Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Day -1

Today is my "rest" day.  That means no chemo today.  It is a day to make sure that the melphalan is flushed out of my system.  Good news this morning is that so far, kidneys and liver appear to be doing OK despite the assault on them.  I can feel some side effects from the chemo, but not too bad yet.  It will probably get worse in the next few days before it gets better.  My blood counts are also starting to drop, but all of this is expected.  Given that most of the drug has been moved out already, we believe, they have taken me off of my bag of IV fluid -- freedom!  It was so much better to walk without pushing the "patient pal" around with me, not to mention that taking a shower in the morning will be SO much easier.

My birthday is tomorrow -- I'll get my stem cells (some of them) back and we can start to reboot the immune system.  I'll let you know how that goes.  In the meantime, here are some pictures of recent events.

This is Becky who was my nurse yesterday.  The nurses here are great -- caring, warm, and knowledgeable.  I don't have pictures of all of them, unfortunately.
This is my "leave the room" outfit.  I have to wear the gown, mask, and gloves every time I leave the room, and I cannot leave the unit.  The contraption there is my IV pole, the "Patient pal" that I had to push around for two days.  They'll put me back on IV for the stem cell infusion tomorrow, but take me off after a little while.  

My luxury suite -- part of it:  bathroom, window, recliner, I'm sitting ready for the chemo.

One of the strategies to try and reduce mouth and throat sores and pain (which interferes with eating) is to get your mouth really cold to constrict the blood vessels when the melphalan is going in.  We don't know yet how well this worked, but I hope it helped!  No sores yet, but the effects of the drug are building as cells die off.  This was really painful until my mouth got really numb, but yesterday, I shoveled ice into my mouth for about 1.5 hours.

Here is Becky setting me up.  This is how the nurses protect themselves when they infuse the chemo. Tells you something about the potency of these drugs, right?

And here is a shot of my little friend -- my marrow killer.  I'm glad to see you go!  :)

1 comment:

  1. Tomorrow we have Anton's second birthday!
    Please send us your favorite joke.