These 15 vials of blood represent hope... 6 months of hospital stays, chemo, crap load of drugs and uncertainty and it is all coming to a head. A couple of weeks ago we found out that my little sister is a half match for a bone marrow transplant! My sister is saving my life, I still don't think I've processed it completely. I don't know how to thank her... I thought this would be a easy post. I'm just now realizing the gravity of it all... she is saving more than a brother. She is saving a son, a husband and a father. My little sister is saving my life, the person I called Monkey Face Jones all through high school is saving me. I'm trying not to cry while I type this (at the dentist). I'm at a loss for words right now... but am also in a good place and can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'll make a more cohesive post when I can gather my thoughts.
There are somethings you can't avoid... no matter how healthy you are. In some shape, way or form side effects from either chemotherapy or assisting drugs will be present. My side effects have been pretty mild considering what others have gone through. I've only had some appetite problems and acne (from methyl prednisone). Nothing really to complain about, but a side effect none the less. My mindset is "It can always be worse", and with cancer it most definitely can be. I've learned to deal with my ever changing body... as long as I'm alive to see it change and hopefully progress to a place where I can mold it back to where I was before.
This is me at a bloated 197lbs (13lbs in 4 days) up from a lean 184lbs... they have to bloat me with water to help flush the chemo out of my body as quick as possible. I want talk to ya'll about weight loss and psych, I'll been one way for the better part for 24 years. I made it up to 270lbs in my early 20's, was squatting over 700, deadlifting almost 700, benching high 500's. Then I got into bodybuilding. Cut down to 210 and never looked back.
When you are known to be at a certain level, a level you worked soooo hard to achieve... it should bother you when you lose it. Well it didn't really bother me to lose weight as fast as I did until I hit 180... that was a 50lbs loss. I haven't been 180 lbs since 7th grade. I know after this is all said and done I will gain it back but it kinda feels like a piece of my identity was taken way for now.
This series of images are from when I had to have a bone marrow biopsy and a spinal tap. Didn't feel as bad as it sounds, both were painless (well not painless, they knocked me out before the bone biopsy). My protocol calls for a bone biopsy every 3 weeks to check my levels. The spinal tap was just to make sure my Leukemia didn't travel there as well. A quick breakdown of the numbers on the board...
WBC = White blood cell count, normal is 3.5
HGB = Hemoglobin, normal is 15
PLT = Platelets, normal is 100
The day before my platelets were 11 (once you go below 10 you get a transfusion) but was given a transfusion so that my platelets would be high enough so that I wouldn't bleed out after the biopsy. Dropping a little knowledge on ya... the more you know.
Two vials of blood every night between the times of 12:00 - 12:45am. They do this for labs so that they can monitor your blood levels everyday to see if you might need a blood infusion or platelet infusion. Waking up at 12am or so isn't as irritating as you'd think it would be when your life depends on it. I just learned not to go to bed until after labs are drawn.