Friday, June 15, 2012

Step III (really long post!)

                            This is the part of the whole process where things kinda go crazy!
 The original plan was for me to be a peripheral blood stem cell donor (PBSC). This type of donation is done through a process called apheresis. It's kind of like donating platelets. They place needles in both arms, draw blood out, run it through a machine, pull out what they need, and put back what they don't need. In order to donate this way you have to take shots of filgrastim for 5 days before your donation. The shots are used to up your blood counts for donation. (this is the same medicine they give cancer patients to raise their blood counts for treatment). The shots can make your bones ache and make you feel like you have the flu.I was really not looking forward to these shots, but wasn't to worried.
                                 Friday June 1st- The day of my first shot!
We had arranged for me to be able to have all of my shots at Dr. White's office. The first one would be given by Lacey Dr. White's nurse then the others would be given by Dr. Barton over the weekend. I arrived at the office at 8 for my first shot! Lacey had everything ready. I had to answer questions about how I am feeling, she took my pulse and BP, then she gave me the shot. It didn't hurt to bad, the medicine did sting a little going in. For this first shot I had to stay for about 20 min to make sure I didn't have an allergic reaction. Nothing happened and I was allowed to leave.
Looking back now I really didn't feel to good that morning! I just thought I was nervous, and tired (I didn't sleep to good the night before). As the day went on I felt really tired and had a headache. About 5:30 a huge wave of nausea hit me! I remember it! I was sitting out on the front porch watching it rain! I told Gary Don I was going to go in and lay down, I barely made it in, before the first vomiting hit! O.k. this had me worried! This is a symptom that I was supposed to call my coordinator about! So I made the first call! She was shocked to hear I was vomiting! At this point I had only been sick once, she told me to rest and text her if I was sick again. For the next hour I had it coming from both ends pretty much constantly. After several text back and forth everyone is thinking I must have a stomach bug or food poisoning. No one has ever had this kind of reaction after the first shot! After a long night I head back to the Dr. for shot number 2, and instructions for the nurse to call my donor coordinator before the shot is given. Did I mention at this point I am still vomiting! My mom came over to take me to the Dr, Because Gary Don and Austin had left for Little Rock for the State Trap Competition. When Dr. Barton saw me he was very uncertain about giving me the shot. After several calls between Dr Barton, the donor coordinator, and the medical director for be a match, it was determined that I would not have shot number 2! I left there with a prescription for phenagrin and hopes to return on Sunday to resume the shots!
    Side bar- at this point the person who is to receive my donation is taking high doses of chemotherapy, and if I am unable to donate they will likely die. Knowing this did not help my stress level!
I went home took a pill and went to sleep! I was feeling a little better by Saturday night, ate very little soup, and a couple of crackers, all of which stayed down. I slept pretty good, and woke up feeling o.k.  After everyone else left for church I thought I was feeling good enough to attempt Sunday school. I showered, got around, ate a piece of dry toast and drank ice water. I made it to class, sat about 5 min and realized I had way over done it! Left and came back home! Tried to take another phenagrin pill, couldn't keep it down. Gary Don came home from church and took me to the clinic again. Dr. Barton took one look at me and said no way he would give me the filgrastim shot! Instead he gave me a phenagrin shot! Liquid fire right in my bum!!! This shot really hurt! Came home went back to bed!
Later in the evening the donor coordinator called me and asked if I would be willing to change my donation process to the traditional bone marrow harvest! Yikes! this meant a surgical procedure, and more recovery time! How could I say no....Knowing that a "no" would mean death for my patient! Knowing that Teresa had sat in a room with Michael waiting for cells to arrive, knowing that something could go wrong! I said yes, but that I was worried about going into the procedure less than 100%. At this point I had not had a meal since Friday at lunch!
Because the change of procedure would require an O.R. we were unsure of where this harvest would take place! If an O.R was not available in Tulsa on Tuesday, the other option would be to fly to Georgetown Medical Center in Washington D.C. because they have a dedicated O.R. just for bone marrow harvesting! Had I felt better at this point that would have been an exciting option, but it really just sounded exhausting!
Monday morning I received word that Tulsa could do the procedure first thing Tuesday morning, and that we should head to Tulsa that night as planned!
Gary Don and I arrived in Tulsa around 8, checked into the hotel, and set out to find him some dinner. At this point I still had not eaten a full meal, but was feeling much better! He wanted steak, so we wen to Outback. I ordered a steak and baked potato also, and ate the whole potato and a few bites of steak!
We had to be a the hospital at 5a.m. for pre-op blood work and test!
First I had to pee in a cup, then a blood draw, then we were placed in a out patient pre-op room. I was very nervous!!! Everyone at the hospital was very nice, and appreciative of what I was doing! When the anaesthesiologist came in to talk about the procedure, he asked if I was nervous, i replied yes and he ordered 2 ativan(sp?) for me! After that things get fuzzy for me! I remember being wheeled to the operating room, waiting outside of it and meeting the surgical nurse, and being wheeled into the operating room. After that I don't really remember much! Next thing I remember is waking up in a room, Gary Don being there, and I think I remember seeing Dr. Lynch. I was told that they took 750ml of Bone Marrow from my hip bones! We stayed all day, most of which I don't remember! We were discharged, and I vaguely remember getting into the wheelchair and leaving the hospital!
The 2 hour drive home is also a blur, I guess that is good! I slept o.k. Tuesday night and slept off and on all day Wednesday! Austin was here to take care of me Wednesday and he did a great job! Thursday things were better and by Friday I was beginning to feel a little more like myself!
The whole process really was not that bad!I have 5 puncture sites across my lower beak, and a lot of bruising. I think If I would have been 100% before hand it would have been even better! Over the weekend I was still very tired, and sore, but it gets a little better everyday! I was able to help at VBS this week, and come home in the afternoons and rest!
Everyone asks about the recipient- We may never know anything! He was scheduled to receive my cells on Thursday June 7th, that is all I know.
Everyone also asks if I would do it again....I hope I would say yes without hesitation as I did this time!