Friday, July 27, 2007

Next Steps

I'm back from my overnight at Hotel Hope, where I received a "conditioning regimen" of Cytoxan. I'm not suffering any side effects from the chemo, but I'm still groggy from the Benadryl and Atavan. As the anesthesiologist told me last week, "You're a cheap date."

Tomorrow I start a week-long round of daily self-injections of Neupogen, a drug designed to make the stem cells flee from the bone marrow to the circulatory blood. With just three doctor's visits, daily Heperan flushes and three-times-a-week bandage changes for my Hickman catheter, it will be a relatively "easy" week.

And then on August 6 we'll be ready to start harvesting stem cells. This will be like having a part-time job, albeit a very cushy one. I report for duty at 8:00 am and will sit in an easy chair for 4.5 hours. The machines will do all the work of collecting blood, sorting out the stem cells and then returning the blood to me, sans stem cells.

I'll be perfectly content sipping cranberry juice with one of those little bendy straws, munching graham crackers, chatting and reading books and magazines. God only knows how many days this can go on. Some people are able to produce enough stem cells in as few as three days, others can take up to ten days and some are never able to produce enough. Time will tell which category I fall into.

8 comments:

Paula Johnson said...

Hey, your laptop plays DVDs, right? Maybe catch up on some movies.

Here's hoping your harvest season is a short one. Wouldn't three uber-productive days be the bee's knees?

In any case, I am so with you on the bendy straws. They make any beverage festive!

Piper Robert said...

Do you remember the summmer you got the big black eye? What about the time the coal truck slammed on it's brakes to avoid hitting you?

Glad you're safely home. Love ya!

p.s. Maude and Big Will plan to be here next Friday. Awesome.

Dani said...

Picture me in a red and white cheerleading outfit with pom-poms and all: Give me a stem! Give me a cell! You can do it! Go get well!

Susan Carrier said...

Paula: Good idea about the DVDs. I'm taking recommendations for must-see DVDs.

Robert: I DO remember the black eye and our subsequent "I'd rather fight than switch" photo shoot. (I wonder what ever happened to those pictures.) I don't remember the coal truck incident, but it certainly sounds like it's in the realm of possibility given the number of coal trucks in Sardis and my usual state of oblivion.

Dani: Thanks for the cheering section!

Anonymous said...

Also I'd suggest the entire Harry Potter series (I am sadly enough only halfway through book 6)

Lisa C.

Paula Johnson said...

DVDs you might like:

RESCUE ME, a cable show about NYC firefighters now on DVD. Start with the pilot.

MI-5, an addictive BBC series

A SIMPLE TWIST OF FATE, Steve Martin in a dramatic role in a great story.

COLD COMFORT FARM, really odd and funny

SHAWN OF THE DEAD comedy-horror, really funny

THE BOURNE IDENTITY and its sequel

CASINO ROYALE, with hottie Daniel Craig

LAYER CAKE, ditto

INVINCIBLE, based on a true story

KINKY BOOTS, British

FINDING NEVERLAND

THE MATADOR, Pierce Brosnan doing scruffy

THE 4400 (a series)

MRS. HENDERSON PRESENTS

HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE

STAGE BEAUTY

THE RED VIOLIN

THE STATION AGENT

THE ZERO EFFECT

PUSHING TIN

That's all that come to mind right now.

Piper Robert said...

Red Violin.......2 thumbs up.

Barbara Roth said...

How about reading books with Tuscany in the title. I have several on my bookshelf that I reach for when suburbia gets too much for me. I also recommend books about expatriats living in Paris and can send you some for getting your imagination into a different local when your body needs to stay put in the U.S.A. I can send you down a few from my collection, just let me know.