Thursday, September 6, 2012

New Birthday and beyond....

Thursday, April 26th
STEMMIES GOING IN TODAY!! What an exciting day! It is a bit like Thanksgiving dinner, you work hard and long to get this most beautiful feast together, hours are spent prepping, baking pies, and peeling vegetables, cutting, chopping, slicing, and carving. You set a pretty table with your best china and your best silverware. You use the crystal glasses and put all the food in your special serving bowls with the really big spoons. The centerpiece of the table has to be perfect and appropriate for the event. Everyone’s been invited and you gather around the table for a good prayer of thanks, sit down to eat and.... it’s over in 20 minutes!
The first to come in of the transplant team is the man with my frozen batch of stem cells. He is quiet and professional. I tell him I have heard about him from others, that he is “the quiet one” and I am rewarded with a smile. He gets busy thawing out my cells (runs them under the hot water in the sink) and then the rest of the “team” comes in. My nurse to do the honors today is Eric. He starts setting up the equipment on the IV pole for the infusion to begin. Dr. Burt, Amy and Dr. Hahn join the crowd and the process begins! Amy stayed with me the whole time, but the others ran in and out after the cells finished running in to me; only took about 25 minutes. They have to monitor me pretty closely, taking vitals every 15 minutes. I did very well through it all and had no issues at all.
                                 Dr. Han, Dr. Burt, Amy (RN) & me after my cells were administered
 It was a very emotional day, in a good way. I got good mail, a book about sisters from my sister that she added a bunch of pictures of the two of us and our Mom and her sisters to the pages that just had me bawling my eyes out. I also got a great gift from my friend Shelley from Arizona that was befitting of the day. She sent me 3 stretchy headbands made of beads to dress up my head, they are so cute. With this present, she sent a card that touched my heart. It was a picture of a beautiful white long-haired cat with a tall crystal crown on its head. It represents to me being a princess and daughter of the King! 

I was hungry after the transplant; even though I thought I would need a nap, I didn’t. I laid there for a while trying to fall asleep but that didn’t happen, so I said I’ll have some turkey and cheese on 1 leaf of lettuce (chuckle) and some chocolate ice cream and ginger ale for burps. And, by the way, the chemo gas is pew…strong and not just air; so you need to protect your panties folks! They do have underwear liners that are of good size (after all it is a Women’s Hospital for having babies) that will take care of it.  Gonna go for a walk now…later.

Chemo nightmares!! Not a pleasant experience. I was told about the nightmares ahead of time but didn’t really think about them before they happened. The good part about them was I played the “hero” in my dreams! I had to save the world from a fire that came up from the pit of the earth. I actually “dug” myself into the middle of the fire to bring up dry earth to put it out. Yeah, me! In the next one, I saved another patient who checked himself out of the hospital, pulled out his picc line and was driving away from the hospital. He was stopped by a cop and I came along just in time to keep him from either being arrested or bleeding out! I got him back into the ER just in the nick of time!  There was a 3rd dream, but I don’t remember that one, but I’m sure I saved more lives! I’m so healthy with all my new stem cells in me that I can take on the world!! However, when I woke also had the shakes and diarrhea and a sore bottom to go along with it. Saving the world is hard work!
                                            My future is so bright, I gotta wear shades!! 

Friday, April 27th
I woke up this morning with a tummy ache, nothing major but just not feeling too good. Ate my breakfast, vanilla yogurt and a not much else. Had to take the usual bunch of pills (about 6 of them) and uh oh, here it comes! Caught the first little bit in my hands and fortunately my nurse, Stephanie, was in the room! She ran to the bathroom to get the pretty pink tub for me to upchuck in! There went all my pills in round two! She ran back and forth with about 3 different tubs for me because when you upchuck yogurt, the smell is enough to make you upchuck more! She brought me a wet washcloth too to clean up several times between vomiting, bless her heart. She hustled so quick back and forth between me and the bathroom to throw out the vomit and wash out the tub and get me a clean one for the next round, it was amazing! She would have won a marathon! She did in my book!! I haven’t thrown up for many years, since my girlfriend Tanya and I had food poisoning. I don’t have to remind myself it isn’t pleasant.
                                                        My girlfriend Tanya
After that I was relieved to not have to take my pills again until a later time and I got some Zophran thru my picc line and it was my friend from then on whenever I started to feel nauseous, I would get some. Today I was introduced, by recommendation of my nurse, to Ensure! What a good thing this was, I loved it and over lots of ice it is just delicious! Gives you a good amount of protein and helps you have more energy since you don’t feel much like eating at this point. It almost tastes like a treat; like pudding in liquid form. Delicious! 

 more later....


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