Update 11, Saturday, June 17, 2006 LAST NEXT
And the race is on! Concurrent stem cell mobilization began on Wednesday, June 14 for myself and two other patients in Unit 57 at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre. Apheresis will commence for the two with the highest stem cell counts on Monday as long as they are high enough. Wednesday was a long day. I had to stay for 6 hours after the Stemgen injection in case there was an allergic reaction. There wasn't. Not serious, anyway. The wait on Thursday was 4 hours, Friday, today and tomorrow 2 hours. I've been pretty itchy at the injection sites. The worst was the first day. I've also developed an asthma-like cough. When it gets intense I have the Ventolin puffer. On the plus side, fluid retention has been at a minimum, not like the last attempt. Sunday night after the Neupogen shot at home (thanks again, Nurse Betty) I will be going to Unit 57 to stay overnight. Bloodwork will be done at 4:00AM to determine whether the cell count is high enough for apheresis. If so, and I win or tie the race, I'll be hooked up most of the day for the "harvest".
I had a great phone conversation with Ken M, a 50 year old amyloidosis survivor. He had the same type as me, involving the heart, and was in much worse shape than me at the time of his transplant in 2000 and is now in complete remission! As a matter of fact he said he has never felt better. VERY encouraging.
Lisa flew to Vancouver today for a week of marking CGA exams. I will miss her but at this point, I will be able to manage with Betty's help. I have been driving myself to the TBCC since Thursday and should be able to continue. There may be a need for a couple drivers on the day of apheresis, An extra body may be required to drive our car home as I intend to drive myself there tomorrow night. When we had the 'teaching' day in the Apheresis unit, we were told that I should feel the same before and after collection. We'll see.
I'm in the process of migrating the Shaw websites over to checkone2.com which I just initialized a few days ago. I upgraded my web hosting and have way more space for files than I previously had. I discovered that if I hook up the Shaw cable modem to the TV cables on Unit 57 I get an internet connection. In my gut I knew that would work. It just made sense. So, in July, I will take our modem from home to the hospital along with my PC. We will also start our home high speed connection with Telus ADSL at the beginning of July. We will discontinue our Shaw internet account at the end of July. So that means we will no longer have our Shaw email. We have already initialized email accounts at checkone2.com and you will be notified what they are well in advance so that you can update your contact lists. With Telus we get the first month free and a bonus free 19" flat screen monitor! Mmmmmm!
Hopefully the next update will include news of a successful stem cell collection. Then I'll get a break for a couple weeks.