Today begins one of the most crucial weeks of my life. It's "Day +5" -- five days after my stem cell transplant. By the end of the week, my counts should bottom out, which means we'll be at the highest risk for infection and other such complications. The goal: no fever; no infection; no nothing. We want boring, boring, boring.
Once my counts are really low, they'll start up with the Neupogen shots to try to stimulate cell production. That means, by this time next week, hopefully, my counts will start to come back like they always do. But this time it will be the new marrow doing the work. In other words, it will be my donor's immune system coming online.
HOW CRAZY IS THAT?
Seriously, think about that for a second. They used a killer dose of chemo to basically nuke my immune system and all my bone marrow, then they just give me all these stem cells -- in the form of a normal blood transfusion -- which somehow find their way into my bones and start producing a new immune system. It's just so wild. But I'm tryin' not to focus on how weird it is, and instead focus on making sure those stem cells do the right things: find a new home; and don't go attacking shit you're not supposed to.
In other news, my old Blackberry is a lost cause, so I'm getting a new one: a Bold 9650 from work. Should have done that a long time ago. I really miss having the camera -- these photo-less blog entries aren't all that exciting. Had I not lost my BB, I could have taken pictures of the sweet-as-she-is-lovely Laura Hess who came to visit me Sunday. Laura was part of the original Kezar crew -- gotta love a girl who digs The Eagles as much as I do, but she moved to LA a few years ago. Ahhh, I got a pic. Click for larger image.
|(The ol' crew at The Kezar Pub - where's Matty and Raff?)|
Best visit of the weekend, of course, was Heather. We watched Get Him to the Greek. Friggin hilarious. Come visit soon, monkey. :)
So how am I feeling? Pretty darn good, all things considered. My Hickman Line is totally healed, I haven't had much nausea, and my appetite is actually OK. I'm still pretty tired, but I've gotten used to that. I'm still losing weight, so I've taken to Power Bars for snacks. It's weird, other than laps, I'm not really doing anything physical, but I guess my body needs more energy to deal with the chemo and transplant.
The key is really finding stuff to do. This weekend was cool with all the baseball and college hoops. Even the Flyers game was on regs Sunday morning. Pronger better light a fire under that team, or they are going to be one-and-done. College tourney finals tonight, lots of baseball this week and then the Masters this weekend. So between doing laps, watching sports, playing piano, playing cribbage with Matty Nabib and Doug E (Fresh) Simon, playing Angry Birds, skimming through work mail (shhhhh!) and dealing with all the nurse/doctor interruptions, I'm actually keeping pretty busy.
On a really sad note, I saw on ESPN that this 23-year former Yale student and hockey player lost her battle with AML a couple days ago. She never got a BMT. Breaks my heart. Allow me to get on my soapbox for a moment.
< soapbox >
IF YOU HAVEN'T SIGNED UP TO BE A MARROW DONOR, PLEASE SIGN UP NOW.
IT'S ONLY A CHEEK SWAB -- THAT'S IT! CLICK HERE FOR INFO!< /soapbox >
I got incredibly lucky -- we found a matching donor right away. If we hadn't, that could be me you'd be reading about (well, not on ESPN.) So sign up. If you actually get selected, don't worry, it's not that bad. Using the stem cells (vs. actual bone marrow extraction) is more and more common. So even for the donor, it's just like giving blood. So go on, join the registry. You could save a life.
Aight, time for some more laps. Things are probably going to get more interesting around here in the next week or so, so I'll keep y'all posted.
I will kick its ass,