Stem Cell Transplant 13th July 2017

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Diagnosed Hodgkins Lymphoma Stage 4B 14th Feb 2014 and Stage 4 Multiple Lymphoma 2017

Please keep in mind when reading this that Chemotherapy & Stem Cell Transplants effect everyone in a different way, this blog tells you how I was effected by the treatment

St James Hospital Dublin

When this regime or rescue therapy commenced on the 10th April 2017 That morning I recall the devil whispering in my ear “You are not strong enough to withstand the storm”  after Chemo that evening I whispered back into the devils ear “I am the fucking storm”

So after going from day Minus 7 last Thursday through 6 days of BEAM Chemotherapy (The most aggressive level of Chemo they can give me) with yesterday as a rest day or more a settling day, here we are Transplant day.

So the day begins with blood test at 6am this will be the marker or baseline of where my blood levels need to be.

I have a number of infusion including antihistamine ( this drug has a tendency to make me sleep) saline, and steroids. The main nurse is checking my blood pressure every 20 minutes prior to the Transplant. As the clock gets closer to the time a lab technician enters the room, the room is small (this is necessary to prevent infections) so it’s getting packed. The lab guy set up a water heater to bring the water temperature to my body temperature which is 36.8 degrees. She has with her my Stem Cells that were harvested on the 6th of June, these cells are frozen and need defrosting hence the hot water. There are 6 bags of stem cells, each with my plasma that was also taken on the harvest. Each bag is removed carefully and one at a time. The lab technician soaks the bag in the body temperature water until she is satisfied that all is good, at that point she takes a small sample, the equipment used here is very high tech – she places the sample into a blood analysis unit to insure that there are no bugs or viruses present. Just a quick note here, on the 6th of June they took a bag of plasma and a bag of stem cells from me, following that they checked the bags for infections and cancer infected cells, at which point the bags were split into 6 separate pages and nitrogen frozen in separate units. Therefore if one bag became infected the others were there. Once the lab tech was happy with the stem cells she then handed the bag to the nurse who placed it on the IV stand and connected to the PICC line, there is no pump used. My blood pressure is now monitored every 4 minutes. Each bag takes about 20 minutes. Really quiet an anticlimax  but nearly a two hour procedure and look at all the equipment. At one point there were 5 different bags up. The top right bag is the Stem Cell bag – so welcome home boys lets get this cancer dead for once and for all – Hodgkins didn’t pick the right person this time between now and next Friday I’m taking him to the hell he came from and shutting those gates behind me for good & if Death wishes to quarrel with me again then so be it – you lost last time this time I’m gonna hurt you

So today is medically classed as Day Zero and tomorrow as Plus 1 on day Plus 5 I’m back on Neupogen GSF injections, these are the injections that push bone marrow to produce stem cells.

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