Today is Day +5 of my stem cell transplant. The doctor shared with me this morning that she is pleased with my progress.
I seem to be on the better side of the possibilities of symptoms. I am having diarrhea, headaches, weakness, and now bone pain is setting in. Occasional nausea/vomiting. All of these are expected.
My blood counts have dropped as projected. My hemoglobin the last two days was 7.8 each day and 8 this morning. My platelets dropped to “10” today, which is critical. My white blood cell counts are all zero, which is the exact reason I am undergoing all this stem cell transplant. Since the problem is a part of my white blood cells multiplying way too quickly (the “B” cells), they kill ’em all including the bone marrow. Then the stem cells are administered to help the bone marrow to start producing again. Without the stem cells, this level of chemotherapy would probably not be possible.
They are breaking out a 55 gallon drum of blood products for me. I received platelets today, blood yesterday and the day before. This is expected. My blood type is AB+ and that makes me a universal recipient for blood and a universal donor for plasma (don’t ask).
The next few days should prove to be interesting. I was told day +6 through day +12 are some of the hardest due to engraftment. Engraftment is where the stem cells take up residence where they belong (bone marrow) and start populating and regrowing (it has been dead now for a few days).
I will be receiving Neupogen the next 6 days. Neupogen, also known as “Nuke-again,” “PAIN-again,” and “never-again” by yours truly, is a hormone that is going to act on my bone marrow as it is coming back to life to force it to produce all the baby stem cells it possibly can. Let me put it in plain simple English: SUCKS. Bone pain is bad pain. Bone pain is nothing to mess around with. My bones are already aching as of today as they are starting to wake up and engraft.
At any rate, if you are reading from the wordpress site, be sure to visit http://www.kraftsims.com. You can link to videos and pictures from there. I have been blogging or vlogging this whole thing since I first found the lump on my neck in June.
Just for grins, including two pics (not related).
The first is of the River walk in San Antonio, Texas. Love that place.
The second is a picture of my youngest daughter with me and “baby Jack Jack.” This was a teddy bear given to her in 2003 when she was in the emergency room at Cook Children’s in Fort Worth. She was quite ill and they were preparing me for the worst (they thought either meningitis or a brain tumor). They did a spinal tap and to help calm her and give her something to focus on (she was 9 at the time), they gave her a teddy bear. Very huggable. She took it off her shelf and dressed it in some baby clothes she purchased. Too cute and thoughtful!