Day 1. Here we go.
Yesterday was such an amazing day full of excitement and lots of little surprises. I really can’t thank everyone enough for all of your kind words, encouragement, prayers, and thoughts. My transplant day was super successful! Thank you again for all of your support! 🙂
And now begins The Road to Recovery, Part I: Engraftment.
Over the next few days, my cell counts will continue to plummet as the chemo finally steps up and does what it’s supposed to do while the new marrow settles in and “engrafts” into my body. I’m currently on a regiment of prophylaxis drugs (levaquin [antibiotic], voriconazole [antifungal], acyclovir [antiviral], zyrtec [antihistamine]), as well as anti-GVHD drugs (tacrolimus and CellCept) to help facilitate good engraftment.
Heck, I’ll just list out all drugs I’ve taken so far for kicks:
– Anti-nausea (zofran, ativan, compazine)
– Anti-pain (oxycodone, tylenol, morphine*)
– To help with bowel movements (colase, senokot, miralax)
– To help with acid reflux (maalox, prevacid)
*Not yet, but it’s on my chart if I need it.
Tonight, I begin methotrexate which is supposed to help slow the growth of the donor marrow cells so they don’t get all crazy and take over too fast. I like to describe the engraftment period like switching gears on stick shift:
The goal is to get from one gear (or immune system) to the next as smoothly as possible without stalling the car (or body). First, we ease off the gas and while pressing the clutch (letting the chemo destroy my old immune system), then we shift gears (transplant), then ease off the clutch while pressing the gas (letting the new immune system take over). The anti-GVHD drugs are really like the clutch — they help control the smooth transition of the marrow and allow for the new cells to settle in nicely while trying to reduce the number of possible side effects.
I hope that makes sense. Tbh I’ve never driven stick shift before so…
Today has been pretty great so far. Very low-key and calm for me. I’ve been fairly drowsy so I’ve been resting a lot. Despite that, my hemoglobin count came back at 10.3g/dL!! That’s a bfd. For the past six months I’ve been hovering around 7-8.5g/dL so this is huge! My brain is so, so active, but my body is so, so tired, which makes sense considering I’ve just endured a week of chemo. Either way, this is super exciting! But I just wanna nap for now.
Also, they finally took me out of isolation because all of my cultures came back negative (yippee!) so I’m able to leave my room and walk around. And I got to wear one of *my own* shirts today! I don’t have to worry about the chemo being excreted through my sweat anymore. It’s a beautiful day.
I’m just going to leave this here. ❤