Wednesday July 22nd: The day I was supposed to be on a plane to Utah. Instead I'm stuck here in the hospital getting medication that will probably make me feel sick later. Oh well. The morning did not start out very fun - after having some labs drawn, I couldn't eat any breakfast because I was going under heavy sedation that would make me sick if I did eat. Around 8:30 I had the procedure which was a spinal tap and bone marrow biopsy, during which the oncologist also pushed some chemo into my spine. Thankfully, the spinal tap showed no signs of the cancer spreading anywhere into the spine, but we still haven't heard what the bone marrow biopsy results were. I puked once we got back to my room from the procedure, but only a little bit. We figured that was from the sedation medicine. That chemo in my spine was really the only chemo I received all day until later in the night.
I had an echo at 3:00 to check my heart function (yucky gel) and my siblings came to visit with Mom to switch out Dad. They brought some adorable get well posters (which I'll post pix of soon) and some fake flowers that the young women had sewn for their activity. They are ADORABLE! And they'll last for forever - thank you so much! You guys are the best! They also brought a cookie boquet that my Dad's company gave to me. Thanks to the Walgreens Team at Colgate - the cookies are delicious! My back pain was basically gone, though there was a still a bit a throb and my spinal tap site was still sore if I accidentally put pressure on it. Ron Blasinski came to visit after the echo - he's the Dad of the girl I got my second heart from. We chatted for a while and he brought us some chocolates which are fantastic! It was good to see him - I haven't seen him in forever because he's been busy working on his house in Indiana. Thanks for dropping by Ron - it was really good to see you smiling! Dr. Pahl, my transplant cardiologist, dropped off some movies that her daughters had picked out for us to borrow - they should keep me busy for a while!
We stopped one of my pain meds, Lyrica, because it can interfere with one of my chemo drugs, but the other painkiller, Tramadol (which was started yesterday) seems to be helping quite a bit. Around 7:30, we were moved to the fourth floor because they have the ability to do some certain tests quickly that would take days for the fifth floor to get done that are critical to continuing chemo. The nurse on the fourth floor, Margie, seemed to be really nice and it's nice to know that she knows exactly what she's doing in giving the chemo. I'm in room #405. If you want to call, you can reach me by the number 773-880-3230. You may have to ask for my room number.
We started the prednisone that night and the Rituximab was infused around 8. I did puke before the infusion was over, but we attributed it to the spinal chemo. The Rituxmab infusion took three hours, and I was given some Ativan and Kytril (an anti-nausea drug) that both sent me into a deep sleep. Later in the night, I got some Vincristine which was a one minute push along with some prednisone. The first day was finished with the Methotrexate which I get only once each cycle. This time I got it at five in the morning. Technically, that would be today (which is Thursday - yes I'm blogging late, sorry) but I'll just start that day now.
Thursday July 23rd: So today I was supposed to be going with Greg and Wendy to the temple open house. I hope you guys took lots of pics to email me - I was so sad about missing that event and seeing your family! Anyway, I slept soundly the whole night long and woke up with no back pain at all! It's a miracle - thank you to everyone for your prayers and fasting in my behalf. Now we just have to lick this cancer, and I'm good to go!
I got another echo around 7:30 (everyone wants to get everything done so early around here!) which showed that everything is fine and dandy with my heart. The nurse gave me some more Kytril around 9 in the morning, so I struggled to stay awake to eat and watch Oprah with Mom, but I just had to go to sleep around 10. I didn't even wake up until 2 in the afternoon. It felt SO good to sleep that long! :) I've been on fluids to help flush the chemo out of my kidneys, so I've had to run to the bathroom like crazy all day - that's what probably woke me up! :)
We got the PET scan results from Monday: the cancer is only in the spots where we expected it to be which means we caught it before it spread anywhere else! We've also been doing some research on me getting a free wig and I've downloaded the photos onto our computer so I'll be posting those soon. They also put me on this weird pill that sits in the back of my tongue that I'm supposed to use like a cough drop. It works like the liquid Nystatin, but it has no taste which is AMAZINGLY wonderful!
Mom and I are going to eat dinner soon - the food here isn't horrible, but I do crave something homemade. My bathroom on this floor has a shower and tub, but the walkway from the toilet to the sink is so narrow, I can barely squeeze past my IV pole to wash my hands! At least I get my own shower, though. The next drug doesn't start until eight o'clock tomorrow morning - unless you count the oral meds. It's going to be a fairly easy night again - I think they're planning on giving me Ativan again to help me sleep. Maybe we'll watch a movie.
I'll post some pictures tonight from the hospital stay. Enjoy! I love you all! And thank you for your prayers - miracles do happen and they are happening right now.