Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Meanwhile, I'm starting to slowly get my appetite back and am walking around as much as I can. Hopefully , the next update I send will be from home.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
I Had a period of vomiting today for the first time. Clearly that was no fun. My daily routine consists of being woken up for blood draw and taking of vitals. I then pick at my breakfast and the get separated from my IV so I can shower.theni typically walk around the ward a couple of timers to keep my strength and my mood up. Lunch follows and then I try to read or nap until dinner. All along the way,I'm prodded and probed by various medial professionals.
I'm told to expect things will stay like this for a few more days. So I'm trying to make the best of it. With any luck I can be home by this time next week.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Monday, February 13, 2012
It is now Day +4 and things are getting tougher. I'm feeling mostly ok, but I do have a fairly constant quesy stomach which is made worse by certain foods, certain activities and seeing Newt Gingrich on the TV. My taste in food is changing daily . Yesterday, the only thing I felt like eating was bagels and cream cheese. Today, the thought of a bagel is disgusting, but I craved shredded wheats. I'm getting quite tired of being cooped up here in the hospital, even though I have no complaints about the quality of my treatment. I' m also feeling considerably weaker...less able to walk around and cause trouble. It is not very heartening to know that things are likely to get worse before they get better. So, needless to say, I'm looking for time to pass quickly. Song for the day: Eric Clapton - Better Make It Through Today.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Two Eds are better than one.
Day +2 is upon us and I'm not quite as chipper. My stomcah has been quesy since my freind Cory came to visit last night (I believe it is coincindental). We've managed the discomfort with a triage of drugs....Zofran, Compazine and Ativan. They work pretty well, but make me feel kind of drowsy. Yesterday, I was told by the nurses that it was hosptial policy to prohibit patients from leaving the ward post-transplant. One of my favorite diversions has been to wander down to the Plaza level which is open airy and has a live piano player. I can also take invigorating walks outdoors on the Plaza level. Fortunately, Dr. Vescio intervened on my behalf and wrote an order that I can go to the Plaza as long as my white blood cell counts remained over 2. Today, I came in at 3.1, down fro 4.7 yesterday and 6.4 the day before. So, I did manage to get out and take my walk this morning and it felt really good. Tomorrow may be the end of that. BTW: I am also required to wear a mask now when I leave my room. People who would otherwise know would undoubtebly walk right past me. With my bald head and a mask on, I'm virtually unrecognizable.
I'm quite fussy about food right now. I have no taste for sweets. I very much enjoyed having a bagel this morning, although it was not a very good bagel. I ate a bowl of cereal dry with no milk in it. And I had a cup of black coffee and some cranberry juice. I decided to pass on the scrambled eggs. Last night, remarkably, I did not want to eat my ice cream. So there is clearly something wrong with me. I also noticed a bit of peach fuzz growing on my lip, meaning my hair may be starting to grow back.
Today is Saturday and I have heard several visitors will be coming by. If you do come and you don't find me in my room, check the Plaza lever - push PL on the elevator. I'll have my cell phone with me if you get lost.
Friday, February 10, 2012
Here is the transplant in process. This is what the show is all about! It took about 20 minutes and was as uneventful as any infusion. I never detected the "creamed corn" odor, although one of the nurses did. It is now 9:30 pm on Day Zero and I have yet to encounter any discomfort. Hope it stays that way, but I've been assured it will not.
My hospital stay so far can be characterized as periods of boredom interrupted by periods of frantic activity. No event here seems to occur in isolation. For example, the room phone always rings when I'm talking to someone else on my cell phone. The doctor visit inevitably is interrupted by meal delivery. But all in all, the visit here has been quite comfortable. Onward to Day 1.
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
This is what my myeloma cells look like!
Today is Day Zero -the day I undergo the actual transplant. Yesterday, I received my second vial of the dreaded Melphalan. I sucked on ice chips for about 2 1/2 hours before and after the Melphalan injection, to protect against mouth sores. Today at around 10 am, I get my cells back to replace the ones destroyed by the Melphalan. It is rather anti climatic. Takes about 20 minutes and is rather unexceptional, except I've been warned that the cells carry an odor that is something on the order of "creamed corn". I'm told that I will lose my taste for food and will need to force myself to eat. I'll also get pretty fatigued starting today. And the Melphalan is like a ticking time bomb,which will bring on nausea and other discomforts as soon as tomorrow.
Yesterday was action packed. I took a walk to the outdoor plaza level. Watched an episode of Breaking Bad on my iPad. Read several chapters of a book entitled "Employee of the Year" written by Dmitri Ragano whom I work with at Herbalife. The book is quite good! Received visits from Rabbi Mark Hyman, Ken Goldstein, and Susan who joined me for dinner and a TV interview with her not so secret obsession, George Clooney. That plus the usual tests and medication visits made for a very busy day.
So, I'm still feeling fine, but apprehensive about how I'll be this time tomorrow. Stay tuned!
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
It's 10:45 pm on Day -2. I just had my first dose of the nasty chemotherapy, Melphalan.. It goes in like a lamb, but apparently turns into a lion in a few days. I feel just fine right now and I'm told that I should not start feeling rotten until early next week. Meanwhile, I'm committed to staying up until 1 am to chew on crushed ice. I've been advised by the medical staff, as well as people that have been through this that the ice therapy is critical for preventing mouth sores and that mouth sores are no fun at all. So, I'm blogging primarily to fight off sleep, as I normally am out cold by now.
Today went pretty much as expected. I arrived around noon, got some lab work done, and then got quizzed by my lovely BMT coordinator and guardian angel Laura to make sure i understood the most important aspects of my treatment. The emphasis was on staying away from germs and calling for help immediately if i experience the least bit of fever or discomfort. I was then taken to the procedure center to have a PICC line installed. That was quick and painless. I was then wheeled over for a quick x-ray to make certain that the PICC line is where it should be, and was then delivered to admissions and brought to my room. I'm in room 4925 of the South tower. I have a fridge and a scenic parking lot view. Who could ask for more? The evening featured a reasonably tasty chicken and rice dinner, an hour of watching Glee, and various tests, leading up to the Melphalan push and the Ice Munching Stay Awake marathon.
It's now 11:15. Only 1 3/4 hours to go. I'll let you know how it turns out tomorrow.
Checking in to Cedars later today. I spent yesterday getting prepared - took a bike ride and charged up all my electronic toys. Today is considered Day -2. It will consist of my getting a PICC line surgically inserted in my arm. Then, I was told there will be a lot of waiting around until I get admitted. Tonite at 10 PM, I will receive the first dose of Melphalan, a very heavy duty chemo that will kill everything in it's wake....bad cells, good cells, etc. I was told not to expect too much discomfort immmediatly, but that the tough stuff will start showing up in a few days. I'm feeling fine, although I am not relishing the prospect of spending two weeks or more in the hospital. But I am prepared to make the most of it. More later.
Monday, February 6, 2012
- Yes I'm Ready (Barbara Lewis)
- Let it Grow (dedicated to my hair, not my cancer cells) (Eric Clapton)
- Feeling Stronger Every Day (Chicago)
- Still Alive and Well (Edgar Winter)
- Tubthumper "I get knocked down, but I get up again" (Chumbawumba)
- Always Look on the Bright Side (Monty Python)
- Won't Back Down (Tom Petty)
- Healing (Todd)
- I Made it Through the Rain/Looks Like We Made It (Barry Manilow)
Saturday, February 4, 2012
- Visiting hours are 10 AM to 9 PM daily.
- Do not visit unless you are free of illness with no recent exposure to infections or immunizations.
- No children under 18 may visit.
- Wash hands thoroughly before entering the room. You may be asked to wear a mask.
- Do not sit on my bed or put shoes on my bed
- Do not use the bathroom in my hospital room.