I received my first stem cell transplant today! It was a very busy morning with my regular regimen as discussed in yesterday’s blog. Physical therapy was very tiring on me, pretty much the same routine as yesterday but more intense. Some of the other patients were commenting on how the therapists really push them hard but I’m used to working out and pushing myself to the limit so I make it easy for Andy. My standing treatment followed right behind physio and increased to 30 minutes today so I was really looking forward to getting back to my room and flopping down on my bed for a rest. I did this but within a few minutes Andy was back in my room to start acupuncture! That treatment was stepped up a notch today as well; I had 7 needles in each leg and 6 into my head! The needles had to stay in for 30 minutes today and needless to say I couldn’t really move around much on my bed with all those needles sticking out of me. TK said I reminded her of the guy from Hellraiser. After my acupuncture session we were going to have lunch, we ordered McDonalds to be delivered. As soon as we put our order in the nurse came to get me for my stem cell treatment meaning our food was going to be cold. Oh well, the stem cells would be worth it even considering how bad cold McDonalds can be.
Fifteen million stem cells were infused into my blood stream which took about an hour. There was nothing to it, just the insertion of the IV! I haven’t felt any different thus far but we’ll see if I can notice anything over the next few days. I haven’t been given a schedule for next week but I think my next treatment will be Monday or Wednesday and will be quite a bit more involved than todays. Most people have been put under for the lumbar puncture treatment and it is performed in a separate operating room. I think I am going to stay awake for my first one and just go with local anaesthetic. I would like to be awake to see the whole experience but may change that for my second treatment. You must stay immobilized for 6 hours after the treatment and it takes 3 hours to come to so that makes it much easier to make it through the whole 6 hours without moving around much or lifting your head. The three other women that I know who have undergone the procedure think I’m crazy but we’ll see how it goes.
I have to keep the IV needle inserted in my hand until tomorrow morning as a safety precaution in the event I have an adverse reaction or something and they need to medicate me. This is very unlikely but they are very careful, the nurse takes my temperature and pulse every few hours and I have to keep my door open tonight as the nurse needs to check on me every two hours. I really don’t feel any different but to air on the side of caution is a good thing!