Sorry for the media blackout the past two weeks. It has been very hectic to say the least getting ready for the hospital. Thank you to everyone that sent me well wishes. I will respond back just need some time :)
The past week has been hectic packing and getting ready for the hospital. There is a lot of things to do when you are moving out for a month at the least. What made it more difficult is that we had to have everything done by Wednesday night. I was not actually admitted to the hospital until Friday but Thursday I spent most of the day here getting my central (hickman) line inserted into my chest and getting one final LP done. (more on that in a minute).
We successfully got the bulk of stuff done on our deadline of before going to bed on Wednesday. It was so busy that we were actually looking forward to getting to the hospital just to relax.
Thursday as I said I had two procedures done. First I had the hickman line inserted. This is done by first making an cut in my neck. They insert a tube into my neck and into the venea cava. This tube is continued to be inserted until just outside the right ventricle of my heart. They then make another cut in my chest and tunnel a tube under the skin of my chest to the first insertion site. They then hook the two tubes up and stitch up the hole in my neck. The procedure was actually fairly painless and it only took a day to bounce back and get full range of motion. It is still a little tender but way better than the last two times :) As for the LP it was the final test that had to be done until I could be admitted. They had to verify that there were no leukemia cells in my central nervous system. There was no chemo injected but still the needle into the spine. The biggest problem with my protocol is the steroids deposit fat on your spine which makes it harder for the doctors to find the gap to go in, so they literally make educated guesses. It took three different insertions before she got through the membrane to get the fluid. It was extremely unpleasant but I was happy it was over.
Friday we got the call that my CNS was clear and I was to be admitted. It was a surreal feeling coming back to the hospital. Because it was so planned out there wasn't the shock value that occurred the first time around but it was still difficult. There are a lot of different thoughts that go through your head. As you look around you wonder if that is the last time you might see the place (I don't expect that to happen or will I let it happen but there are risks :) ) Mainly there was excitement to get this over with and sadness. I had gotten quite comfortable in my routine and now I was having to break it again. The hardest part by far was leaving Dora again. It was what I had a hardest time with last time and this time it was no different. This time which made it harder is I have spent all day everyday with her the past year pretty much so it is a bit of a shock to the system not watching her run around or having her try to bite me. She was thinking of me though because when we unpacked at the hospital we found a toy that she had put in the one my bags for me. That brought out a lot of emotion but I am determined to get back to hanging out with her.
You will notice at the top that I have labelled it as Day -4. That is what day I am on in my protocol. Day 0 is the day that the stem cells get infused into me so all the days before are negative days. As I write this I am actually receiving my first dose of chemotherapy. It is a massive bag (1L) that is infused over two hours. It doesn't look dangerous as it is clear but you know it is when the nurses are all covered up in their blue gowns. It is an old joke but I make it with each nurse. I always tell them it is kind of funny that they get completely covered up to handle the bag and yet they are injecting it directly into my heart. I have only one more chemo treatment after this which will occur again tomorrow and then my radiation cycles begin. I haven't had any terrible nausea from it yet (they give us pretty potent nausea meds :) ) but I feel a little stomach tickle here and there. Soon my counts will plummet, my hair will fall out and the mouth sores will begin. The major side effect from the chemo and radiation is damage to the whole GI tract from your mouth to your butt. This can cause a lot of diarhea which can be quite unpleasant. Since our bottom end is the most dirty part of our body they have a special tool to combat it, a Beday (don't know if that is spelt right). Well when I first saw it I wasn't too sure about it but we are expected to use it a minimum of 3 times a day so I thought I would give it a go last night. It was surprising pleasant. Who would have thought a stream of water up the butt would be. But it left you with a feeling of clean you rarely experience. When I get a house this is definitely go in the bathroom ;)
Sorry for the long message but a lot has gone on since we last spoke. As for visitors I know that many of you want to visit but right now I am keeping it very strict to family only. I really need to control the visitors because I am so susceptible to illness and I want to get out of here. We will have of plenty of time to hang out once I am out of here ;) Once my counts start to come back I will revisit my visitor policy but for now I need to stay strict and diligent.
I hope you are all having a great weekend.
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