Thursday, April 9, 2009

Day 0 - Transplant #1 finished!

Well, it was almost a non-event. We went into the seventh floor, they ran labs, and pre-medicated me with Kytril and Emend (for nausea) and hydrocortisone and benadryl (to ensure I wouldn't get "oogy" from the transplant). Then lots of saline. About an hour after I got there, they brought one of my eight little teensy bags of pink stem cells that I'd harvested a few weeks ago. It took 15 minutes to administer, during which time I tasted rotten moldy over-sweet butter so I sucked on a piece of hard candy to tolerate that. Blecccch. Otherwise, no side-effects!

Other than tiredeness, that is. I can feel the chemo coma setting in. They monitored me for another three hours post transplant, checking blood pressure, temp and other vitals. A 4PM, I was released, and we grabbed some Mexican food at our new favorite hangout here (reliable high-quality Mexican in Little Rock, of all places!). Now we're back at the apartment and I'm going to veg out on the couch.

Now we basically wait for the stem cells to rebuild the immune system. The nurse said this should take 7-10 days, and with luck I'll only be neutropenic for four or five. Let's hope it goes that smoothly. I don't want any sickness or anything to put me back in the hospital! The anti-fungal medicine they have put me on is causing my liver numbers to act up so they are taking me off it (Fluconazole) for 3-4 days so they can settle down. They are worried about a potential fungal infection called Thrush (I'm afraid to look it up...sounds nasty) and that's why they prescribe the anti-fungal...but we'll have to see what happens.

Otherwise, spirits are high. I'm reminded that 80% of the country would consider my treatment finished (after recuperation)...yet for here, this protocol which will cure me, is only half-done. Still, the cancer will be dead and gone when I'm finished. I'm predicting I will not be in complete remission after this transplant, but I suspect very good partial remission will be achieved. This is based on nothing other than the high protein numbers that persisted after induction. But I'm very confident that after the second transplant, if not the first one, I'll be cancer-free.

Onward and upward! And downward and sleepward...