All Primed Up With Nowhere To Go!

I finally got the call from the BMT Nurse today, my CD34 counts were finally high enough to begin harvesting tomorrow! So far I have been pulsed, purged and now primed. I added the purged and primed as my own descriptors.

The pusing was by the use of cytoxan to help drive down the m-protiens and then the “priming” began with daily injections of neupogen. My past experienc with neupogen was not very nice, bad, bad pain in the sternum and lower back. I thought I was out of the woods with this round of shots – 8 days and no pain – until tonight! My sternum feels like 17 – 5 yearolds in the bouncy ride at the fair – all jumping around and hitting the sides. But in this case the sides are my bones and the kids are on concentrated Mt Dew with a high fructose chaser.

The collection/harvesting should be about 5 hours hooked up to the machine, I do not have a port or catheter in, the nurse thought I had very ‘nice” viens.

It may take 2-5 days to harvest enough stem celles for two tranplants but the way it feels, they may just hop right out and into the bucket.

Mom and I have been getting along fine, we walk to the clinic in the morning and then back and back if I have another appointment. We take a couple of short walks throughout the day. Tonight the Hmong Baptist Chruch Youth Group brought a bunch of cookies and i hammered home a few of theose and 4 scotcheroos from Tracy’s sister Mandi. Combine that with an Boost and I got my caloric intake for the day in about 5 minutes – right before bedtime.

Well, I am off to bed, I am going to watch Trinity Is My Name – there was a boxed set of 100 Western Classics here at the Gift of Life Transplant House. I should get through them all by the time I leave.


Today was my first day of the Stem Cell Treatment process at Mayo Clinic. The day was filled with tests and examinations. My day started at 0730, I reported to the Transplant Center and picked up my appointment schedule and instructions. My next stop was the lab for urine samples and blood draws, there were about 20 vacutainers of blood drawn!

At 0940 I had an electrocardiogram that only took a few minutes and I was on to the Gonda Building for some pulmonary function testing, this took about an hour and wasn’t very pleasant! At least there were no needle sticks at this station! Tracy took off after this procedure so that she could pick up the girls and her and Sumner headed for ND!

After lunch I had a bone marrow collection, I was sedated for this – I had this done in Fargo without sedation and it hurt like heck. This went well and I was in and out in about 1 1/2 hours, they fed me there, my fist food since 1900 the night before.

My last stop for the day was at the Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery for an oral exam (not a pop quiz – dental exam). That went well and they said the numbness that I am experiencing from the wisdom teeth extraction should go away soon.

I caught the shuttle back to the motel and called the Kahler for a room for the next couple of days, it is cheaper and closer to the clinic. Tracy and I also toured the Transplant House today and got on the waiting list, hopefully I can get in soon! But I have to arrange for a caregiver since Tracy can’t be here, unless we wanted to leave Sumner in charge of the house and the girls!

Tuesday is another action packed day! It starts at about 0600, I have to pack up my stuff and get on the shuttle to check into the Kahler before my first appointment at 0730 – again fasting! The first appointment is for a PET Scan at 0730 and then off to a chest xray at 1045 and a skeletal bone survey at 1115. I meet with the social worker at 1345 and then an echocardiogram at 1530.

Wednesday starts at 0815 with an MRI and then to the transplant center for educational classes and access evaluation. Thursday I report to the Tranplant Center for team meetings with the transplant team and Dr Hayman, the Hematologist. Friday looks like the day they start the bone marrow conditioning, priming the stem cells, I had neupogen in Fargo and that is bad karma, very bad karma – the worst, deepest pain I have ever felt, the only thing that seems to help with pain is Celebrex and that didn’t help much! Novemeber 2, Monday, looks like the day they start the stem cell collection procedure, that is scheduled for the whole week! I wonder if they get enough stem cells early if they will start the high dose chemo and re-infussion sooner????

This already seems like a really long process, no Tracy, Sumner is not here talking about cars and Kasidee and Savannah are not running around. Hannah Montana is not on 3 tvs at once. I will have to miss a few episodes of Zach and Cody but I am sure I can catch about 10 episodes about the Masons on History Channel!

Day After Wisdom Teeth Dat (WT +1)

08/28/09 Day After Wisdom Teeth Day! (WT +1)
Posted 1 hour ago
The day after i had my wisdome teeth out! Not much happened since my last post except i am in innovis hospital – again. after the extraction my temp really spiked and they heard crackling in my lungs – pneumonia. I was in the ER at about 1300 and then admitted about 1700 on Thursday. I should be going home Saturday morning – I hope.

It seems that the wisdom teeth thing went well, a little pain, more numbness but i have to be careful of what i eat.

Hope I get out Saturday!

Wisdom Teeth Day

08/27/09 Wisdom Teeth Day
Posted 1 day ago
Today is the day that I get my wisdom teeth out! I am scheduled for oral surgery at 0730 CDT. Sumner is taking me in and bringing me home (I hope). Tracy has nursing classes today and it is difficult for her to miss, Sumner on the other hand jumped at the chance to miss a half day of school. I contacted the school a couple of days ago and they were to give him the assignments he would miss so he could work on them while he waited – he might as well, all of his friends are in school so he has no one to text.

The decision to take my wisdom teeth out and extract a broken tooth was actually made in Jan/Feb 2009, just before I was diagnosed with MM. Well those plans came to a screeching halt and I never thought of it again, no pain or anything. The transplant center at Mayo wants all dental work done before you get down there and start the transplant procedures, if not they will do it there and that just adds weeks to the process and more trips back and forth. also, the dentists do not really like to do much work when a patient is on zometa I guess because of issues with the jawbone.

Oh, by the way, I am scheduled for stem cell treatment starting October 26, 2009.

Being back to work is really nice, having a good time especially lately since my energy level seems to be returning to normal and I am getting involved a little in the Bio Lab, it is fun re-reading and re-learning their SOPs and processes. I made the last of my schedued presentations last night for training in Good Documentation Practices for GCP and GLP applications. The new hires are kind of the freshman when i used to teach, some of the refresher groups are like the 7th period study hall seniors!

Med update:

Revlimed @ 25 mg/day on days 1-14 and 2 weeks off
Dexamethasone @ 40 mg every Friday
Velcade infussion with Dex on days 1, 4, 8 and 11 then 2 weeks off
Procrit every 3rd Friday

Neupogen (bad karma on this one) everyday for a week when my white blood count drops too low. worst pain I have ever felt!

Well, I have to wake Sumner up and get ready to hit the road! Thank you to everyone who continues to pray for me and my family.

Will add more later!