Thursday, December 10, 2009

Day +1

The transplant went off smoothly yesterday and now I'm just doing a bunch of waiting.

Thank you all so much for your kind wishes, it meant a lot to me, even if I have been remiss about posting. No news meant I was a little tired.

People often describe bone marrow transplants as being anti-climactic because it's a pretty simple procedure. You get hooked up to a bag of orangey-reddish fluid, it infuses into you over however much time (mine lasted less than a half an hour), and then the nurse unhooks you and that is that. No big surgery and recovery time, you don't get to go home, no fireworks go off. There is still a long road to recovery after a bone marrow transplant. The first step in that recovery is engraftment, when the new cells start growing in my bones. That will probably happen in a couple of weeks. Right now my white count is quite low and the exciting part is keeping infection free without an immune system.

White blood cells: 0.4 (normal is 4-10)
Hemoglobin: 9.4 (normal is 12-15)
Hematocrit: 27.5% (normal is 35-45%)
Platelets: 81 (normal is 150-500)

When my hemoglobin drops below 8 and my platelets below 15 they will give me blood and platelet transfusions. Folks, it is so important to donate blood products. My treatment would not be possible if there weren't wonderful people out there who donate blood and platelets (and I fully understand that many people cannot for various reasons and this is in no way meant to disparage them). My body is not producing red blood cells or platelets right now and without transfusions I would not be in a good place. Make an appointment to donate today!

In about 2-3 weeks when I have neutrophil counts above .5 for three consecutive days I can think about going home but my immune system will still be very weak for the first 100 days after transplant and I will have to follow a restricted diet - no raw fruits or veggies, no moldy cheeses, no raw or rare meat, etc.

But that is a long way away and for now I'm taking it one day at a time. Day +1 is so far so good.


Rose said...

Jeepers creepers Mira! If those are your blood stats, what IS flowing through your body? Hopes and dreams? I wish you the best in your recovery. Thanks for the updates.

Zhu said...

I kept on visiting your blog these last two days in case I missed the update. I'm glad it went well and we are keeping our fingers crossed!

I used to donate blood in France but unfortunately, I can't in Canada: anybody who lived in Europe - for more than... is it 6 months or a year? - can't because of the fear of Mad Cow disease.

I wrote about that a long time ago... ( I was very surprised, but I understand.

shannon said...

I'm so glad all went well!

And I second the need for blood donations. I'm not currently allowed to, but when I was in high school, I had a Hemoglobin of 3 (they didn't know how I was still standing) due to some medical issues. I needed a transfusion, so I'm so grateful for whoever donates!

You continue to be in my thoughts!

Anonymous said...

YAY! I'm glad it all went well, rest up and feel better soon!

I used to donate blood in NZ (some of which were painless but I remember one time when I had so many bruises up my arms that I looked like a drug addict!) but I haven't in France... mainly because I have been a bit nervous with the language etc.

Erica said...

I would donate blood in the US, but if i remember correctly, there's a rule saying that you can't if you've spent more than 3 months abroad. I'll have to check and see if that's still true.

Glad everything went well, keep us updated !!

Emily said...

Thanks for the update Mira.
As an FYI- I donated blood yesterday at the Red Cross and I believe their rule is you can donate if the time spent abroad is less than 5 years. The 3 month rule is if you spent 3 months in a European country between 1980-1996. Any visit shorter than 5 years (taken since 1996) is okay, I think. But you can't donate if, in the last 12 months, you visited a tropical location at high risk for malaria.

au soleil levant said...

Who knew that blood donation would be such a hot topic? Thanks Emily for all of the current info on donation in the US, and thanks to Zhu, Shannon, Kiwi, Erica, and all other donors!

Rose- probably more sheer will and determination rather than anything else

Zhu said...

It's not the blood silly, it's you ;-) We care you know!

It does make people reconsider about giving blood etc. when it's someone they "know" who need it.