October 03, 2006 , Day -07
Since the last update, Menchie and I have been busy preparing ourselves for my next transplant. The week was fairly uneventful, although I got Menchie to ride her new bike on Saturday. She LOVED it! I followed along driving the truck, so I could share the event with her. On Sunday, I went for a ride myself. Menchie didn't want me to, but she trusted me enough to let me go. We found a big empty parking lot, which is why I went on Sunday, and I rode my bike for 30 minutes. I wasn't going very fast, and the ride was perfectly level, but it felt great! I rode about 5 miles. I was exhausted by the end of the ride, and had to sit down rather quickly, but I felt GREAT!!!!
Monday was a very hard day as we prepared to return to the hospital. Both of us have been struggling in a big way with this. Part of my preparation was the aforementioned bike ride, of course. Menchie spent the day cleaning and doing things around the house until she was exhausted. In the late afternoon, we just hugged each other and talked about things and cried. It is very hard to walk into the hospital when you feel fairly good, knowing that the hospital stay is probably going to make you feel really lousy. I am so blessed to have Menchie with me as we go through this again.
We got to the hospital Monday night and started to settle in. I didn't sleep hardy at all during the night, just too much to think about. They started getting me ready for the radiation therapy about 6am. I was wheeled down to the basement for the treatment, but the machine was broke, so they told me to come back at noon. Frustrating. I repeated the trip at noon.
There was a pretty intricate setup process for putting the different blocks in place. It took upwards of 30 minutes. By the time the therapy started, I was exhausted already, my legs were trembling, and my knees were buckling. During the therapy they kept taking x-rays and adjusting the placement of things. After the third x-ray, they put straps around my chest. I suggested my knees also, which they did. Within minutes I started getting light headed. I announced to the room that I was light headed in hopes that the techs would hear me. I told them I was getting dizzy, that I was going to faint, then I pleaded a couple of times for them to help me. The last thing I remember was fighting the motion of my head as my chin sank slowly to my chest.
I woke up a few minutes later in a wheelchair, with total chaos raging all around me. Lots of people yelling at me, checking my pupils, asking if I knew who I was. I have never seen so many doctors in one place yelling at me before. I saw Menchie by the door, and just said, as loud as I could "I am fine". Menchie heard and believed me, and walked out of the room to get out of the way. The policy at the radiation clinic is if someone passes out as I did, they call a code blue, which they did. Specialists from all over the hospital were running into the room and jockeying for position to evaluate me from the point of their specialty. They got me on a gurney or crash cart that had just about every conceivable emergency device on it. There was barely room for me. Eventually I ended up in Intensive Care, and was finally busted out by the transplant coordinator after about 45 minutes. I really was fine!
This evening, we tried again. As they were fitting all the blocks again, my legs started to shake violently. I pointed this out to the techs, and the nurse called off the therapy. They are going to change the method. They will put me on a gurney on my side, and allow me to lie down while the radiation is being administered. They will do a new simulation on my tomorrow, some time. This means that I will miss a bunch of the scheduled therapy sessions, so my transplant will probably be delayed. It is depressing to be so weak an cause such disruption to the hospital and my schedule of treatments.
When I got back to my room, Menchie was sneezing and had a scratchy throat. For my protection, she decided to go home. If she actually gets sick, she will not be able to come and see me as long as her symptoms persist. Neither of us are very happy about that! Overall, this seems like a fairly catastrophic day. It has been very frustrating.
I expect to continue to feel pretty good physically for most of the rest of the week, until we get through the radiation and into the chemotherapy.
I do have lab results from today. I don't know that we have the results from the 28th, but they are not significant. Nothing very different.
Blood Cell Type
I wish you all well!
Menchie and Ted
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