Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Day -1

That's what they refer to the day before transplant as. I'm not sure if tomorrow is Day 0 or Day 1, but today was definitely Day -1.

Day-1 consisted of the last of my four days of Melphalan / mustard gas / whathaveyou. My white counts are starting to go haywire, crested and now beginning to ebb (though still normal for a couple more days, is my guess and that of the nurses with whom I speak). I also got a five-hour "balloon" of potassium as the chemo is wreaking havoc on that. The Dex is making me retain fluid which is causing weight gain and momentarily made me concerned about my kidneys, but all the tests show the kidneys are working fine so it's just an issue of the steroid keeping me ballooned up.

I tolerated the Melphalan pretty well and sucked on ice chips for 20+ minutes before administration, the 20 minutes of administration, and 20+ minutes after administration to ward off Mucositis. I'm also rinsing my mouth fairly religiously with this yucky-tasting mouthwash called Biotene that kills germs. These two prophylactic measures are the best they know to avoid the mouth sores, which are supposedly awful. So I'm sticking with them. For what it's worth, the APN (head nurse in charge of my case on the 7th floor) told me that Mucositis is associated with poor kidney function and since my kidneys are rockin' and rollin' with the beat, I should hopefully fare well. We shall see.

Also today, I got another push of Velcade (take THAT Myeloma!) and another shot of Lovinox in the belly -- the last of these for this cycle. I choked down my last four thalidomide pills this evening, too. No more poison in my body for another six weeks or so! Let's hope this batch did its dirty work.

Tomorrow is a climactic day -- and yet the procedure is very anticlimactic. I'll get some of my stem cells put back in me so that they can help rebuild the bone marrow that the chemo is right now destroying. Then I just need to settle into the feeling of utter exhaustion for two weeks, and hope I don't get sick. If I can stay out of the hospital, this should go much more smoothly than last time.

In the ongoing drama of my GI tract, I am treading the delicate line with grace right now. Now that I'm off the Thalidomide and Dex, hopefully I will be passing out of the danger zone for ER-level constipation. It gives me no joy to write of these topics, but I gotta keep the humor up somehow.

Before signing off, I want to thank some friends who came to visit and helped take care of me so Jill could see the kids. With apologies, these names are too important for initials: Paul Bridwell, Graeme Johnson and Tom Pluta. You are wonderful people and I very much appreciate your visit, kindness and sacrifice. I'm blessed with wonderful friends.

Okay...I'm off to bed...twelve hours from now I have a date with some of my blood! :)

Nighty night.


  1. Happy Re-Birthday to you, Nick!! That's what we called Jon's transplant day as he was given new life with his "clean" cells! We would visualize the news ones trying to find homes in his marrow and settling in to take the place of the cancer cells - and making way for years and years of health!!! So, as you get tired, remember how hard your body is working to beat all this and to get you where we know you will be very soon!!! Stay strong and rest well!

  2. I am coming over from my friend Dan's blog. I just wanted to let you know that others are out there sending support your way as you walk this pathway.

  3. Hands and hearts are joined in the virtual world, Nick. We all intend a successful outcome and complete healing, for the highest and best good of all concerned... so be it and SO IT IS!!!