Thursday, November 5, 2009

Transplant #2

I must admit I'm eager to get through this particular blog and on to some other things. It was a dreadful time in my life from which I'm still currently recovering. I said to Megan a few weeks back that I really hadn't recovered from the first transplant. Anytime I'd start to recover I'd get hit again and that's just the way it's gone. The events leading up to my second transplant and all that followed took every last ounce of physical, mental, and emotional energy I had in me. For the first time in nine years I was broken.

For years I'd managed to putt along...knowing I was getting worse but never really too in the moment. In the summer of 2008 desperation had entered my life. I'd reached the point that had always haunted the back of my mind...I was running out of options. I'd had every myeloma treatment available to me and now the well was running dry. There had been discussion among the BMT doctors that maybe another transplant would be the best option. From what I understand the team was split- some agreed and some thought it to be too risky. My doc sent me to the Mayo clinic in Rochester, MN for a second opinion. The lady I saw was one of the leading myeloma specialists in the world and was so cool to me. After an hour long consultation she agreed my best chance for a better life would be the transplant. This was a tough decision for my doc because of my poor condition. It was either going to kill me fast or give me hope. The next step was finding my original donor to see if he was available to donate again. They located him and he agreed...the ball was rolling or should i say the dice. Some people never find a donor and I'm lucky enough to get one who's willing to do it twice...I have no words! I continued my last few cycles of another myeloma drug until a few months before the transplant. The date was set for Dec 18, 2008. I left my job in October as I was becoming too unwell and needed to focus on the task at hand.

I entered the hospital Dec 8th for the usual preparations-line insertion, chemo..bla-bla-bla-bla-bla-bla BORING! The transplant itself was as anticlimactic as the first and only took about a half hour for the marrow to drip in. I felt so relieved and was full of emotion and anxiety which soon came pouring out on Meg's shoulder. A few minutes later I began shaking uncontrollably and no matter what they gave me it wouldn't stop. Eventually things calmed down but over the next few days I began retaining fluid gaining 20 lbs in a week. I was extemely uncomfortable with shooting pains in my sides and back. They pumped me so full of morphine I don't remember much anymore. To this day they don't know if I'd had a heart attack, was passing kidney stones or what the hell was going on. On Christmas day my body had enough and I was no longer breathing well. I was taken to intensive care and put on an apparatus that would help me breathe while keeping fluid away from my heart and lungs. It was there they inserted a catheter wrong and I'd be peeing blood and blood clots for the next 6 months. Those first two weeks every time I went pee it was like razor blades were digging down deep in my bladder. I could go on and on about all the shit that went down but it does me no good to speak of it anymore plus and I just don't want to remember. It was touch and go-the ICU doc talked to us about putting me on life support with a stiff reminder that I might never come off it....are you fucking kidding me...hey doc there's a chance I might kick you in the balls so hard you might never get up! Another ICU doc, Meg's dream lover -Dr. Mcgoobygoob a good looking fella and nice as hell- was really positive about getting me through it and from that day forward things improved. I spent 10 days in ICU, another week in cardiac care followed by a couple more days back up on the BMT ward. By no means was it smooth sailing and I was a train wreck but after 6 weeks I stumbled my way out to the fresh air and Megan waiting by the curb..........whewwww!

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