This was supposed to be the easy part.
These first few days of the transplant protocol have been a little tougher than I expected. The ugly truth: I’m having a fair amount of pain. The Neupogen shots are doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing, but the downside is that my over-filled bone cavities are aching. Deep-seated waves of pain in my shoulder blades and tailbone wash over me, not all the time, but when they do, there’s not much I can do. Tylenol helps, a heating pad helps, but mostly I just assume the fetal position and try to go to my happy place.
Yesterday I had my catheter surgery, which is adding to the fun. Somehow my selective memory had convinced me that having two catheters placed would be no big deal…and it was no big deal, from a medical perspective. But from a pain-management perspective, it isn’t so simple. I’m in a pretty bad way, mostly on the right-hand side where the larger Quinlon catheter was implanted. I declined the new Vicodin script from my surgeon, because I had some at home, and I also had some Dilaudid, both from past surgeries. Unfortunately, there were only two Vicodin pills left, gone by early afternoon, and the Dilaudid is just too strong. It is a morphine derivative, and while it gets me high as a kite, I have crazy dreams and disturbed sleep and honestly, it doesn’t do as good a job with the pain as Vicodin. So I screwed that one up.
I’m attempting today on Tylenol, alone. We’ll see how that goes. I’m leaving in an hour to start the cell harvest process, so I’ll just lay around in a hospital bed all day. Hoping for an efficient harvest, maybe just a day or two on the machine rather than the four days allotted to me. As soon as I hit the magic number of cells, I stop taking the Neupogen (ahhh!) and get the Quinlon catheter pulled out (whee!).
Despite my bitching and moaning, I’m feeling very grateful for the incredible medical staff that is taking care of me. The nurses in the transplant clinic, the recovery room nurses, the apheresis nurses….they’ve all brought an unexpected level of humor, sunny disposition, and incredible professionalism and problem-solving ability to this otherwise crap week. And in the blessing-counting category, I’m also incredibly grateful to my friends Mindy and Addie, both of whom are having pretty crap weeks themselves, for the last-minute shuttling around they’ve done at all hours of the day, to minimize the load (as if!) on Peter.
Again. I’m a lucky girl.
Off to apheresis. You should all be hoping I don’t have to poop in a bedpan today, because you *know* I’ll write about it here if I do.
Oversharing is now over for the day.