Thursday, March 20, 2008

More Transplant News

Today I had my repeat bone marrow biopsy. The results will be out next week. I also had a MUGA scan. The results should be out in a day or so. I will have the repeat brain MRI tomorrow. I will also be having several other tests. Assuming they are all OK, I will be admitted for the transplant on Thursday.

I told you I would let you know more about the transplant so here it is. I will get five days of therapy after admission to wipe out my bone marrow and to treat any cancer cells that are left. The stem cell transplant should be on April 2nd. The stem cells are given through my veins like a transfusion. I am not sure how long it takes but I believe it is only a couple of hours or so. When I am admitted, they will be taking out my current Hickman catheter and replacing it with another catheter of some kind. They are taking the line out because it has been in place since early December and they want to make sure there is no infection in the line.

They expect that I will be in the hospital for about 2 or 3 weeks after the transplant. My counts should return to normal 12-15 days after the transplant. During that time, they will also be giving me anti-rejection medications. I have to be on them for quite a while. I will be discharged as soon as my counts get high enough. That, is provided I don't run a high temperature again. The transplant team wants their patients to stay in the area for a week after discharge if they live more then two hours from St. Louis. They want me to stay because we are about two hours away. I am hoping to convince them to change their mind so that I can come home sooner.

When I first go home, I will have to stay away from things that can cause me an infection. I will have to avoid crowds. I will not be allowed to have my pets stay too near me and certainly they cannot sleep in my bedroom. I cannot do any digging in the yard or be around any remodeling or home repair. They both have a high chance of having some kind of mold or fungus that I would be susceptible to catch. It usually takes about 100 days after the transplant to be able to reduce the anti-rejection medications to a point where I can return to work. I am hoping to be back to work in July or August.

I am looking forward to Easter services this weekend. If any of you do not have a church home, my wife and I would like to invite you to our church. Westfair Baptist Church is located on Lafayette between the fairgrounds and EMI. Sunday morning services start at 10 AM. We would love to see you there. In the meantime we hope that God blesses you as well as He blesses me.


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