Monday, March 25, 2013

The Dog Days of BMT

So since my last post was on dogs, this post is on the dog days!  Credit for this term goes to this week's attending oncologist- Dr. Agne Petrosiute.  It certainly describes these last few days perfectly,as they have been really rough !

All my blood counts have bottomed out, so there is only one direction to go now- up!! Now I'm waiting for engraftment day-when my  blood counts double for three days in a row;  when that happens is different for each person.  On average, it takes about 2-3 weeks for engraftment.  Today is my one-week mark!!
So far I've been experiencing a lot of  pain, puking and diarrhea- all of which makes me extremely tired!  The chemo destroyed the mucus lining of my GI tract, causing what is called mucositis.  Because there is no lining, my throat/esophagus is extremely raw.  As a result, I pretty much can't swallow.  Since the lining in my stomach is gone, almost everything I do manage to get down comes right back up.  It's amazing how much I can bring up, cuz there are times I'm sure there is nothing left in my stomach, but somehow stuff does come up....
I'm getting my daily calories from TPN, or IV food.  The nurses always tease me about my "steak and potato" bags!  The taste in my mouth is also altered.  So pretty much everything has a weird, flat, chalky taste.  
I have some pain in my throat, but also a sensation like heartburn in my esophagus.  For the pain, I am now on a PCA pump-Personally Controlled Anesthesia.  The pump gives a constant dose of pain medicine (in my case Dilaudid).  However, I also have a button I can press up to every 10 minutes, to receive a bolus of pain medicine.  This has really helped me with my pain.

My counts have reached 0, so now they can only go up!
The nausea is becoming somewhat manageable!
No fevers so far!!

Counts to quickly engraft
Vomiting and diarrhea to stop completely
Pain to diminish
No fevers or other infections
Here is Pole 2.0- bigger 'n' better.  I had no idea what a hit it was!
The black line is my PCA.  The yellow is my 'steak' and the white my 'potatoes'.  There are three different modules, running a maximum of 9 different bags (nausea and pain medication, antibiotics, TPN, fluids, and more!)  .    
 Today I was strong enough to go to the craft room and make some jewelery.  Notice the ever prominent puke bowl :)

Some people will do anything for a laugh...(they both are usually dignified nurses)

How they walked the entire floor is still a mystery to me. I wish I could have followed them with a camera...Thank you ladies for making my day!  (I was laughing so hard I started choking- but as they say -Laughter is the Best Medicine! )

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