Chronicle of a Stem Cell Transplant (and on through to the other side)

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Chunks, Chat and Other Sordid Details

So, things carry on over here...another day of listlessness and barfing (aren't you glad I am keeping this blog to make such pertinent info available?) I also have a French roommate who talks on the phone...Alot...though I am quite sure she is equally thrilled to be bunking with She Who Barfs Even More.

To make this blog about something other than vomit, I am happy to report that tomorrow is the last day of chemo (hopefully forever!) and then we'll see how this transplant thing goes.

On an earth-shattering note, I just had some lentil soup (here's hoping) and will likely watch some tv this evening or try to understand the psychology behind the Nicole Richie anorexia/bulimia/non-bulimia/purging situation.

Thank you all for the shwack of emails you have sent in the past few days. See below for my feeble attempt to reply:

JL...yes, SG, indeed, if this yacking keeps up. Keep me posted on the house! That is exciting. And, happy motoring...what colour?

CHodgins, not Hodgkins :)...That would be awesome if you're in the area (platelets and all)

ZH...I'm looking forward to my postcard from Turkey. Maybe Sting will be playing Epheseus again.

VH...Thanks for your blog info...I'll definitely be checking it out.

BG...You're bang on...the food blows.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Deep from the Bowels (of VGH)

Whew, well here I am...four days into six of high-dose chemo. It's going...I sleep a lot, go to the bathroom way too much (last night included a serendipitous commode incident), faint, pick at my food...all good times. The nurses here are really wonderful, as I had heard they would be, so I feel in very good hands.

Tuesday, October 3rd, has been scheduled as my "official" transplant day, when my stem cells will be put back in to do their magic. That is also known as "creamed corn day," as supposedly that's what I will smell like afterward (a sure fire way to help boost my waining appetite, I'm sure)

Ian is hanging in there, having just gobbled down a McMuffin-type sandwich this morning and is sleeping faithfully at my bedside every night. Now he is watching golf and doing a crossword. I think he fancies himself on some sort of holiday. An interesting choice of destination...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Reaping a Successful Harvest

So, last Thursday was the first day of my scheduled "stem cell harvest," during which my blood was taken for about 6 hours and whirled about in a centrifuge. The stem cells were kept and the "leftovers" were given back to me. It was really quite uneventful, if uncomfortable to sit still that long.

Fortunately, the Cell Separator Unit has an extensive collection of movies, so Ian and I watched Big Fish. It was like being at the drive-in, only, in a hospital bed, without the car, without the popcorn, and the absense of a big screen. OK, maybe it wasn't like the drive-in, but there was a little speaker box that rested by my head on the bed. It was only slighlty embarrassing for us both to be sobbing at the end of the movie...the nurses kept asking if I needed pain medication.

Anyway, to everyone's amazement, the 'ol harvest produced twice the number of stem cells necessary to go ahead with the transplant. I turned out something like 800 million of the suckers in one day which has me thinking I should do this competitively.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Summer Highlights (not the kind that go in your hair, cause, um, I don't currently have any...)

Well, as my stay at Casa VGH draws ever nearer, I thought I'd post a few of my favorite pictures from this summer (it was a bit of a doozie..!)

Last long hair picture with Kirsten and Lissa on the boat formerly known as the Bee-Jay.

Really, what can I say about this one? The damage is done.

Marsha's beautiful Henna before her wedding.

The girls at Point Roberts.

My lips were blue 15 seconds prior to this picture being taken. Thank you, Tara, for the sea rescue...

Toesies (Part II)

This is the latest mandela at Robert's Creek which I felt compelled to stand in the middle of. We took more pictures but I either look too much like Ian's little brother or his young lover (not that there's anything wrong with that...) to post them.