Friday, August 10, 2007

Sprung from the joint

Day +72 (Day 212)

I've been in the pokey since Tuesday, and frankly, I was considering becoming non-compliant. It's hard to appreciate something that you get to enjoy on a daily basis. I had forgotten the mind numbing boredom that comes from sitting in a room that's not even 8' x 10'. This time around, I was put into a positive pressure isolation room. There's an outer chamber that you have to enter inorder to get into the hospital room itself. The reason is to contain any airborne pulmonary viruses. It's to protect the other patients. You also had to put on a paper gown and a mask. Also to protect the other patients on the floor. You could track something out if you visited without complying.

I had several blood tests and nasal washes. All of them came back negative for the viruses that they were looking for. I continued to have headaches and severe sinus drainage. The attending doctor couldn't find a reason for my symptoms. I suggested allergies. He conceded that it could be, but he wanted to rule everything else out first. This is a doctor that attended to me during my transplant stay. He's a very nice guy and actually listens to what you have to say. He also has a sense of humor. Yesterday, when he was checking in on me with his team, he asked me if I had any questions. I asked him what time he'd be letting me out that day. He started cracking up and said, "How about if everything goes well and you promise you'll come back if you feel bad, I let you out tomorrow." I promised and sealed the deal by bribing him with a soda. You have to love a doctor with a good sense of humor.

I lost 11 pounds while I was in the hospital. I've developed an absolute aversion to hospital food. Chris can attest to this. I only managed one full meal while I was in lock up. Yesterday I only managed a few bites of dinner. 15 minutes later, I was vomiting like you couldn't believe. Everything that I had managed to eat during the day came back and then some. Poor Chris was beside himself. He couldn't get me to eat and was worried that I would make myself sick.

I was released from the hospital around 1pm and as soon as I got into the car, I was starving. I would have eaten brussel sprouts dipped in mud at that point. I was able to eat a sandwich and a yogurt with no problems. I aced dinner, too.

Chris and I have started talking about a family of our own. The chances are that I won't be able to have children at the end of this. We've started to look into adoption. Chris ordered a few books on international adoption. We've contacted an organization located in Houston that facilitates adoptions in Vietnam. We're also looking at China. It's a while off, since I need to be cancer free for a certain period of time, before we can be considered.

Right now, we're looking at houses in BR and the surrounding areas. I might be coming home in less than a month, and we'll need a permanent place to live. One thing at a time. Chris keeps reminding me that I need to get better before we move forward. You know the countdown. Maybe I'm tempting fate, but I've already bought a dress for a friend's wedding in October. I just know that I'd really like to dance with Chris without having to worry about cancer or relapses. Let's hope my hair comes back in time. ;)~


Clark said...

I'm so happy to see how well you're doing now. All of us started to feel like we were your closest friend's during all of the fundraising and blood drive. It's great to hear the good things that are finally starting to happen. I'm down in Florida now, but I hope you will be doing great when you get back to BR.


amy t. said...

I'm so happy to hear you talking about "future" things! I'm glad to know you're out of the hospital and enjoying "freedom" again. Have a wonderful weekend.

Anonymous said...


Congrats to you! How great to be 72 days out from tp.

My brother, who is 35, is a candidate for dct, too. WE are half Vietnamese and Half Caucasian and he could not find a good match from an adult donor. So now on to ucbt

We consulted with The Hutch and signed up to be on the Delta Trial, which does the ex-vivo expansion of one unit of CB before transplant. It sounds like you had the same kind of transplant.

I'm curious as to how long it took you to engraft? Did having the expanded unit help you engraft faster than a conventional dct patient engrafts?

Also, i don't know if in ALL they do groupings of risk based on cytogenetics, but my brother has normal chromosomes and is therefore an "intermediate risk" AML patient. What this means is that it's possible that he could find cure with a chemo regimen, but he could also go the transplant route.

they are currently doing more testing to see if he should be considered for chemo or transplant, before giving final rec.

did you have the option of chemo or transplant? Or, does ALL not work this way.

Any advice or info you can offer is greatly appreciated.

Mina from Chicago.


Anonymous said...

wonderful news!!!! also glad you guys are thinking about the future. my brother and his wife adopted a little girl from china when Lia was 10 months old. Lia is now 4 yrs old! She is such a character and such a joy to be around. I am sooo very glad you are feeling better and able to friend is suppose to have his BMT on the 18th of this month. I am hoping it goes as well as yours has! you take care and i hope your headaches start getting better! Lisa :)