Day 0. Transplantation day; what a bittersweet day it is. I’m writing this update only because I’ve been given some strong medications to keep my nausea, body aches, head aches, and fever at bay. Over the past few days, I’ve developed what is known as ATG serum sickness. Basically what this means is that my body, since it has been primed to ATG from the last attempt at transplant, is freaking the eff out and having a complete systemic reaction to the flooding of a massive amount of ATG into my system. Because of this, I’ve been nauseous, febrile, achy, tired, dizzy, you name it! We’ve been juggling and balancing between many different kinds of drugs — some that ease nausea, some for pain, others for more intense pain — to keep the symptoms like fever, sore jaw, headaches, etc, in check. The serum sickness will eventually go away, but until then my care team is working with me around the clock to alleviate any pain and nausea I have.
Today’s the day! Not going to write much more because I’m super tired, but I’m getting two bags of PBSCs totaling about 3.6×10^6 cells/kg of my weight. The average range is between 2 – 5×10^6 cells/kg, with 5 being the more optimal number of cells. There’s no direct correlation between engraftment success and number of cells above a certain threshold, which thankfully we’re above. My recovery time might be a bit longer, but we’ll just have to see.
More updates to come as I feel better.