HSCT Journals

February 17th: Stem Cell Transplant (New Birthday)

by | Feb 19, 2022 | Blog Posts, HSCT Journals | 5 comments

What an awful night. The bladder urgency was like a rocket ship launching me out of bed. I had seconds to make it to the commode beside me. Then I’d crash back to bed, but not before switching out my drenched PJ’s from the intense night sweats. I’m developing a routine of where to hang them, so they are dry for the next round of up/pee/switch/meds/crash. Somehow I did get sleep in between all this and felt immensely better when I came out for breakfast. Once again, grateful for no nausea.

Breakfast of champions courtesy of Fernie: lemon water, coffee with keto coconut cream, mushroom omelette and a huge veg/fruit smoothie with ginger. OK, I am coming back to life.

8am meds:

Pantoprazole 40mg
Ciproflaxin 500mg (anti-biotic) x 2/day
Acyclovir 400mg (anti-viral)
Itraconazole 100mg (anti-fungal)
Fenazopiridina 40mg x 3/day

My stem cell transplant was set for 2pm today. It’s a very easy infusion as there’s no need for medications to suppress the body’s reaction to them (as they are you OWN). It takes about 1/2 an hour. Then the PICC line is pulled out (that was cool). I didn’t realize that they’d stitched it on to me. Interesting. See pics and video below.

The transplant is considered your birthday and everyone wishes you happy birthday. It’s quite endearing. It’s your new lease on life.

My second birthday is February 17th, 2022.

This is also considered Day 0 in your treatment. From here on it is +1, +2, etc., post transplant.


Dr. Gomez (owner/partner in the business since pre-2000) came in a few times to chat with me, as did other staff. When I came out Raul (our very special driver) had found a speciality chocolate keto cake for me to take home to celebrate. It looked beyond delicious. And it was just that, gosh, everything and more!

So now I am in limbo, waiting for the chemo to work it’s way through my body, take affect (aka ablate all my white blood cells again and yes, unfortunately other cells too). I do not feel well, but the ‘high’ from the cake is really helping me ride the day out with smiles.

This next period (7-10 days) is actually the most vulnerable portion of the treatment. Isolation, hyper vigilance on cleanliness and rest (OK, so can you find me a lounger for some sun tanning?!). Lots of things can go sideways or maybe they don’t. I am not going to get into the ‘what if’s’ as I’d rather wait to see what happens by monitoring clinical symptoms along with the regular blood tests, and doctor visits.

Although on that note, my internal bleeding has not stopped from the severity of the diarrhea last night, and we really need that to heal up ASAP. My platelets have been well below the low level of norm and obviously I’m not clotting properly. Plus, my abdomen is distended like I’m pregnant (like what is still in there yet to come out?) and all body parts are super bloated. I look so stylish – NOT!

The day after tomorrow I will begin to receive those oh-so-pleasant Filgrastim shots to continue pushing as many stem cells as possible out of my bone marrow, to further speed my recovery. Then one final dose of a mild chemo before departure when I am at a safe baseline.

Time to de-tune, stretch and perhaps watch a TV show. I go to bed soon after, but don’t feel well. At. All.

8pm meds:
8mg Ondanestron

Receiving transplant

Processing size of line that was inside me (super cool)

Keto chocolate almond cake (JBug’s dream)


Click here for video of unstitching of PICC line


Click here for video of removal of PICC line

5 Comments

  1. Darlene B

    Happy Birthday, young lady, keep up the good work, Love Darlene.

    Reply
  2. NADINE S

    wow! you are eating well! i really don’t remember eating much of anything. so i don’t know if your procedure is exactly like when i had hsct at northwestern but i was out on day 9 and then went directly to rehab for 6 weeks. i think i mentioned i lost a lot of blood too so not uncommon and got platelets – seriously it looked alike a crime scene and it probably wore me out even more. didn’t meet anyone during the whole process since we were in isolation but heared the man down the hall – his nose wouldn’t stop bleeding. but you. are. doing. awesome! 😉
    0

    Reply
    • Jenny Angus

      I eat when I can and Fernie buys exactly what foods we want to eat. It’s a longer process here than NW it seems. My platelets were in the 40’s yesterday so if they hit 10 or so, I’d be like a crime scene with a bloody nose too. (Transfusion time then). Your comments are so helpful for everyone, thanks for always sharing 💕

      Reply
  3. Sandra

    Happy Birthday my sweet friend! 🤗💕 You look beautiful with your chocolate cake! As always, sending love, hugs and positive healing vibes. You are so brave and strong and I am proud to call you my friend. I hope you feel better soon. xoxo

    Reply
  4. Lara

    Happy Birthday, Jenny! I’m thinking of you lots and wishing you extra wellness for these first few weeks of your life. I hope your platelets start their climb back up without any scares or further interventions. I know you’re doing everything you can that’s within your power and you have a strong team supporting you – that’s got to be more than half the battle. Thank you for telling your story. It’s never TMI for me and I appreciate the honesty and details. Lots of love

    Reply

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