A recent episode of How I Met Your Mother chronicled Barney Stinson's attempt to complete The Perfect Week: 7 girls, 7 days, no rejections.
Now I'm going for my own version of The Perfect Week: 5 days, 5 visits to the hospital, a treatment every day.
My week started on Monday with a routine visit to the opthamologist... well, the special transplant opthamologist. This is kind of a hold over from my first transplant because a form of GVHD is dry eyes, so I've been seeing this guy for a while, but I'm also supposed to have a visit with him around Day 100, so we kind of did a double duty normal check up/100 day check up. It was fine, he was happy with my eyes. Just a lot of waiting. That clinic is always super crowded.
Tuesday was my weekly doctor's visit. Again, normal, he's happy with how things are going, and it looks like my graft versus host disease is under control. We tapered the steroids. But I had to get a platelet transfusion because my platelets haven't recovered yet from the mylotarg treatment I had a few weeks ago. Mylotarg bottomed out all of my blood counts, and is the reason I had to take the neupogen and got the fever and had to go into the hospital. Tricky little bugger. But hopefully all of that means that it also got any left over leukemia cells too.
Wednesday I was scheduled to restart ECP. ECP, or extracorporeal photopheresis, is this very cool, very space age treatment for GVHD. Basically, they take out some of your blood, separate the white blood cells, give you the rest of it back, treat the white blood cells with a drug, and then give you the white blood cells back. This treatment somehow causes the body to recognize that GVHD is not a good thing and to shut the process down. I think it's amazingly cool and I feel really lucky to be going to a top-notch transplant hospital that uses ECP so extensively. I've had ECP before and I respond quickly to the treatment, so the hope is that this will stop any current GVHD and prevent further GVHD.
Well, even though I had a platelet transfusion on Tuesday, my platelets weren't high enough on Wednesday to get treated. So I got more platelets.
Thursday (you know, today) I went back for ECP (it's two treatments every other week). My platelets were OK so I could get the treatment. I love the nurses, they are so sweet and we have fun together. They have food, like bagels and popcorn and candies, and they have warm blankets too. There are few things better than a warm blanket!
Tomorrow I'm supposed to go back for another blood draw to see if I need a platelet transfusion. I'm pretty positive that I will, and then I will be the Superbowl of Cancer Outpatient Treatment!
Five days, five hospital visits, five treatments.... fingers crossed for tomorrow! Watch out Barney!