Stem Cell Transplant: Day: -8 – Chemo Starts


12:05: The nurse pulls out about a half inch to an inch of picline.

12:15: She redresses the picline access area.  She tries to draw blood but she can’t and she is not happy about it.

IMAG072912:20: She decides to move my hand down and tries to draw blood again and this time again, oh great, another thing positional, the pic line…

12:30: The XRay tech comes in again, throws a plate behind my back, lines up the machine and the plate, and snaps the picture.  He the takes his XRay machine and plate back out.

1:30: The nurse comes back in and it sounds like it is in the right spot hopefully.  I should be getting my premeds around 5:30 AM and my chemo around 6:30AM.

2:00: My parents and my wife leave.  They just wanted to make sure everything went all right.

3:00: I finally decide to doze off and go to sleep.

4:30: I am waken up by the nurse checking my vitals.  The nurse also tells me that we are not going to get started this morning because the picc line is not in the right spot, still.  They have called the picc line contractors who will come and attempt to fix it, again.  I doze back off.

7:15: My dad arrives, we turn on some Bill Cosby.

7:45: Breakfast.

8:30: The picc line guy arrives and is ready to go to work.  I lay back, he lifts the bed, tears off the dressing, and pretty much pulls the picc almost all the way out, just leaving the tip in.  He then threads the feeder wire into the whole in my arm, and feeds the picc line back through my arm down to my SVC.  He said he is only taking one shot at this because this is the 4th time trying to feed this picc line.  If this doesn’t fix it then special XRay or someone else is going to have to get this line started or come up with another solution.

8:45: Xray gets to my room and they are setting me up for a single shot in the bed.  The nurse then comes in and tells them that I have orders for a dual view of my chest again to check the position of the picc line.  The XRay checks the computer system and confirms this.  He then rolls his unit back downstairs to the XRay area.

8:55: The picc nurse takes me downstairs in a wheel chair as he wants to see the XRay for himself since there has been so many attempts.

9:10: I am position for the first XRay with my back facing the XRay machine and my chest facing the XRay Plate.

9:15: I am turned to my side with my right side facing the XRay machine, and my left side facing the XRay Plate.

9:20: The XRay tech takes the second plate to the back and starts processing it.

9:35: The Xray tech wheels me out into the hallway while the picc nurse looks at the XRays.

IMAG07199:45: THe picc nurse says that the position while not the best position is in a good position for me to get the chemo.  The tumors in my chest have pushed the SVC closed so much that they cannot easily feed the tip of the picc line where they want it in my SVC. The picc line nurse things that they should be able to use it as is, and if they can’t use it to go to special Xray or someone else because they have no other solutions because they are going into it blind and can’t see what the tumor is doing to the SVC and don’t have too much control over the direction of the picc line when feeding it.

10:00: The nurse goes ahead and orders my chemo and premeds since we are going to start at noon, 6 hours off our original start time, so everything is going to be pushed off 6 hours.  The nurse hooks up a saline drip to get fluids going through the picc line.

11:30: They hook up the Zofran for anti nausea to the picc line.

12:00: The nurse hooks up the Decadron for my steroids after the Zofran.

12:15: I get my lunch and eat.

1:00: The nurse comes back in and hooks up my first dose of chemo, Busulfex.  I will receive 16 doses of this over the next 4 days, that 4 doses a day, once every 6 hours.  The Zofran once every 12 hours, an the Decadron once every 24 hours. with this chemo.

3:00: I finish up this chemo.

IMAG07133:30: I decide now its time to pull out my laptops.  I set them up on the food tray.  The nice thing about the food trays is that they slide two ways.  So I can leave the laptops on the tray, and slide open a second draw for the food, and fold it back to one piece when I am done eating, and not have to move my laptops at all.  I have the left computer for skyping, watching netflix, checking my emails, and messaging with friends and family.  The right laptop is to do work on, connect to client’s computers and fix their issues, program, and just general work, it also plays my streaming music at night when I go to sleep.

4:15: Supper is delivered.  Baked chicken, sorta dry, but its ok.

4:45: I am done with my chicken.

5:00: I am delivered some special mouth wash, same thing I brought from home that my dentist gave me to use when I came into the hospital.  I send the mouth wash home that I brought in and used the mouth wash supplied by the hospital.  I will be brushing my teeth and washing my mouth out 4 times a day to keep my mouth very clean.  As your mouth can become a painful place with mouth sores and other nasty things as a result to what the chem can do to your cells and the inability to fight certain things that we everyday people take for granted.

7:00: My 2nd dose of this chemo is hooked up.

7:30: Nurse shift change.

8:00: Vitals taken by the new nurse.  I have Jason tonight, I had him when I was here in March.

8:45: My chemo finishes up.

9:00: I am just relaxing in bed, watching TV, conversing with my parents and wife.

9:45: All my company leaves me, just me in the hospital room.

IMAG050910:00: Potty time. and we don’t have our own bathrooms, its just a portable pot because the nurse has to inspect everything before they dump it out.  Same thing with the other fun, 2 urinals sitting by the pot.

11:00: All cleaned up, teeth brushed, hands washed and ready to go to bed, but not yet!

11:30: My nurse comes in and starts the Zofran.

11:59: Another day gone!


Next Day:

© Craig