Friday, March 30, 2012

How these 2 weeks have gone...

Scroll down to read older posts first....

Well, I've been here two weeks now and have gone through all the tests, so I will catch you up on everything...fasten your seat belts!

Last I left you I was going to have a 2D Full Doppler Echo and the Pulmonary Function Test. They went on fine, pulmonary test especially good; I figured due to 22 years of teaching aerobics, even though I often get winded and out of breath easily now. Short spurts-I'm fine, but no long distance stuff for now.

When I went to see Dr. Burt and Paula, they let me know a few things showed up from other tests that need further investigation. In my blood work it showed high counts for Hepatitis B and also a CEA number was a tad elevated. So, back for another few vials of blood. The CEA count is a cancer marker, the range is from ?-3.0 and my number was 3.2. Well, they MUST check these things out. So, I had to have a scan for the abdomen and pelvic area, with contrast. It's a very quick procedure but it requires an IV! Oh goodie, another stick!! Also, I needed to drink a barium beverage, yummy! Not so bad, really. Banana flavor, kinda (just kinda) like a milkshake. Results are that I have 2 small cysts on my left ovary. They were not trouble of any kind, but they have to make sure it wasn't more than cysts, it's good that they are so thorough! When I got home, I had to rush to the bathroom and couldn't imagine why I was now having THIS trouble (I hadn't eaten for well over 12 hours). After a few rounds in there, I called the nurse and asked if this was normal, and discovered that some folks have this happen from the barium! I sure wish they would have told me ahead of time!

As far as the Hep B is concerned, the blood work came back negative for that also. What happens to cause that is from the IVIg that I get to keep the CIDP symptoms at bay. As I have stated before IVIg is blood products from about 1000 other people that go through a cleansing process to remove any problems like Hepatitis, so the process kills any Hep virus but the antibodies are still present in the blood which goes in to me. Therefore, the antibodies were showing up in my blood, but the results from the blood test was negative for the virus being present; so, no worries there either! Praise God!

While this was all going on, off and on for about 3 weeks, I have been having a little achy tooth trouble from a crown I had done in February. There is a dental office here that is used for folks going through the SCT if we haven't been signed off by our own dentists. I was signed off from my dentist in Florida, but this ache just wasn't leaving me. I made an appointment to see the dentist here to have it checked out. I would be really upset if going through the SCT and then having an infection in a tooth would be my demise! I only had to have it shaved down a bit and it feels fantastic now!

This is exactly why they schedule the way they do with the first week full of tests and the second week empty. They ALWAYS seem to find some sort of something that needs to be checked out further. So, if you are coming to Chicago for a SCT, don't count on the second week to be a freebie! It'll probably be more intense than the first since you know what's coming the first week but the second week can throw you for a loop!

Now, I am set to rock and roll and get started on the REAL process. I go in Monday morning to get my first round of chemo. This is an overnight stay in the hospital and my sister will be arriving that day to stay until Saturday! My brother, John and his wife, Janet will be in town and will probably stop in to see us also! A mini family reunion! That will be great.

Yesterday was my first "no appointments" day, other than Saturday and Sunday. I was able to hook up with Andrew Price (a little further ahead of me in the SCT process) and we went over to the medical center to see Bob Boen (also further ahead of me but behind Andy). Bob was getting his stem cells harvested. They use the same machine that is used when doing a plasma pharesis (blood exchange). We had a great visit and I got to see the process in action! Bob's wife, Diane was there too, so I got a little "girl talk" in while the boys were chatting machines or some such...ha ha ha.

Bob was kind enough to get the four of us that are here at the same time, sweat shirts to honor our history making procedure! Take a look at these neat shirts:
                           The "30" represents that I am the 30th patient of CIDP to have SCT!
                             The city-scape of Chicago with the name of the hospital and my title
                                   "Windy City Wendy Comes to Chicago" & my new birthday 


  1. Wendy:

    So great to hear from you. Our ladies study group continutes to remember you in our prayers.
    I love your attitude (nothing new for you).
    I hope & pray next week with the chemo will
    not be too tough. I know you will keep the faith.
    Love & Miss You. Virginia

  2. I love you honey and am so proud of how strong you are in this way up there all by yourself! I know God is right there with you so I guess ALL ALONE doesn't really fit does it?

  3. Thanks Virginia & Eddie! I am keeping the faith alright! and you are right, I am not alone! Thanks for your prayers and cares! Love ya!!
    Wendy :)

  4. Thinking of you Wendy! Hope all is as well as it can be for you right now. Thank you for posting the updates. I am sharing them with my Dad! Take care.