Day Zero

October 1, 2021 0 Comments

3 bags of the red stuff

At 4am they came in and gave me a bag of potassium. My labs overnight showed a small deficiency there so just as a precaution, they went ahead and topped off the tank, so to speak.

I also needed my antifungal and fluids. My antifungal meds are usually given around 10:30am but they moved it up and combined it with fluids around 9am. I’m supposed to receive fluids 2 hours prior to the stem cell transplant. I would also need another 3 hours worth of fluids post stem cell transplant.

My stem cell transplant happened at 11am. 3 bags were administered over 1 hour. I was done with the stem cell transplant by noon. From there I received my 3 hours worth of fluids post transplant.

Warning: Huge video size incoming

These little buggers better do their job!

Hopefully the video above loads for you, but you can see the stem cells flowing.

The nurse had said that I might have a bad taste in my mouth or a certain smell. Thankfully I didn’t notice either of those things but Amy said she could smell tomatoes. At least it wasn’t garlic or onions.

While I would like to say that it’s all downhill from here, I don’t want to jinx myself. Now starts the hard part. As my counts fall and the new stem cells take hold, my body can go through quite a lot of different reactions. First off, while my counts are in the hole I’ll start to feel pretty rough. I’ve been down that road twice already with the two prior experiences with the chemo Vyxeos. There’s a high likelihood that I’ll develop a fever. Even if I don’t, the next piece is the graft vs host disease (GvH). In most instances of transplant you have host vs graft where the host can fight off the transplanted organ. In my case, the new stem cells are my new immune system. They can start to think that my whole body is a foreign invader and attack. We want to have a certain amount of GvH so that the new cells will kill off any of the remaining leukemia. Too much however, can have some serious negative side effects. It’s all about managing the symptoms and keeping everything on an even keel.

Most know that I’m an optimistic person. I’m a strong but level headed individual. I won’t lie and say that I’m not afraid. I am. There’s a lot that can go right. There’s a lot that can go wrong. To know one, but neglect the other is dumb. I won’t bore you with the details of what can go wrong. That’s not a bridge to be looking at crossing now, but we need to know that I’m not out of the weeds yet.

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