Thursday, January 13, 2011

I Feel Like Busting Loose

It's Day 15 and my counts are on the rise even more to 1.3. The doc said it looks like I will be released on schedule next week. Wahoo!! My mood has improved drastically with this news. I'm really excited to see what news will be tomorrow. This is getting exciting.

Today my brother flew back from MD to see me and tomorrow Brian's brother flys in from in FL and Gail is coming from from Austin. We're going to have to manage all these visitors so I don't get exhausted.

Today the evil doctors gave me lasik, which makes me pee like a race horse. It's to make sure I don't retain extra fluid and believe me I don't on this stuff. Evil people! I think it's just about of my system.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Day #14

Things are certainly on the upswing today. The nurse woke me up to tell me that I have officially ENGRAFTED!!! Meaning my WBCs have hit more than 0.5 at 0.6. I exceeded my own expectations and i can hopefully moving up until i hit the perfect which would signal my release. There could still be a couple of bumps, but things are looking up. I've increased my water intake because that's another condition for me to be released by the 19th. Woo hoo!!!! There was a collective happy dance here in Houston this morning.

I've also found a happy medium on medication that doesn't make me loopy or anxious so it's all good now. I also look forward to the neupogen shots that help me generate the WBCs I need. I'd take 2 0r 3 a day if i thought it would help!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Day #13

Things are finally starting to look up. After having my counts make a minor jump from 0.0 WBC and then falling back to 0 for a few days, I wasn't doing so well. This place makes me stir crazy and I had a panic attack the other night - not pretty. I'm ok falling asleep but if I wake up, then I have to calm myself down all over. ABBA's Mama mia helps but I listened to it for nearly 4 hours the other night. However, I think my team has come up with a solution which involves Ativan every 6 hours through IV and then another sleeping pill only at night. We started it today and I already feel calmer.

The other bothersome thing is that my vision starting blurring the other day so I can't read, watch tv, play games, mess with my iPad or do much of anything which I'm sure didn't help the anxiety. We saw the Ophtamologist yesterday and they thought the vision would improve on its own as the WBC improved - so disappointed. However today, I looked up at the tv guide and could READ!! It's not perfect but I can watch tv and see the computer.

I've also had a good afternoon - took a couple of walks and found the exercise bike and i feel like i have a little more energy. What a good day in the end. Praise God!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Day +3

It's been 3 days since my transplant. Cousin Liz is starting to feel better and I'm so glad. She felt like she'd been kicked by a mule in her lower back from the procedure. She is my hero for all that she's been through.

I'm doing well the doctors say. Today my voice is coming and going because of the chemo but I feel fine and I'm thankful for that. I spent the morning watching a movie on iTunes so I wouldn't have to talk. They're giving me cytoxin today and tomorrow (6am-9am!) to help my body accept the transplanted marrow vs reject it. The downside is that I'm requird to pee a lot to help get rid of the toxins from the cytoxin so I'm getting plenty of exercise going to the bathroom!

Oh yeah, HAPPY NEW YEAR! It doesn't quite feel like New Years, but I did wake up around 11:40 last night to watch Carson ring in the new year. I'm hoping for a healthier 2011 for sure. Several people sent along New Year's party supplies so we wore the hats and took lots of picture (on Facebook). Fun!

Mike is napping since he was up late "partying" in the family room with my brother. They were up until 2am finishing a puzzle! Those crazy guys. I actually called him because I thought they might have left and found a bar somewhere.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Mike and Cousin Hunter hanging out at the Rodeo Benefit for me

Here's Me, Mike, and Juicy!

Day -1

After this I'm going to need a brain transplant because I keep forgetting my password to this site. Tomorrow is Day 0 or TRANSPLANT DAY. I'm nervous, anxious, excited, and more to get to this day. My cousin Liz is here today to get ready for her end of the process when she gets knocked out and donates her healthy marrow to me. I guess all of my bad marrow is now gone as I've gone through 4 days of induction chemo before today. I'm super grateful to Liz for stepping up and doing this somewhat painful process for me. She really is giving me a new opportunity for life and hopefully many more years. It's an amazing thing and amazing that science and medicine has gotten many patients through this same process. MD Anderson does 700 transplants a year! Amazing when you think about that - almost 2 every day.

I've been feeling okay. The biggest issues are nausea and the pneumonia everyone's worried about. The nausea sucks and I just tossed my cookies again after I ate lunch. I can eat some days but not others. The pneumonia is freaking everyone out because I started coughing again on Saturday and my Mom came down with something last Thursday but was coming around here until Monday when the Infectious Disease doctor essentially kicked her out until she feels better. Dad is down here too but now he's got the cold and I haven't seen him for a couple of days.

So the word is that Liz will have her procedure around 8am tomorrow morning and then sometime after I lunch I'll receive her fresh marrow through a central line (IV), which is kind of like a blood transfusion. I think it takes 1-2 hours for the whole process and I might feel a little sleepy. I just hope this is the cure I need and that it works for a long, long, long time.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Turkey Day

It's been a little while since I've blogged, but I forgot my password and it took us some time to figure out how to reset it. Now I'm back just in time to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. We're here in Houston celebrating with Mike's family including his mom Gail, Aunt Pam, and of course Uncle Steve and Aunt Valerie along with his cousins Jason, Travis, and Abbe. His brother Brian and his girlfriend flew up for the occassion too. It's nice because it's been a while since we've had a holiday with some of his family. My family went to my Grandma's today.

I'm extremely aware today of all the things I am grateful for: family and friends who love me and Mike. The amount of support and love we have received from everyone has been amazing. Not only has my cousin Gina thrown a rodeo and a BBQ in my honor to raise money (nearly $10k!) and sign people up to be marrow donors, but she's driven four hours to see me. She's so awesome and I love her so much. I wish I could spend more time with her because she is just so energetic and being around her always makes me happy. We just laugh hysterically each time we see each other. I'm also extremely grateful for my cousin Liz: my half match donor. I literally owe her my life. For her to sign up to donate marrow for me (a somewhat painful process), is something I will never forget. I had a feeeling we would be a match just based on some genetic similiarities, but I honestly had no idea. She is amazing.

I'm also grateful and ecstatic that my brother Michael and his wife Shaunda are expecting twins (on my birthday!). When he told me, the first thing that popped into my head was the "Circle of Life" from the Lion King when they held up the baby cub. Hearing the fantastic news gives me a lot of hope and a surge of energy that I so dearly need to get through the next few months. I'm so excited to meet the little ones and they're expecting a boy and a girl! I just can't wait to be an aunt and spoil the little ones as much as possible.

I finally have my transplant schedule. After battling pneumonia and waiting weeks to recover from that horrible episode, we met with the transplant doctor on Tuesday and now my schedule is completely booked up. We've been lucky the past few weeks and only had to travel to the doctors once a week instead of 2-3 times a week, but that luxury is gone. Next week I meet with doctors and have a whole bunch of tests to make sure my body is able to handle the transplant (plus to see how many blasts I have in my marrow now). Next Sunday (12/5), I check into the hospital to begin my pre-transplant activities and to start my 30 days of isolation. On 12/14, I'm scheduled to start the transplant - otherwise known as Day 0. After that, the next 100 days are critical and it's going to be intense. I'm nervous and scared, but it's what I came to Texas to do so I'm anxious to get the show on the road. However, having pneumonia and still coughing even today scares the crap out of me. Hopefully, it will not complicate things any more than it already has.