Tuesday, August 26, 2008


It's official, I'm losing my hair...

Three or so days ago my hair began to trickle out, a hair here and a hair there. But the last two days it has begun to pour out with a vengeance. I estimate that I have lost approximately 80% of my hair in the last two days. I was not too excited about this to say the least. Among the list of chemotherapy side effects which hair loss was not one of them was excessive facial hair growth. Ha, in other words for the ladies out there, you may lose your hair but you might in turn have excessive facial hair growth (with this same type of treatment). Weird.

This is not the first time my hair has fallen out due to chemotherapy so I'm not worried about it but people tend to look at you differently. When your hair falls out people give you a sympathy look and feel sorry for you becuase you look very sick. You get the ocassional comment about it and that's the last thing you want to think of at the time. Last time I expected my hair to fall out but not this time and it is a pretty big shocker.

I don't mean to scare anybody (esspecially the woman) out there about losing your hair. It does not always happen, it depends on the precribed chemotherapy regime.

Friday, August 22, 2008


Well, I was set free from the hospital yesterday around 2:30pm... Yeah!! Too much time in the hospital will drive you NUTS! But before I could even celebrate my release I was back in :(

I checked back in the hospital today around 10:00 am (not even 24 hours outside the hospital walls) The reason: I have been doing very well, better than expected :) and the current attending physcian is new to this type of regime so his best judgement was to release me. There are many benefits to staying outside the hospital. But my normal physcian (who was out of town the last few days) found out about my release and had a cow... He's very worried about me not being well protected from infection and also if I do contract an infection it is treated quicker and more easily when I'm in the hospital. Therefore I'm back in the hospital and the same room.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


The last few days have gone very well. I have been very forunate experiencing only minimal nausea and the ocasional headache. The days have been going by very slowly and I've been pretty bored which is a good thing. Boring days in the hospital are good, for sure. I have been doing so good that I may be able to leave the hospital early. The doctor has made the decision to switch all I.V. medicine to pill form and see how I feel the next day or so. If these next few days go well I'll be able to go to the Hope Lodge.

The Hope Lodge is a facility downtown (K.C.) that is owned by the American Cancer Society. This facility is used by cancer patients in order to stay close to the hospital. I must be within 30-45 minutes of the hospital at all times for approximately 100 days after transplant. Since we live slightly outside of that then I must stay at the Hope Lodge. This would not be the first time I stayed at the lodge, I stayed there during my last transplant. The facility is very nice and clean but you must have a 24 hour caregiver which in my case will be a combination of my mom, dad and Korey.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Although the transplant went as planned it was not as I imagined. It was very intense from the beginning of the day. I was very nervous all day in anticipation of the transplant. All I could think about was the last tranplant and how I felt before, during and after. Needless to say, this was not a pleasant feeling. Once the time came to start the infusion I was a nervous wreck but I had a good group of support there for help. At the start of the infusion I felt ok but soon after my body began to chill beyond control and I was trembling even after four to five blankets were added to my body. After the infusion I had a severe headache which felt like my eyes were going to pop out at anytime and my body ached like I had been running for days.

I feel better today but I am very tired and have little energy. I feel optimistic for the next ten days. It takes approximately seven to ten days to ingraft.

Monday, August 11, 2008


Things went well today... I got my last dose of ATG and I am getting all prepped up for receiving my sister's cells tomorrow. The doctors and nurses are anticipating that it will go well.

My sister will come in early and have a "pick" line put in place in order to harvest her stem cells. The line will be placed in her neck (jugular vein) to insure that there is adequate amount of fluid flowing through the line to run the machine. This prevents collapsing the vessels as well. The pick line should be a triple lumen; one for removing blood, one for returning blood after the removal of the stem cells and lastly one for fluids or any type of IV assistants. Her stem cells will be counted and then given directly to me through an IV bag. They will estimate the number cells to be injected and several infusions may be needed to reach a safe level.

Thanks for all the prayers and support.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Today and yesterday evening was pretty rough. I'll begin with last light.

Last night no matter what I ate it didn't settle well on my stomach which started the afternoon badly. I received another dose of the ATG and that just sent my system off. I woke up on and off feeling very sick and running back and forth to the bathroom mostly due to the increased fluids. But eventually I let my food lose, then again, and again. But I felt much better afterwords, as you could imagine. This to say the least, led to the morning. The next day I was very tired and drowsy for the most of the morning. As the day progressed I began to feel much better. I changed my eating a little (more liquids less solids) and I believe that this resulted in my deceased nausea. Needless to say I've had a rough couple of days and look forward to having a few days of ease (if possible). I still plan on receiving my sister's stem cells on Tuesday.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


The day started off good and ended less graciously. I received chemotherapy and also an agent named ATG. ATG (Anti-Thymocyte Globulin) is a serum derived from genetically modified rabbits as an immunosuppressive drug. I believe it's designed to eliminate my T cells so when my sister's stem cells are injected in my body my T cells will not attack the injected T cells. This may help reduce the high chances of a condition known as Graft vs. Host disease. Graft vs. Host disease is where the graft (my sister) has a healthy immune system and it's injected in the Host (me) with a weakened immune system due to chemotherapy. In some cases the graft will identify the host as a foreign object and attack organ tissues. Tissues like liver, kidneys, and skin are more commonly effected. Graft vs. Host can be chronic or acute. Chronic meaning effects over 100 days from transplant date and acute meaning from transplant until 100 days from transplant. Anyways, I received some of this unusual stuff yesterday and it was not pretty.

The dosage was to be administer over 6 hours to minimize the number of effects at a time. But I slowly began to heat up and i got the chills. Very similar to a bad flu. Then even hotter and a excruciating headache and full body aches and my lower to mid back felt like a truck was parked on it. I had a significant amount of nausea and actually threw up a few times. Parts of my body had small uncontrollable twitching that went away later. Also later on I felt like really sore like I have run for miles. I receive ATG for four consecutive day and each day is supposed to have less effects.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Here we go...

The first day at the hospital went well. Korey stayed with me my first night and it was very nice seeing her face in the morning. I had a trifusion line placed which will be used to administer chemotherapy and to receive the donated stem cells. The end of the line lies exterior of the skin with three tips (lumens) which could be used simultaneously. This line up and over my ribs then connects to a major artery in my chest. I also received the first of six rounds of chemotherapy which I had little effects other than a little chest pain and nausea.

I will receive chemotherapy everyday for six days then they'll give me a day off. Next, I will receive my sister's generously donated stem cells. Unlike the stem cells in the media all the time, these cells are not embryonic stem cells. These are what doctor's call peripheral stem cells which can be found in the blood stream of everyone. These cells are capable of turning into red blood cells, white blood cells or platelets. Their purpose will be to migrate to my bones and recreate bone marrow after the chemo has wiped out the pre-existing bone marrow. An alleogenic transplant does not rely on the chemotherapy to fight the cancer. This type of transplant relies on the T cells (cancer fighting cells) of the donor to fight the cancer. Very interesting stuff. It's amazing what the human body can tolerate and what the field of medicine has been able to accomplish.

On another note, I get to stay in one of the nicest hospital rooms I've ever been in. There's a very nice view of tree tops and a few buildings for as far as you can see. It's very clean and quiet. You can't ask for much more. So far so good. Thanks for the prayers and support.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

BMT number Dos

Well it's official I start my second bone marrow transplant on Wednesday (August 6, 2008). It's what physicians call an Alleogeneic Stem Cell Transplant... a fancy name for receiving stem cells from a donor which will be my wonderfully short sister... I mean my wonderful but short sister :) I've had great help and support through everything and at this point I'm no longer fighting for myself, I'm now fighting for you. I realize now the overwhelming power of positive attitudes and prayer. There's more people who want me to get through this then I would've ever imagined. So I've created this blog as a means of keeping you informed. This is my attempt to bring awareness about how important prayers and support are as well as how this can happen to anyone. Feel free to make comments and subscribe to this feed.

FYI: Please disregard spelling and grammatical errors, sorry :)