Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thursday at the BMT Clinic

I had to have blood today. I need 2 units, but only got one today. We ran out of time. I'll get the other one tomorrow.

There is a reason my red blood count keeps dropping, but I'm not sure I completely understand it. It has to do with my old blood cells trying to break down Johnnie's cells because they think something is wrong with them. Breaking down cells uses a lot of folic acid, which is why mine has been so low. It also explains my fatigue caused by anemia. Dr. O has always told me it takes longer for red cells to come back than anything else, and that in my case it may take even longer. He said this usually resolves over time, can take up to a year or longer (one patient he had took 3 years).

Treatment is basically what we are doing now--labs to keep tabs on cell counts and blood transfusions when needed. If needed we can do apheresis (the same procedure they did to harvest Johnnie's stem cells), only they would harvest the antibodies from my old blood cells that are helping break down my new red blood cells from Johnnie. That would happen if they discover that I'm making way too many antibodies. This is way over-simplified and I'll try to get him to explain it to me again tomorrow and write it down. I don't understand it to be graft vs host disease, but something different. Anyway, not to worry. It's one of the things that sometimes happens with transplants and will be treated. Thank God we have doctors who understand this stuff and know how to make us well.

So, I spent the day at the BMT clinic. It was kind of fun today because Michael, our music therapist, was playing blues music for me. Then everyone else wanted blues music and the guy next to me was making up his own blues song about waking up in the morning and having heebie jeebies running down his arm (hey, I know exactly what he means). He had us all laughing. Actually, he was pretty good, and the song (I think he said it was the cancer blues) wasn't bad either. :o) Made me wish my son Jason had been there--he would have loved it.

My nephew finally got the casts on his arms and they will check in 4 weeks to see how his right wrist is doing. He seems to be taking it all pretty well. He's a baseball player, and I feel so bad for him. Right now he can't even feed himself. He's young and strong, though, and I'm sure he will heal quickly. Thank you for your prayers for Braden.

Reece is feeling so much better today, thank goodness! He will probably go back to school tomorrow. He has missed me today, and now wants to use my computer. I love how he sits so close to me and puts his feet on me. Guess I'll give him the computer for awhile.

No comments: