Monday, May 25, 2009

Transplant B, Day -2: Connectivity and Synchronicity

First, the mundane. White counts continue to climb (8.4 today) as is expected -- the climb before the crash. Red counts basically stable from yesterday (down a hair but not too much). Platelets holding firm at 169, but will be coming down soon. Mustard gas administered without issue, good pre-meds for the nausea are holding it in check. Haven't gone on the Zofran to augment them, although I do take an Ativan at night to help combat the effects of the Dex which would otherwise keep me awake.

All my electrolytes are in good shape, creatinine still low, and liver numbers are beginning to settle down, which is welcome news. A lot of these numbers are going to bounce around during chemo so I don't worry about them too much, although I want to make sure the creatinine is on the low end as that ensures good kidney function.

Speaking of which, my kidneys are slowing down due to the Dex. I've put on ten pounds from the dex in three days and urine output has been cut dramatically. This will all be gone in a week but I feel a kinship for every menstruating female out there -- bloating isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Lastly on the medical front, the nurse was VERY good with the Lovinox injection today. Almost made up for yesterday's painful shot.

Now, on the connectivity front, I shared the semi-private room today with a lovely couple from Branson, Missouri. The gentleman was about 12 days post-second transplant and he looked great. It's nice to see somebody else doing well from the treatment. He's 50 and is on the standard arm, which meant he didn't get the fractionated Melphalan (he gets one big dose in one day, versus my smaller doses for four) and he had two cycles of conslidation up-front, and he got some complications from Deep Vein Thrombosis (perhaps hearing of his travails made my prophylactic Lovinox shot go in easier). But otherwise he's doing very well. He asked where we were from, and I mentioned Los Angeles, and he knew of this blog. So hello there, fellow traveler!

I've read that it is therapeutic just to journal one's observations, and I've found it both a good cathartic release as well as a means of keeping friends and family up-to-date, and also I've found it useful as a personal reference guide to plan what's going to happen with this upcoming transplant relative to the last one (for example, eliminating Docusan and using only Senna to combat the constipation effects of Thalidomide). But the blog is more than that -- it's a way of connecting with a support group that has at its core family and close life-long friends but has expanded to include fellow travelers from around the world, some of whom are in Arkansas being treated right now partially due to reading my blog, which is wonderfully rewarding. Above all, as I have written before, my blog followers are a tangible, meaningful part of my support for getting through this disease. Not a day goes by when I don't appreciate all of you -- some post, some pray, some offer good vibes, some do all of the above -- and every bit of it is meaningful to me and to beating this disease. I love you guys!

I'm feeling pretty good, although very tired. We had an 8AM appointment (due to the holiday they wanted to front-load everybody so they could take time off) and we were back at the apartment by 10:30. I promptly slept until 2PM.

More to come tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of your Memorial Day!