Multiple Myeloma – the transplant

I packed my two small suitcases and waited for my daughter to bring them out to the uber awaiting us.  The drive in was smooth and all I could think about was the procedure ahead of me.  We took the elevator to admissions where I spent the next 5 hours sitting.  Someone screwed up and I was not processed until I started to make some noise.

Finally I was taken to my room.  Because it was so late, I had the night off, or so I thought.  Every 4 hours, someone came in to take my vitals.  The next day, I had to have a cartheter in my neck.  The procedure is a simple one which I had done in the harvesting, but this one was not as I remembered.  My luck I had a intern who had the lead role.  It was somewhat painful and felt awkward.  Now it was off to x-Ray.

I was brought up to my room and less than an hour, I was back in the operating room.  The explanation was creative, the x-Ray showed that the line wane ended to be inserted deeper.  This time I had a more experienced doctor guiding another, and the procedure was not painful.  After the x-Ray, I was back in my room.

Early next day I was given the chemo drugs which would wipe out my whole immune system, and eventually lose my hair.  Because I was not drinking enough water, I was also given intravenous fluids.

I started drawing and painting to fill the time.  Did I talk about the food.  Well we all know that hospital food is notoriously bad, but I still thought that I could hack it.  I was wrong.  Most of the time I was hungry because I was on a low microbial diet, so there was precious little I could eat.

There was another step, the transplant,  this took only 30 minutes.  Now it is a waiting game.  My counts dropped as was expected.  I was a model patient.  A couple of days and the count dropped to 0.3 and still dropping.

the expectation was 3 weeks, but in 2 weeks my counts were at a level that I could go home.  Thanks be to God, I am going home, weak but excited.  My daughter picked me up and brought me HOME!

Have to see the doctor later this week, so my saga will continue.

 

 

Dreams Stranger than fiction

Dreams, dreams, I don’t have many of them, but when I do them seem so real.  Recently I had one in which I saw both my deceased parents in the same dream.  I awoke and right away, I asked of myself, what does this mean.

 

My mother was in “the shop” as we called it back in the days.  “The shop” was a dry goods store/liquor store.  My mother and I were just talking casually as we did on a daily basis, just chit-chatting.  A young man came up to me and asked to talk to me.  I followed him across the street to hear what he wanted.  He gave me a card with his name, address, and email.  I looked at him quizzically and said, I have to think about it.

 

On the same side of the street my father was there trying to get a scaffolding up for some project, but was having no success because it was close to the weekend.  I promised to call on someone who can cause this to happen.

 

Even though I don’t understand what my dream means, but it was refreshing to visit with my parents again.

Travel to Portugal

Landed in Porto with my daughter after stopping in Valencia airport. There was a light mist and trying to negotiate the train to get to our hotel, I thought I had made the wrong choice in picking Portugal.

Finally we boarded the train with bags and suitcases in tact together with many other weary travelers. The train travel seemed endless, when my daughter said get ready it’s the next stop. Excitement was rising only to be dashed when the train doors opened. I had this grandiose idea in my head, and this scene was not part of it.

My daughter chose a bed and breakfast (B&B) which we could not find and would not hail a taxi. We decided to have lunch and then try to find this place. Lunch was good and the rest even better and we were fueled up to climb Porto’s many hills.

The B&B was a quaint place with a lovely and amicable hostess. Later that night we took an uber to a restaurant by the water’s edge which began my love of Portugal’s food and beautiful sites.

We spent five beautiful days enjoying food and museums because the shopping scene was not great but very expensive also. Now it is off to Lisbon

Lisbon was also beautiful, but the shopping scene was much better. We returned to Porto after spending three days and getting food poison at one of it’s many restaurant’s.

The trip home was bittersweet. I was glad to be going home, but I vow to visit Portugal again and have my fill of the wine, food, people and the many other provinces that we did not visit.

The MM saga continues

Friday afternoon we met with my myeloma team for the talk. Now that I have harvested my stem cells, it’s time to transplant the stem cells. Because of this new chapter in my life, I need to go back home and enjoy some good ole Grand Anse Beach.

Emergency Room

Yesterday I had to take my husband to the emergency. My daughter and I spent a total of 13 hours waiting for an 8:00 am scheduled operation that was pushed back for today.
Finally it was done today and he is in post ops. Thank God.

Harvesting my stem cell

It was a cold rainy day on Tuesday November 15th. My daughter and I gathered our suitcases and loaded them into the car oping that nothing was forgotten in our hast. While driving to the city and pumped up with the drugs Neupogen 2 shots totaling 780 meg and Mozodil 24 mg, I had an unfortunate physical accident. This slowed us down with our timing to get to Mt Sinai hospital.

I was lucky that the doctors decided to still give me the catheter . Because of my tiny veins, I had to have the catheter placed in my neck. The operation was done with local anesthesia . I felt pressure but not pain.

In the harvesting center, the nurses were all professional and kind. I had to be harvested for a number of hours hooked up to the machine with no bathroom breaks.

All in all, the count needed was 15 million, by day 2, I had 16.9 million. This was not a simple procedure, but I was moinitored for vital signs and at one time , my potassium was low. They added it via the IV.

We stayed at a hotel in the city because I did not want to drive back and forth to my home. Now my stem cells are stored if I need them in the future. Every patient is different, and I am blessed that I don’t have many of the symptoms associated with this multiple myeloma, such as bone pain, swelling of the joints, weakness and a whole host of other malaise.

Next time I will update you on my doctor’s appointment, after the harvesting. God is good and we all have to trust Him. Bye for now

Stem cell harvesting

Yes, it is a long time that I posted anything. According to the doctors, the cancer is 84% gone. I am excited, but the cost is that the steroids are play havoc with the diabetes. Sometimes it is over 400 and I have to reign it in with insulin. Also I have an unsteady gait.

I have started going to the gym and also swimming . I have seen that adding exercise to my daily routine, that I walk steadier, and also feel great.

I am now in a new phase, I have to harvest my stem cells. This means more drugs for the pre stem cell treatment. Tuesday I will start the collection. I am nervous, but hopeful. I will let you all know how this goes.

Please keep me in your prayers and thoughts. Bye for now.

Enjoying a plop!

Everything is going just fine then all of a sudden something goes plop! I know that life has its ups and downs and sooner than later we will have many plops! It doesn’t have to be a big mess, just a temporary stalemate.

Pick up the mess whatever it may be and move forward. I think that these plops add color to our lives and make us realize that there are challenges to living and that we should embrace the nuances of life.

Way back there use to be a commercial which went like this “plop,plop, fizz, fizz” I can still see the fizz when the tablets went plop. Therefore plops are not all bad.

So let us just plop down on a couch at the end of the day and recover from work or play and count our blessings each and every day!

Plop

Simple Pleasures

That word congers up for me my finest tea set. I remember inviting my children to a tea party. My daughter had just returned from Fiji on a touring scholarship and brought me back a bag of tea.

I made some cheese sandwiches, some other finger foods and boiled the water added it to the tea pot with the tea and let it stand. Everyone was excited, because this was the first time drinking tea.

We sat down and I played the gracious hostess. I did not disappoint. I poured the tea into their elegant cups in their saucers and placed their cheese sandwich into the plates. They enjoyed it.

If we care, we can all make simple pleasures into elegant affairs and enjoy life to the fullest!

Elegant