Extreme Makeover Stem Cell Edition
Extreme Makeover Stem Cell Edition

 

Thought I would share a picture of myself in my T-shirt that Duke gave me once I got my cells back. One comes free with every very expensive stem cell transplant.  I actually don’t know what this will all cost, and I probably don’t want to know -but  I do thank goodness that my company has great insurance.   I even have a transplant case manager from Cigna, who calls to check on how I am doing, and she arranged for the insurance to cover my costs of living in Durham-  both room and board for the whole transplant process.  Its kind of win-win for us both I guess, as it is cheaper for them than if I was in the hospital for the whole 2 weeks, which is what a lot of transplant centers do.   I’m doing pretty well both yesterday and today.  I’ve had no fevers, no mouth sores, and the nausea is better now. They’re  giving me some dexamethasone on top of the  other anti-nausea meds and I have a very cute little scopalamine patch behind my ear now.  It really adds to my Star Trek Borg persona, along with the bald head and Hickman catheter.  I just need one of those shiny red eye things.  My counts continue to plummet, and my white cell count is essentially zero, but I haven’t needed any platelet or red blood cell transfusions yet.   I’m now getting daily Neupogen injections to try to stimulate the white cells to develop.  I also have needed potassium infusions both yesterday and today, so that is extending time at the clinic out to take up the whole morning.  I’ve had 8am appointments and am not getting out until 12:30pm or so. My stamina is becoming very limited.  I can only do about a mile on the treadmill, or about 15 minutes of yoga, before I have to stop.   Still, one of my doctors came by and was amazed that I am still exercising as much as I am, eating regularly, and able to be up and about almost all day. He said this is probably the “low point” in terms of how I will feel and I am doing much much better than most patients.  So, that was nice to hear. Keep your  fingers crossed that this weekend I will pass through the nadirs and my counts will start to go up, which would mean the stem cells are engrafting.