Monday, April 28, 2008
You know the position you get in when you're lying on your side on the floor when watching TV? The position where you prop the side of your head on your hands? Well, I did that the other day and a vicious pain shot through my head. Sharp, quick, stabbing. I sat upright immediately and felt the side of my head in the temple area. Lo and behold, if I don't feel a bump. AARRGGG!! I cried as I felt the damn thing over and over. I kinda thumped it (gently) and it sounded hollow compared to thumping the other side of my head. I didn't tell anyone. As the days go on, gee, it's getting bigger and bigger. Not so much in width, but in length, like it was crawling upward to the top of my skull. I didn't think it was a brain tumor, I figured it was just the Multiple Myeloma rearing it's ugly head.....on mine!! But you can't be sure of anything once you have Cancer. I called Dawn at Dr. Nair's office and told her what was going on. She talked to Dr, Nair and he ordered an xray of my skull and one of my cervical spine. So I go and have them done and I picked them up the next day because I had a Dr. Nair appt for the following day. I have a nasty habit of picking up my results before the doctor tells me the news. As you remember I did that with my original CT scan too. So I read the results.....pretty scary. There are "innumerable" lesions on my skull (don't numbers go to infinity? LOL) and that's exactly what I felt......a lesion on my skull. You have to remember at this point in time though, I have been off chemotherapy since February 21st because I had to be OFF chemo for a certain amount of time before having the transplant. So my body has had nothing to fight the MM since then. I've had nothing to work against the disease so it's deciding to have a field day! Since Dr, Nair also had some cervical xrays done, I had a look at what was going on in my upper spine, which I hadn't seen for awhile. I have 2 fractures at L1 and L3 and of course my original herniations at C5/6 and C6/7. What I didn't know is that I also have some spinal cord compression at C4/5. I have lesions all over my jawbone and lesions on my "girlie" area bones too. So now when I say something dumb, you can tell me I have holes in my head and that would be true! Dr. Nair assured me that the chemo treatment I will be receiving for my transplant will make these lesions eventually lessen. So......We leave for the H.Lee Mofffitt Cancer Center tomorrow. (Tuesday the 29th of April). On Wednesday morning I have to give them some blood and then we will have a meeting with the doctor. On Thursday morning, I will be having the surgery to insert the port into my left chest. It is basically a tube that is inserted into your chest so the chemo or other drugs will go directly into your bloodstream and because your heart is constantly pumping it disperses the chemo right away. They will also use this port to take blood, give me nourishment, antibiotics, anti nausea medication, pain medication and any other thing I may need. Also on Thursday we have an hour meeting with the pharmacist and an hour meeting with the dietician, then we have the Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) nurse check my port and then another meeting with the doctor. Whew....done for the day! On Friday, Saturday and Sunday I will have to go to the hospital at 10:00 am and 4:00 pm for the nurses to check and clean my port and to receive shots of Neupogen. The Neupogen will increase my blood cell production so there will be enough for them to take out. Generally, our bone marrow cells stay in the bone marrow. But the Neupogen shots will increase their amount so much that they will have no where to go except to spill into my bloodstream. Then on Monday May 5th, I will again be checked out by the doctor and then go up to the BMT clinic to have "collection". They will remove all of the excess cells I have made over the last 4 days and actually collect them into a container. When they get enough (millions and millions) they will freeze them in a preservative until I return to Moffitt for the actual transplant. After they collect the number of cells they need we can leave. We'll (hopefully) be home the afternoon of May 6th and we get to stay home until May 11th (Happy Mother's Day to us!) when we will have to leave for Moffitt again. When we return this time it will be for the 30 + day stay......but more on that later. I'm a bit nervous, but all will be well. Send a prayer or two my way.