Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Fantastic News

This photo is very rare - as Cam has just laid our lawn on the weekend we are actually allowed to use our hose to water the lawn for days. Tiernan was helping Cam water the lawn and seeing as he had an audience that would laugh at him (dad, Nat, mum, Ben and I) he decided to attack Cam with the hose!!!

Here are a few updated photos of the house - more will come soon

Kids playroom


Pool and poolhouse

A few adorable photos of dad with Arielle - don't they make your heart melt!! Arielle just loves her nunnu!

Well I had another stem cell collection today and all went well. The stem cells were collected from 7.30am to 11.30am. Nat, mum and Nunna then came in to visit and spent the afternoon with me. We had a lovely visit and it was fantastic to catch up with Nunna again. They had spent the morning with the kids and Tiernan was very excited and loved taking Nunna on a tour of the house and explaining how everything in the pool worked (he knows more about the pool pumps than I do!).

Where is the fantastic news part you ask - well as I previously mentioned they take two lots of stem cells to make sure they get enough for a transplant. The counts from yesterday's collection were not available this morning and it is highly unusual to get enough stem cells in one collection so they went ahead with today's collection. This afternoon I found out that yesterday's collection collected 17 million stem cells which is close to a record for a single collection. I only needed 5 million for my transplant!! So once they take into account today's collection I will have enough stem cells for multiple transplants should I ever need them. The even better news is that this means that after the next round of ESHAP chemo I will not have to have the high doses of Neupogen and so hopefully this will mean a lot less bone pain. And even better news is that I may be allowed home tomorrow and if not tomorrow definitely Thursday - I am absolutely thrilled!!

Monday, 19 March 2007

Frankenstein loves Morphine

Me with the machine that takes my blood, sorts it, takes the stem cells and then returns the blood without stem cells back to me
The vas cath tube in my neck - yuk

I'll bet the title of my blogg made you look twice!! Well on Sunday I had a lovely visit in the morning from Andrew and Linda and Abby and then I went home for the afternoon. Cam and Tiernan were at home and then mum, dad, Nat, Ben and Arielle all came and we had a birthday cake for Ben. It was a lovely catch up. Natalie drove me back to the hospital and stayed the night. Jane, Amanda and Kylie came over and we ate pizza for dinner and had a great time catching up. The only bummer about Sunday was that I was in agony by the evening from bone pain from white cell production and the stem cells coming out of the bone and going into the blood. It is pain that goes on the same scale as labour pains. They tear through your body concentrating on the pelvis, hip and thigh bones for me and the intensity is so severe that I cannot move or stand up when the wave comes. So when I did arrive back at the hospital I went straight to the nurses station and asked for a Morphine injection. Once I had that I felt much better.

I continued the morphine injections every 4 hours and then this morning they were able to change the order to have it put through my port instead of an injection. The downside is that it does not last as long and the last hour the pain becomes pretty bad. I have decided to go back to the injections from my next one on as I really don’t like that much pain. I had a platelet transfusion this morning. They gave me the pre meds for that and between that and the morphine build up I was knocked out and poor Natalie had to struggle getting me into the shower (thank god she was here with me) and I was barely able to get sentences out! After that it was the wonderful news that my neutrophils had gone up to 1.3 and another test called CD34 which needed to be 1 in order to have stem cells taken was 11!! It was one of the highest results they had seen and were very pleased. My hb was low so I am about to have a blood transfusion now. Mum and Nunna arrived and poor Nunna saw me in the worst state possible – I was falling asleep as I was talking and was probably talking total gibberish! I went down to have the vas cath (Frankenstein thing) put in and Natalie accompanied me. They took me in the room, set me all up and were about to start when the doctor came in and said my platelets were too low – I explained that I had just had a platelet transfusion but she said they were still too low and I would have to go back upstairs and have more before they could do the operation. So they took me off the table and put me back on the bed and then the nurse rang the ward to come and get me. The ward then explained that I had actually had 4 units of platelets already and could not yet have any more. This info was relayed back to the doctor who said she thought I had only had 1 unit and they decided to go ahead with the op. So it was back on the table for me! They then gave me a drug called medazaline which spaces you out and makes you not remember anything. So my last recollection of the event was them putting in the local anaesthetic into my neck. Then I was back upstairs. Then I went down and had the stem cells taken which took about 4.5 hours and I slept for about 4 of it. Mum, Nat and Nunna stayed with me for about 2 hours of it and I managed a few conversations but who knows if I made any sense! It was really lovely to have them with me though.

They took my blood again at the end of it all and my platelets are still low so I am having another platelet transfusion after the red blood transfusion. I also have really low potassium so I am having a high dose potassium for 4 hours and then a low dose for 24 hours which added to my 4 hourly morphine means that I will have lots of action tonight (they have to do really regular obs when you get transfusions). Hopefully the pre med and the morphine will mean I get a good sleep.