It’s finally happened.
Transplant day came and went.
I will no longer be me on the insides (at least that’s kind of how I see it). Someone else’s stem cells will try to graft to my body and generate a new, functioning immune system.
I know I should be more excited but I think my nerves have gotten the best of me.
It was a pretty anticlimactic thing. They infused the stem cells through my trifusion line in my room–like they would blood or platelets; no surgery or anything.
I suppose it’s a bigger deal in life rather than the actual physical process of it all.
My nurse stayed in my room the whole time and monitored me, checking my vitals every 15 minutes. It was pretty cool cause you could see them (the stem cells) going through the tube into my chest.
I got 5 MILLION stem cells.
It seems like a lot, but any where from 4-7 MILLION is the norm.
I wish I could say that I took some cool photos for you guys, but I didn’t. I’ve been battling a migraine and so I wasn’t really up to taking them myself.
I don’t think you would have been able to see the stem cells anyway.
I just wish I would have been feeling better to document it for you guys.
The nurses did come in and sing “Happy Transplant Day [to me]” and brought me a cake and everything. That was really cool and sweet. It made the day feel special.
But these past few days have been super rough. From GI issues to a migraine that won’t go away (which has made me puke countless times), I’ve just been physically a walking nightmare–emotionally too.
After four months, I still can’t believe this is happening to me. I look at photos all the time and think “wow, I complained about a lot in this life.” I was down most of the time, not much seemed to keep me happy. I was happy, but I bitched a lot.
What I wouldn’t do to go back living days like that? Not that I want to be ungrateful; I don’t. Life was simpler then. I miss the simple life–worrying about what to eat for dinner or going to the grocery store and now it’s all about getting this cancer out of my body and “saving my life” talks.
I feel like I’m lying to you guys sometimes. Some days I’ve accepted this life and other days I refuse to think it’s mine. I wake up everyday in the hospital in a nightmare. I don’t want to be here. I just want to be home; I just want to be home.
That’s all I can think about. I don’t know why I can’t seem to snap out of it. I just can’t get out of this mindset that I’ll be home eventually. I’m just going to have a rough go at it until then. And it sucks.
I just wish I could get over the emotional part of this journey. I can’t keep from crying. I can’t stop from thinking. I just need my mind to be taken away from the heartache of it all. I need to be with my boys and then that makes it worse.
I spent the bulk of tonight watching videos of Brody from my Facebook. They made me laugh and smile. I miss him so much and remember all of that like it was yesterday.
— A FEW DAYS LATER–
The boys came up to see me and they are getting so big. I was feeling a lot better Friday so I asked my MIL to bring them up. Brody is a hoot, talking a lot and saying things out of the blue that just make me wonder where he learns it and where his personality comes from. He’s so much fun.
And then little Bex isn’t so little any more. And he has the biggest grin when he smiles; I tear up every time he grins. He just makes my heart swell. He’s so sweet and happy. I can never be able to explain the love a mother–this mother–has for her sons.
On Saturday, I got a really bad migraine–honestly, WTF is wrong my head? It was brutal and the IV pain meds they were giving weren’t helping. Then I started puking and I had this nurse that was ridiculous. I almost cussed her out a few times. She was just slow and then disappeared for 4 hours. WTF. This bitch… was about to get back-slapped. For real, ya’ll. My sister and mom would just stare at me when she’d actually SHOW UP to my room, passing weary looks back and forth, probably concerned with what I was going to do or say to her.
I was hot, like livid. I wasn’t dealing with shit that day because I was so miserable.
Now it’s Sunday and I’m feeling much better today. Lucky nurses.
I got to see one of my favorite nurses that is a few floors below me and she always makes me feel better. She walks through the door and I get more excited than a fat kid at an ice cream shop or candy store… you get the idea.
There is something just simply amazing about this incredible woman. I just adore her. And I FINALLY fell in love with another nurse up here too. She’s so amazing, funny and is good at her job. She makes me forget about being up here and I get excited when she’s around too. She keeps me laughing and that’s the most important thing to do for you patients is to have conversations to get their minds off of where they really are and what they are having to go through.
And that’s both of their gifts in life–helping us have fun while we are here, making me laugh and forget about the cancer crap and have something to look forward to when it’s their shift.
I can never stress enough; it makes a world of a difference who your nurse is.
As far as the way I feel, I feel OK today. My throat hurts in a way it never has. It feels like I swallowed a rock every time I drink or eat. And my esophagus hurts. It’s not sore, just painful. It’s a weird, unexplainable pain.
My counts are starting to drop significantly so we are going to need to restrict my visitors. I don’t want to get an infection which could delay me going home. And infections at this point, can be fatal to me.
Unfortunately when your on this floor you hear of people passing, and it’s terribly sad. Somedays people are in the rooms next to me and then their gone. Or a patient goes home and comes back in a few days having issues and dies from a stupid infection that could have been prevented. It breaks my heart for their families and some of them are so young.
So when we finally get back home we have to be extra careful for three months. It’s a scary time, but it’s a crucial time for me to get through these three months and start to feel better.
I know every leukemia/cancer case is different, but it’s still frightening to know some of the people down the hall aren’t doing so well and then you hear they passed on.
It puts things in perspective in a way, though. It shows me how crucial it is during this time and over the next few months (when I move back to the house), we follow their rules to keep from those things happening to me.
And then it just takes me back to my kids. I have to fight and get through this so I can be home with my boys. I have to.
I won’t lose this battle. I can’t. I won’t.
I will beat this.
There just seem to be so many signs that I’m supposed to be here.
I honestly wouldn’t have found the leukemia so quickly if I weren’t pregnant.
I had random back spasms which sent me to the doctor to get more blood work and that’s when the leukemia showed up (three days after I went to see a hematologist and my blood work was normal–no leukemic blasts were detected).
When I delivered Bex, we discovered he could have died because he had this huge knot in his cord; my doc says he would have died.
Plus I’d already had a placenta hormone issue which made my OBGYN & High-Risk Pregnancy Doctor worry my placenta would give out before birth.
But then Bex did so amazing post-birth for a preemie; it was like he skated through it all like “I got this, Mom.” And he’s done so great since.
I’m just honestly so thankful for my boys. I love them more than they will ever know. And have you seen those faces lately? I mean, c’mon, they are incredibly adorable.
Monday, April 13, 2015
The chemo has done it’s job and lowered my counts. I just got up to walk a few laps around the unit and got so tired, so quickly, I couldn’t do any more.
It’s truly amazing how quickly your body will give out on you and that’s why it’s so important get up and try to move around as much as possible.. I managed to do six laps around the nurse stations, but I’m pretty exhausted now.