It's almost my 9 year Stem Cell Transplant Anniversary Birthday!
Wow! 9 years, July 5, 2010, and here I am, still around to reminisce about it, and celebrate it July 5, 2019!
This time 9 years ago, I had completed 5 months of Revlimid + SUPER HIGH DOSE Dex Steroids (40mg- 4 days on, 4 days off!), bringing my myeloma cancer level DOWN from 70% to 10%. This allowed me to go forward with the Autologous Stem Cell Transplant process. Next up was one IV infusion of Cytoxan, which I got super sick from, hence my concern when starting the pill form of Cytoxan back in Sept 2018. Crazy how I am doing so well on Velcade, Cytoxan, Dex now (altho I was up last night until after 3am with "volcanic GI "cleansing").
Then after the IV Cytoxan, I had my Hickman Catheter placed in my chest mid June.
Then about 10 days to 2 weeks of Neupogen to "mobilize" those precious stem cells for harvesting (also known as Apheresis). https://www.cityofhope.org/myeloma . I completed the stem cell harvest in 2 days, collecting about 9.5 million cells, if I remember correctly. Half are still in a deep freeze at COH, waiting for me, if I decide to complete another SCT... hmmmm.... probably not....
Around this time 9 years ago I was feeling pretty good, as my myeloma symptoms had lessened, the cancer was beaten back substantially, and I wasn't on any chemo or immunotherapy or treatment or meds for about a week. I did the most STUPID thing at that time... I had a rash reaction to the bandage covering the open hickman insertion area, where the tubes (lumens) came out of my chest, so I STUPIDLY left it uncovered, thinking "oh gee, the fresh air is good for it"... babajajahhahaaa... so dumb Julie! It was an open wound with the tubes inserted into my chest wall, connected to a main vein! Well I wound up with huge complications in the middle of the SCT process as a result of a staph infection from that... and that complicated the SCT recovery process.... but that's another story, for another post :))
So this time, 9 years ago, I had a week or so of freeeeeedom from treatment, as my hospital Admission day wasn't until July 2, 2010. Oh I was so optimistic and naive. I just had no idea the train wreck coming my way. Actually, in the BIG picture of things.... I did quite well, compared to horror stories I hear and read from others. Not that my experience was a vacation... more to come on that!
All my June 2010 posts, pre SCT
All my July 2010 posts, SCT hospitalization