood work, see doctors, receive fluids, track progress, etc. I am now 5 days out from the SCT, or at Day 5. My nausea is under control and I’m feeling pretty good for what I’ve been through. The chemo also causes my mouth and throat to be raw and sore until my immune system becomes strong enough to heal it, so I have been sticking to bland, soft/liquid foods. Though my body has been weak and fatigued, it is coming around and my energy level is increasing. Yesterday I received a bag of platelets, and it is possible I could need blood again in a few days. As rocky as things sound, everything has gone pretty smoothly as far a stem cell transplants go and all the stuff I am going through has been anticipated.
So now that I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt literally (the nurses give all the patients who undergo a SCT a t-shirt that says “LIFE BEGINS AT DAY 0”), I’m waiting for Day 10 to Day 14 because that is when my immune system should really start responding. With a white blood cell count of 0.1 and on the decrease, I’m treading lightly with the hope that I will be one of the lucky ones that makes it to Day 10 without getting a fever. The doctors didn’t say it was likely, but they told me because of my age it is definitely possible.
“Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.”
IN A NUTSHELL
- I’m on the other side of the SCT and my body has tolerated everything well
- We are waiting to see my immune system start picking back up by the end of next week
- If you want some specifics to pray for, pray that don’t get a fever over the next week so that I don’t have to go back into the hospital and also that my immune system responds when and as it should