Saturday, December 14, 2013

Transplant Day +11: Hard Times and the Light at the End of the Tunnel

It's been 9 miserable days since the last update but things are starting to look up.

  • Day +4: I officially went neutropenic which means my white blood cell count (WBC) was low enough that I did not have an immune system. This was expected and had to happen before things go start going back up. First neutropenic fever (not bad, 100.5) in the evening which meant I would be on IV antibiotics until I was no longer neutropenic.
  • Day +5: WBC went to 0. Again, expected and was expected to remain there for several days. Got my first infusion of platelets which are needed for your blood to clot.
  • Day +7: White blood cells made a token reappearance but still way neutropenic. Got my first infusion of hemoglobin so my blood could carry oxygen to my body. (Kinda important)
  • Day +11 (Today): WBC count went up to 1.9 which is over the 1.5 neutropenic level. The doctor says I can go home Monday morning as long as my counts don't drop (not expected) , I don't get any more fevers (so far, so good), and I can drink and eat enough. Of those things, drinking enough will be the biggest challenge. I have been on continuous IV fluids for the past 2 weeks and haven't needed to drink much. Now drinking just makes me feel sick and bloated but I've got to power through it if I want to get out of here.
While the delivery of the chemo (6 months worth in 6 days) and the transplant procedure were actually not that bad, the past 10 days or so have been ROUGH. I've actually been very lucky as far as the rougher chemo side effects go. Nausea but no puking, no mouth sores, and no diarrhea which is apparently is nearly unheard of with this procedure. I did stop eating on days 4 through 6 and haven't eaten that much on the other days. Early on, I was in the most discomfort from the radiation burns and chemo rash which really started developing on my armpits and back. I was either itchy or burning at all times for several days and there was nothing that really could be done but wait for my WBC to come back up so it could start healing. That did start healing up this week but the chemo and lack of sleep have caught up with me despite my counts coming back up. I feel completely run down and miserable and unfortunately this expected to continue well after I get out of here. Recovery is going to be a challenge.

Once out, the goal is to stay out which means no diarrhea/puking, no fevers over 100.5, and no infections. I will have a weekly follow up where they will check my counts and other levels to make sure I'm recovering. From here, the next big milestone is 100 days post-transplant (3/13) where I will get a scan to make sure there is no cancer. So we'll be here through mid-March at the very least.

Thanks for all the well wishes and prayers. Go Eagles!

Update: I freakin' knew it! 15 minutes after posting this, I puked for the first time.


  1. Keep up the fight and glad you will be out for the holidays. Danielle and I wish you and Julie the best!

  2. Keep it up Monkee! We are all waiting for you.