Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Countdown is Officially On

We had been told I was going to be admitted to Dana Farber on November 5th for my bone marrow transplant for several weeks now.  This date assumed that my leukemia was not going to relapse.  On Tuesday of this week, I went into the Maine Med for a bone marrow biopsy and a lumbar puncture so they could ensure my leukemia is still in remission.  Yesterday while in Boston having tests done and signing consent forms, we got the results.  My bone marrow is clean!  Leukemia is still in remission and the date of Nov 5th is a definite now.  We are very excited to move forward with the next step of this stupid process.

Some of the tubes to be filled
Yesterday, we had to be in Boston at 9:00AM for our first appointment.  We were up around 4:30AM and left the house around 5:30AM.  That is early for us to say the least.  We hit about 30 minutes of traffic.  By the time we parked, we were at our first appointment around 8:45. 

The schedule went like this:

9AM - Program Nurse.  She give us the timetable of what will happen when after being admitted.  Basically, I check in Friday, Have chemo Saturday and Sunday, Full body radiation Mon, Tues, Wed and Thursday.  At that point, my immune system will be wiped out.  On Friday the 12th, it appears I will have my actual transplant.

10AM - Met with radiologist - uneventful aside from her name, Dr. Ng (that's right, no vowel, Ng)

11AM - Had lung blocks made.  Basically lead things to cover my lungs during radiation so they are not damaged by all the radiation

12PM - Blood draw!!!  Typical story here.  They tried sitting me in a chair.  I said I need to lay down.  Nurse rolls eyeballs etc...  They find me a recliner to sit in.  Nurse states that they will be drawing a lot of blood!  Over 20 tubes!!!!  They got an icepack for Crystal to use on me.  The whole draw took close to 5 minutes.  I must say, for whatever reason, it was one of the "easiest" blood draws to date.  I am not saying that I did not whine a bit and Crystal did give me a few looks that basically said, "Toughen up you sissy!"  But all and all, it was not too bad.  Not sure what is going on.  Am I getting used to needles???!!

1PM - EKG and signing of consent forms - uneventful

2PM - Met with social worker.  Group hug stuff.  Not too bad.  She gave us some info on cheap hotels and parking stuff.

3PM - Pulmonary function test.  This was pretty cool.  They had me in a glass box blowing into a tube and a few other tests.  For the most part, I am way better than average as far as pulmonary functionality.  I attribute that to training over the last few years.

Got back on the road around 4:30.  Hit 30 minutes of traffic again.  Got home a little after 7:00M.

The glass enclosure
The keep the donor's information fairly private for the first year.  All we know at this point, is he is a 26 year old male (just a young buck right Katy?), is either from Europe or has traveled extensively in Europe.  They need to disclose that because there is a chance he may be a carrier of Mad Cow Disease.  So, after transplant if instead of greeting you with "Hello."  I say to you "Moooooo.", it is more than likely I have some Mad Cow running through my veins...


Mary IronMatron said...

Good luck this week! The blood draw was easier b/c you are finally get used to it! :) (maybe?) Stay strong.

MaineSport said...

I hope things keep progressing well for you!

Kyle said...

That sounds like a long hard is great hearing how you take it in stride with a positive attitude. I am glad to hear there weren't any surprises.

Kirsten said...

So glad to hear that things are moving along well for your transplant. Best of luck in Boston!!


Sonya said...

I keep trying to pronounce Dr. Ng. I mean really?
Sooooooo glad to hear you are still in remission and the plan is moving foward! And it's quite possible you're surrendering to the needle??? Thanks for the update!

Doru said...

Best of luck Chad on November 5th. I’ve been reading your blog since Pam wrote about you on TrainingPayne’s blog.
What amazes me is the fact that you haven’t lost your sense of humor. If I’ll ever be in a similar situation, I hope that I’ll be able to be half the man you are and be as nonchalant as you are about what you are going through. You are a strong very man, no doubt about it!
Again, best of luck on November 5th. You deserve it!

Kevin said...

Good luck. I will be thinking of you all week.


Charlene and Chris said...

Yea for clean results and being able to move forward!!!

I didn't see a spot for lunch in your day - esp with all those tubes of blood taken.

Thinking of you guys!