June 13, 2012

They say it's your birthday!

Ok, technically it was Monday, but I haven't really been feeling up for much this week.

Here's a recap:

Sunday was a horrible night. Then Monday night got even worse...with kind of a big deal in between.

Monday morning around 10am my stem cells were transfused back to me. It was actually all very anticlimactic, and only lasted for about 30 minutes. I was completely exhausted and nauseated, but still managed to take my new "self" for a little stroll around the halls with Todd before going back to bed.

As Monday went on, my nausea got worse and worse. Nothing I put in my mouth ended up staying in and non of the anti-nausea medications seemed to be touching it. Monday night when they came to do vitals, they discovered a fever of 101.9, which set into action a flurry of blood work, chest x-ray, cultures, etc. and a phone call to the on-call physician.

After all that, Tuesday was a very slow day. I did nothing but sleep, or at least it felt that way. I've honestly never felt so just sleepy before! I am now on two different anti-biotics, an anti-fungal, anti-nausea, a scopolamine patch, and steroids, too. Along with another handful of pills...not wonder my stomach is so queasy! My temperature is back down to normal, and (knock on wood) today I've not needed my puke bucket at all. Not to say I don't still keep it close by, but these things take time.

It's been a week now of being in the hospital, which seems to have gone by fairly quickly, probably because I've been so miserable the whole time...and since today is only +2 (day zero is transplant day) I've got at least a good week left.

My counts this morning still show that I'm totally depleted of white blood cells, and the guess is that tomorrow I will probably require a red blood cell transfusion, which seems to be right on par with what is expected. Now is time to shower while I'm still unhooked from my IV pole and maybe take a little pre-dinner nap :)

Gotta pass the time in some way

My dad, uncle and cousin took a quick detour on their
motorcycle trip to visit me on Sunday morning

It's happening!

This is the stem cell guy. He basically brings them in and
thaws them. Big job, I know.

My new cells going in

My BFF never left my side

Todd and I during the transplant
So now I have two "birthdays". October 8th, 1979 AND June 11th, 2012!

June 11, 2012

The Time

I started this post a week ago when we got to Chicago again...then things got a little crazy and I never finished it. I'll post it anyway, but just know it isn't exactly a complete account of really anything.

No, this post isn't about any girlie time so don't worry. I've really been bad at keeping this up...and I am still totally blaming Facebook! I think anyone who actually reads this is probably friends with me on FB and already knows what's been going on. I'll do my best to catch you all up, though.

The neupogen shots were HORRIBLE. Well, not the shots themselves, but the joint pain was more intense than I even know how to put into words. For anyone who knows me I'll just say this, I let Todd push me around (in public) in a wheelchair. So there's that.

We managed to have fun with Mason in Chicago, though. I thinks it's safe to say the kid has been introduced to city life...and was very ready to go back to his "blue house" and yard!

My stem cell collection was more than amazing. Dr. Burt only requires 2 million for the transplant and I collected over 29 million in just 4 hours of the machine. After that news, we changed out flights home as soon as we could!

Just like everything else on my treatment calendar, my hair fell out right on time once we were home. And by saying it fell out in clumps doesn't even do it enough justice! We wasted no time in buzzing what was left off, and even Mason joined in on the fun. I have to admit, he looks pretty darn cute with a buzz cut :)

May 14, 2012

New find

A friend of mine shared this video on Facebook today. After listening to it, I immediately had to watch a bunch of this guys other videos on You Tube. AMAZING voice and talent in this kid!

May 9, 2012

Take me out to the ball game!

Today was Mason's first baseball game. He was really looking forward to his trip to the real Wrigley Field. We had fun and he did great considering the game was during what normally would be nap time.

I'm afraid I spoke too soon last night about not feeling too terrible. The nausea hit hard last night and didn't let up until this afternoon. I'm feeling better now on the nausea front, but the tiredness is still hitting me. Trying to rest as much as I can between having fun with my boys.

Here's some pics from today.

Waiting in the subway

Family fun (including Monks)

Pretzel time!

Go Cubs Go

Goofy boys

7th Inning Stretch

Mason loves his new Cubs flag

Sorry, Red Sox. 

Went to check out the Lego store after the game

May 8, 2012

Together again

My family is all together in Chicago now. The boys arrived Sunday morning to a mommy/wife that was very excited to see them. Mason had his first ride on the subway...just like Curious George! He was exhausted from the red eye (he only slept for about the last hour of the flight) and crashed pretty well in the apartment.

Monday I let him sleep in and went to check into the hospital. There was some initial confusion about which room I was going to be in, but it was soon squared away. After Todd and Mason were up and fed, they brought me coffee and caught the tail end of my visit with the nurse practitioner that works with Dr. Burt. I got started on an IV of fluids first, had the dreaded foley catheter placed (which actually wasn't as bad as I thought) and they started Mesna. Let me back up, the foley is because the type of chemo they're giving me can stick to the wall of the bladder and cause damage. The mesna is a medication that protects the bladder, and the fluids and lasix keep you hydrated and peeing, but sense I have bladder issues from MS, the foley ensures that everything is being flushed out.

About a half hour before the chemo starts, they pre-medicated me with lasix, two anti-nausea medications, and a steroid. Then the cytoxan (chemotherapy) was started. The boys were back in my room (after Mason's lame attempt at a nap) just in time for the first chemo to be started. It was an easy two hour infusion, but I was glad they were there for part of it. The main immediate side effect I had was being really hot. Probably from the steroid more than anything, but it was really uncomfortable.

Mason and Todd brought dinner back to the hospital room and Mason snuggled with me and watched a movie on my laptop while we enjoyed our pizza from Gino's. They left to get Mason in bed, and I had a pretty uneventful night of trying to get some rest in a hospital. I had a little nausea that was treated quickly before it got bad, and between a 1am blood draw and lasix dose and a 5am check of fluids and vitals, I actually slept pretty well.

Tuesday morning (today) Dr. Burt and the nurse practitioner Amy came in the morning during rounds and ordered another dose of the pre-chemo anti-nausea medication to try to help avoid any further nausea for tonight (fingers crossed, so far it seems to be working). After I was given my discharge instructions and medications to start this weekend, I just had to wait for the mesna to finish running through the IV and to be disconnected from all my "hoses" as Mason calls them. I was back in the apartment in time for lunch.

I was more tired today than I expected, so I took an extra long nap while Todd and Mason went out exploring. It was nice to just relax today in our apartment. Mason needed a few extra snuggles tonight from mommy, especially at bed time, to convince him that I wasn't going to sleep at the hospital again, but he seems to be sound asleep already as I type this.

Tomorrow is our Cubs game, which should be fun. Then we have a whole list of places we want to go see before we head back home. Here's some pics to enjoy for now...I need to get the ones off of Todd's phone, too. He has some cute ones as well.

Super tired on the subway

Excited for his new tent in the apartment

My hospital room

Keeping mommy company

Chilling again with mommy

Chemo, Mesna, Zofran and fluids 
Monks helping out with the infusion

My room had a gorgeous view of the lake and part of Navy Pier