Update 05, May 25, 2006 LAST NEXT
I am so lucky. The quality of care and the level of technology that are being used in my treatment are simply ASTONISHING! There is no question about it. This is a world class facility, the best place on the planet to be, for me at least.
Yesterday I was Ďunder the knifeí for about 15 minutes for insertion of the CVC and line. Prior to that, I had blood work done and an IV inserted in my hand for a bit of sedation just before the surgery. Woooeee. Not bad. Little to no pain throughout. Only later after the anesthetic wore off did I feel a bit like I was hit by a truck. Codeine helped with that. I needed Lisaís help to get t-shirts on and off and repositioning in bed was pretty difficult. And with the C-PAP headgear, I look like a BORG! Watch for a jpg sometime.
Lisa and Betty accompanied me for the day and we went through a training session on care of the CVC and line. All that stuff has to be clean, clean, clean.
Today again, Lisa and Betty came with me for a visit the Apheresis Room on Unit 47B where we got a training session on that procedure. Unbelievable! This computerized machine takes the blood, separates it into its cell components, filters out the stem cells, which are deposited in a collection bag, and re-infuses the whole blood back through the CVC into the blood stream. All of the blood in my system will be processed several times during the procedure. Throughout the process, samples are taken to a lab where stem cells are counted to determine the rate and volume of cells collected. The target is to collect at least enough for two separate transplants should an extra one be required. The bags are then frozen with a preservative for transplant later on after the chemo. So the mobilization aspect is of paramount importance to my bone marrow being able to generate enough extra stem cells. Thatís where a few extra prayers would be helpful! We saw the machine in operation this morning with another patient. This process is used for many different cancers and ailments. Not many cases of amyloidosis come through the doors, though.
Later, we went to the BMT clinic where I had the dressings changed on the CVC. Iíll have to go back again tomorrow for another change but after that it should only need to be done once a week. We had the training session for the administration of the G-CSF injections which are done though the fatty layer of the abdomen. ĎNurseí Betty got to give me my first shot! Thanks, NanJ Iím just a few minutes away from my second injection today. Itíll be two shots a day. Iíll get my first shot tomorrow at the clinic while Iím there for the dressing change.
Thatís about it for now. I have added a few names to this list today.
Thanks again for caring. I am so up!