So, we have a plan. I will check into City of Hope on December 7 to begin my bone marrow transplant festivities. On the morning of the 7th I will receive a Hickman catheter, which is wider gauged than the PICC line I now have in my left arm. I guess marrow is thicker than all the other blood products and drugs I have received through my PICC. The Hickman goes in my chest, under my collarbone and will have 2 available lines. My chemo will start on the 8th, which I’m told is quite brutal. I will not be able to eat through my mouth, because one of my chemo drugs is going to tear up my throat and guts and make it too painful to take food in, so I will be fed intravenously. I consider this a blessing, since I think the non-bacteria diet at COH hospital BLOWS. My brother/hero/lifesaver, Leason IV, will be there the morning of the 14th to have his marrow harvested (about a quart), then it will be transplanted into me on the same day. I will be there quite a few weeks after that to be monitored for rejection and any other infections or problems that may arise. Christmas Day will probably be my official Shave My Head day, since I will be losing my hair, and at that point I may resemble a Chinese Crested “dog.” While we are waiting for Leason’s marrow to graft to my bones, I will be in pain, but I am comforted to know that I will have my thumb on the morphine drip 🙂
There has been quite a bit to do in preparation for my BMT. I have had or will have this coming week: an EKG, an echocardiogram, a pulmonary function test, a CT scan of chest, pelvis and abdomen, an exam by a surgeon to determine whether my hematoma on my thigh will present a problem, a mental health evaluation, 24-hour pee test, a class on bone marrow transplants and another bone marrow biopsy. I had my 3rd bone marrow biopsy last week, and all was going as planned and expected until I suddenly awoke with a f-ing drill in my hip bone. I yelled, “I can FEEL that!” and they said, “We’re almost done.” Not a pleasant procedure. Not a pleasant day. We left the house at 5:30am to get to my 7am appointment, after which I felt totally barfy for the rest of my appointments at COH that day. Somehow, the knock-out drug didn’t mix well with the 19 other meds I’m on, and it made me delirious with nausea. When I got into the car I knew I was going to hurl, so I got out some plastic bags and started my 12 hour barf session. I felt more miserable than I can ever remember, throwing up every 20 minutes. The big problem was that I missed an entire day of medication and consumed no fluids for 24 hours, when my kidneys were about to shut down as it was. If I couldn’t take my morning meds and keep down some food and fluids by noon the next day (Thanksgiving), I would have to go back up to COH and check in for an f-ed up Thanksgiving dinner of IV fluids and medications. Somehow, my body cooperated and I found a way over night to take down and keep down some ginger ale and some saltine nibbles. Thanksgiving morning was a nervous time, as I tried to eat a little and take all of my pills. They stayed down and I could stay at home 🙂
It’s been even more challenging to sleep lately… I am trying to avoid putting pressure on my painful areas, which now include: my upper left arm (where my PICC line is inserted and I have 2 tubes coming out of my body), my left thigh (where my f-ing hematoma is STILL the size of a baseball), both upper butt cheeks (where my bone marrow biopsies have been taken and are so very sore), my jaw (where my high level of Cyclosporin has decided to attack and make it appear as if I have been chewing tobacco since my kindergarten days at La Veta Elementary), and most currently my hips, quads, calves, biceps, and triceps where the Neupogen –NSHLAMFAANFP (Neupogen shots hurt like a Mo-Fo and are not for pussies) is in my bones trying to make white blood cells. Maybe I could try standing on my head.
After considering the fact that I will lose my hair, I have come up with some pretty bad ass advantages:
-Saving huge $ on shampoo, conditioner, and all other hair care products
-No bad hair days
-Endless costume possibilities
-Ability to ride in convertibles without the fear of my hair suddenly whipping my eyes or choking me
-Cutting down on prep time in the morning
-No chance of being electrocuted by a hairdryer that somehow finds its way into a body of water
-No one can pull my hair during bar fights
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I am thankful to all of my supportive family and friends, especially for my awesome caregiver Todd and my generous little bro!!!