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Stem Cell Transplant Here I Come – Part Three

paella's picture
paella
Posts: 81
Joined: Jun 2012

 

Made it through the outpatient procedures: Cytoxan, 21 shots of Neupogen (over 13 days), Hickman placement surgery, class on caring for Hickman, class on general transplant details, 2 shots of Mozabil and 13 total hours at the Apheresis getting almost 6 million stem cells.  Came close to needing a transfusion due to low hemoglobin but it was on the cusp and decision was to send me home if I promised to eat lots of meat, take iron supplements and rest.  Happy?  Oh yeah …home three whole days earlier than they told me to expect.  And our son is able to come next week for a short visit…hooray!

 

 

 

Next comes admittance on 6/29 with the high-dose chemo starting on 6/30 and my new birthday sometime in 2nd week of July.  This is an autologous transplant, thus easier on the body than allogeneic, nevertheless it’s a bit of an effort for me not to focus on words like “kill off all your bone marrow and most of your immune system”.   I am choosing to remember that I am a cancer butt kicker (after 500+ hours of R-Epoch in 2011) followed by 4 years of remission.  Wish it could have been 10 years but that isn’t the script to this particular movie.  I’m not invincible but I am strong and with a ferocious determination to enjoy this movie for as long as is humanly possible.  Thus, as PoGuy and Max and so many others have said (in so many words), “you might as well embrace it and show yourself to be resilient, enduring, fierce and unstoppable.”   I benefit from that attitude and so do the loved ones around me.

 

 

 

Paella

 

po18guy
Posts: 1101
Joined: Nov 2011

The preparation chemo is something on the order of 10X-15X normal dosage, but for very short duration. That saturation level is intended to kill off any remaining lymphoma cells. After all of the lead-up, the transplant will be anti-climactic. It seems to be nothing more than a transfusion of pale looking blood (which it is, actually). You are guaranteed engraftment, because those stem cells already know your tissue and bones. For a few days, it can be very frustrating watching your blood numbers hovering near zero. 

But when you have cells, it is time for a mini-celebration. What I would do differently is to exercise like heck going into this. Stronger in means stronger out, even if not as strong as before the transplant. That, and put a few pounds on (yes, you read right!), as you will begin shedding them thereafter. Its a bit of a road back, but very much worth it. Each time your loved ones' eyes sparkle as they greet you - you know that all is good in this life.  

lindary's picture
lindary
Posts: 695
Joined: Mar 2015

Six million cells collected after 13 hours! That is what the Drs like. For me less than 1 million was collected after 12 hours and my platelelts kept dropping. That is why it was put on hold a second time.  I wish you a smooth transplant Paella.

paella's picture
paella
Posts: 81
Joined: Jun 2012

After the 1st 4 hours, I only gave up about 750,000.  Had the mozabil later that night and the next day I was up to 3.7 million.  Did Mozabil a 2nd time before the third 4 hour session and had to wait until 6 PM that night to learn that I didn't need to go back for a 4th harvesting day.

I'm trying to exercise but am super achy from a combination of all the neupogen plus the mozabil.  Have been up and at it since 6:30 AM today with a trip to the grocery store and 10 trips up the stairs with the groceries (decided not to let Bill help and call the stairs my morning workout.)  Cute line adapted from Betty White when she was asked how she stayed so fit:  "I have a three story house and a bad memory".

Best - Paella

 

 

 

lindary's picture
lindary
Posts: 695
Joined: Mar 2015

You did good. Even with the mozabil I wasn't pushing out enough stem cells. 

I love that Betty White line.  Our house is only 2 stories but I know what she means. 

Kaniksu
Posts: 54
Joined: Nov 2015

Dear Paella....You are inspiration to me with your attitude ...Ill be sending lots of loving thoughts your way...Hmm..my stairs just don't seem to be quite enough  for.  This old gal...my hubby mowed gown a trail for us on the back of our property..5 laps a mile..so off I go to build up my stamina..Darn it, I'm going for 85!..you and Lindary inspired me to show our beautiful girl power in fighting this...

OO7's picture
OO7
Posts: 282
Joined: Sep 2014

Cancer never met the likes of you before, give those pesty cells a taste of Paella!

Love, Love Love the beautiful girl power pictures!

Rock Stars You All Are!

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