We’re engrafting, yay! My white cell counts, while still critically low, are beginning to rise. I’m also getting fevers, but not the stupid human suit kind, but rather the sort typically associated with stem cell engrafting.
My blood pressure tanked last night to the point of me standing in my room confused, trying to figure out how to work the soap dispenser. After that, they turned on the bed alarm, so I can’t get up without someone there to assist me. I feel rather silly about it.
In other news, my GI tract is still in the process of rebooting, which is extremely uncomfortable. Food is primarily liquid still.
Slept almost the whole day yesterday. This stem cell growing is exhausting.
I am feeling very sorry for myself.
On opportunistic bacteria infection has taken up residence in my lower bowels and another one has set up shop in my stomach. Not only is food unpleasant to eat but it’s not doing anything enjoyable once it hits my GI Tract, including staying put.
They have me on lotso antibiotics and other meds to make this easier on me. I appreciate that but honestly, I just want to be unconscious.
None of this is unexpected but it all sucks. Hurry up stem cells. Graft! Graft already!!
Deep into hell week now. Haven’t been able to hold down any food or liquid for 24-hours. Getting IV fluids so I don’t dehydrate. It’s going to be a couple more days until things could conceivably start getting better. Oh, and my hair’s falling out again. (Sigh.)
Needed another platelet transfusion last I night. Nurses are doing their best to keep me comfortable, but morphine now makes me nauseous, and some of this unpleasantness simply has to run its course.
Graft you little stem cells. Graft and grow strong!
Meanwhile, I will seek out unconsciousness.
White counts have tanked to critical levels. Platelet counts are plummeting. (Needed a platelet transfusion last night.) GI tract is in a general state of rebellion and/or malaise. Food is an unpleasant chore that must be accomplished without an iota of joy or relish.
We’re heading full speed into the nadir of side effects hell. Going to be a few more days of getting worse before I’ll start getting better. Fortunately, my health care team is not stingy with the drugs.
More drugs, please.
On the side effects count:
- My white counts are beginning to tank, taking my blood pressure with it, so they hooked me back up to my IV stand and are giving me extra fluids. Sigh. It was nice not having to haul around an IV tree wherever I went–not that I go very far anyway, but still.
- GI tract is beginning to express some unhappiness. This is a warning of what’s to come, and I’m not looking forward to it.
- Blurred vision still in evidence. Having a really difficult time finding the sweet spot for reading.
- Fatigue hitting hard–although that could be the anti-nausea meds they’re feeding me round the clock.
- Oh, and hiccups. Yes, can’t forget the @#$!& hiccups.
During my daily ambulation around the floor for exercise, I spied a little lending library and a stained class windowed alcove. Charming:
Now that the chemo regimen infusion is i done, I no longer need to be tethered to my IV stand. I use it as a glorified charging station. But now side effects are beginning to level up.
Stomach is in a perpetual state of distress which makes the process of eating an unpleasant skirmish each mealtime: “You gotta!” “Don’t wanna! No!’
As a compromise, the hospital stocks Carnation instant breakfast and peach smoothes,, so I’ve been slamming down a lot of nutrients that way.
Eyes are blurry, making it hard to read my computer screen. Doctor says I might need new prescription glasses after this. Nurses think it’s likely something that will improve after hell week. We’ll see.
Aaand I have hiccups.
On an up note, the nurses and doctors share my philosophy of ” Don’t let the pain/discomfort ramp up.” So I have spent the last couple days in a bit of a soporific haze. Go drugs!
Related tangent: If you get an incoherent email, text, or comment from me, don’t try to puzzle it out; it’s the meds.
I’ve had my nummy nummy stem cells re-infused (as well as a transfusion of two units of blood). That was very anticlimactic. Except for when the nurses came in singing happy birthday to me. They have a tradition of doing that for Stem Cell Day 0. There are balloons.
However, now the side effects of the BEAM chemo are beginning to kick in, mostly nausea, heartburn, fevers, dry mouth, absence of taste (what else is new?), and various aches and pains.
The side effects will get much worse. I’m only on Day +1 (they do a countdown to Stem Cell Day, so Day 0 is when I get my stem cells and Day +1 is the day after I get then), and I’ll start my hard crash tomorrow dipping down until Day +7. Then I’ll, hopefully, start plateauing and recovering.
On an up note, I no longer need to be tethered to an IV tree, so I have as much freedom as my small hospital room allows. I’m not allowed to walk the halls for exercise anymore because of my fevers. They did a barrage of cultures and tests to make sure I don’t have anything that could endanger my floor-mates. We’re still waiting to hear back from those, and I am VERILY restless and bored.
I’m sleeping better now, thanks mostly to all the drugs their pumping into me. IV Zofran, Ativan, and Benadryl seem to be doing a good job of knocking me out and keeping me that way.
A drugged sleep is better than no sleep, I sez.