POST #4 – Delay of Stem Cell Collection

I knew that the dates going into all this were “floating” to some degree, admittedly though it was disappointing to learn today, Sunday September 20th,  my stem cell “collection” slated to start tomorrow is now delayed for a while, as my white blood count is 0.4.  It’s supposed to be in the neighborhood of 4.3 for the collection to be “a go”. 

We even had the blood drawn a 2nd time, just to be sure.. still waiting for those results, but, doubtful they’ll change.  So, this means another week of daily neupogen injections, which will stimulate the stem cell growth and movement into my bloodstream. It’ll  probably be in good shape towards the end of this then collection would hopefully start later this week.. learned my count can rise fairly rapidly.  Well,  it is what it is.

The chemo I’ve already had, cytoxan, on the 10th & 11th, was a multiple purpose type of drug: It kills myeloma cells, makes my white count tank, and also aids the mobilization of the blood stem cells. It was a large part of the reason for my whimpy white blood cell count, and then coupled with my own inability to have a Cellular Spring-Back–but I think it’s fairly typical.

Today is actually the first day that I can feel something happening in my bones.. on the road to discomfort. Actually, after a few days of being “in waiting”, I’m sorta glad, oddly.  The neupogen is working. Finally feels like things are moving forward, though now just a bit delayed.

I think the chemo from last week is doing something as well.. my gums are sensitive and I’ve read that later on.. I may have to forgo using dental floss.  That will drive me up a wall.  

Supposedly the the cytoxan effects (hair loss..or the beginning of it) may engage this Thursday as a start day. Probably explains the scalp tingling.  This should be intesting..but actually right now.. not even a blip on my screen.  It’s such a production to keep the catheter dry and wash my hair.  (I updated my Post # 1 on this blog and now have a photo of the catheter, and wrote a bit about it.) 

I sorta wish the hair wasn’t here to wash..though I know I’ll be thinking differently later as I start to look like Ms. Clean.  But the new bathing ritual, quite a departure from the routine shower we all enjoy daily, includes strategically wrapping myself in “Press & Seal” (a sticky kitchen plastic wrap product); holding a towel at my neck with one hand, ensuring not to bend my neck around much or it feels like the catheter will pop, crouching in a tub, and going into contortionist mode under running water.  Not pretty.  Not pretty at all.