This has been the hardest thing I have ever done in my life by far. For those of you who know me and have through the years you know I went through some definite trials in life with ex-boyfriends that tested my will power and mentality. But all of that was a piece of cake compared to what I have just been through.
As you can tell I finally have my sight back. I can see just like I could before. No more foggy eyes to go with the foggy brain. So you are all probably curious what has happened since the transplant. I will explain the best I can. To be honest it makes me pretty emotional so I may have to write this in two parts but we will see.
As a funny side note before I begin, The Cowboys Suck!!!! What a crappy way to lose a game and mess up my fantasy football numbers. hehehe.
Okay so transplant day. It didnt start out good at all. My feet were still having that problem of the burning sensation which I am told is a common side effect. So I took a pain pill and it upset my stomach so I ended up throwing up. Great way to start a nervous day huh? So I am already not feeling well when we started the transplant process around 2pm. It started nice. The occupational therapist Kathy came in, put some pressure buttons on my wrists to help with nausea and started giving me a foot massage. Then my nurse gave me some Benadryl. Well that made me a little loopy and a little relaxed. So I am thinking, hmmm maybe I will just sleep through it all. No such luck. I got some anti-nausea meds and the 6 bags of stem cells arrived. They thawed them in the sink and we began the process of transplant. They took one bag, put it in a giant syringe and slowly injected it through the same IV line as my saline drip. So she was about 3/4 of the way of getting the first bag into me when I felt heat from about the bottom of my breast bone to my stomach. I knew that wasnt good. So I was just and puking like a pro. I was so hoping I wouldnt throw up. So I finished and they got me some ativan (not sure if that is the right spelling or not) and it helped me relax a little more. Its used for anxiety and nausea. So I got through the second bag just fine but was sick again by the third bag. Lets just say I had 6 bags and 3 puking fests. So we finished and I passed out. Thankfully mom and dad were here with me.
So I pretty much slept until the next day. The following day I was awake for a bit but my stomach started hurting something fierce. I had this hard shooting pain right in the middle. It just wouldnt go away. I remember calling Kevin that early morning when my parents were at breakfast I guess and telling him I loved him. I felt so bad and just started balling. I needed his help right then and he definitely did. I felt a little better until my nurse came in. She asked what was wrong and I just started balling saying I just felt horrible. She was nice and took the time to calm me down. So I was awake some that day. But the eating problems began then because of my stomach.
When everything happened to this point is somewhat of a blur. I started not being able to keep food down, take my pills and keep them down and that is a problem. So I seemed to start on a regimen of nocor (a lovely pain killer) and ativan. I was also put on an IV diet. I pretty much slept for the next week. If I was awake I had my eyes closed a lot. I tried to get up but my stomach hurt so bad it make my life miserable. It seemed the doctor's didnt do anything to help it enough. But I started on a stomach cramp medicine and eventually I started to feel better. I dont remember much that went on. I probably worried my parents to death. But eventually I started to come out of it I guess on Thursday. I was still turning away food though.
The best part was that on Friday my counts started turning around. I was finally starting to be positive. I think I started the Nupogen shots that day or Thursday, cant remember exactly. They boost your body to create white blood cells. They also make you hurt, well your bones hurt since it stimulates the marrow. But they did their job. I had a pain pill and then got sick again. Pain pills just dont seem to agree with me I have determined. If I didnt take it with ativan I was screwed. So I ate on Friday little bits, the biggest part being a McDonalds cheeseburger that Kevin brought me. Well actually that may have been Thursday. Who knows. But by Friday they were telling me I was possibly going home on Monday. Now that made me so happy. But it also stressed me out. I was still on the liquid IV diet so if I didnt eat its not as big of a deal but if I wanted to go home I needed to be able to eat right?
So Saturday comes and I am feeling good. I had very little of my breakfast but that is okay. Danielle came up to see me and that made me super happy. I dont get to see my best friend much so it was great she came to see me in the hospital. She stayed most of the day and my parents were here too. Lunch time came and boy I felt so pressured to eat. I was afraid it will hurt my stomach again or it wouldnt stay down and I wouldnt be able to go home. I just want to go home really. I miss my cats and am tired of these 4 hospital room walls. So I got upset about even trying to eat lunch. I felt bad getting upset in front of Danielle and making her cry too but my dad was there and he helped me realize that its not a big deal. I just get through one meal at a time, I bit at a time. So I had some corn and that was about all I could have on that plate. Thankfully I remembered they probably have chicken noodle soup here on demand so mom got me some of that and I ate it through the rest of the afternoon.
So since then I am trying to eat little bits through out the day. My stomach has shrunk to a very small size after not eating for a week. I am only about 5 pounds lighter because of the supplemental IV stuff but I have a feeling that I will probably lose a few more because of my eating habits. Mom and I have been thinking of things to get me motivated to eat. I say smoothies. We just have to add some protein to them so they make are more than just fruit. I am worried about it still. It stresses me because I dont want to get sick and come back here. I want to go home, be healthy and live my life again. I want to stay on track and be able to go back to work and be "normal" whatever that is.
But I am supposed to be sprung from Baylor tomorrow. Yippee. I have a lot of time that I need to make up with Kevin and my cats. I keep hearing how much my kitties miss me so they better be happy to see me. But I will be coming back for check ups 2-3 times a week for 2-3 weeks. I have to make sure I wont get sick or have my counts go down. I have been told I will have to have blood and platelet transfusions, most everyone does but that is okay. I can come do that here and still get to go home afterward.
This has been an emotionally and physically draining part of my life. I hope to move on from here and get better. And I hope they find a cure for lymphoma in a pill one day soon. The first time going through chemo and radiation isnt so bad but I wouldnt want anyone to have to go through feeling like it would be better to die than be as sick as I was. And I have been told I did really good. Imagine what people much older than me go through. I didnt ask a lot of questions but someone almost flat lined today who was much older. He is now in ICU. He may have also had a donor other than himself but still. This better be my cure for sure. I have had enough for my lifetime. Once we are able to get Kevin's other hip done someday I dont ever want to be in a hospital again.
Well I think its about time to go to bed here soon. Big day tomorrow. I get to go home so they say. After 19-20 days here I think I am ready. I just want to sleep in my own bed, watch my tv with the good cable, and spend time with Kevin and the folks. I want to thank everyone for your words of support. Even when I couldnt write back just know that it all helped.