It’s DAY -2! Chemo is done, for now, and only 2 more big sleeps until Kevin receives his donor cells! For updated blood counts, please CLICK HERE.
Does this look like a man who just finished enduring 6 days of hardcore high-dose chemo? Pfffffft! Nope!! No! No way!
Kevin has luckily tolerated chemo exceptionally well. Mainly because he stayed on top of his nausea and side effect management. There is a medicine for everything. The most important thing to do during the conditioning process for a Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplant is manage your side effects. A patient will not always do this well on their own. Therefore, it’s super important for the caregiver to constantly and consistently ask the patient how they are feeling and make them think about it. It’s also important to remind the patient that the better they manage the side effects, the less they will have. Especially when the patient is ready to go bat shit crazy because they don’t want to ever be asked “how are you feeling?” EVER again. BUT, it’s for their own good!
So today is the first of two ATG (Anti-Thymocyte Globulin) days! In layman terms, ATG is RABBIT (yes like bunny rabbit) antibodies, an immunosuppressant that is infused slowly (over 10 hours) into the patient. The antibodies suppress the human immune system, specifically the T-cells that would otherwise try to get rid of (reject) the unrelated donor cells and potentially cause severe GVHD (Graft Verses Host Disease). It is also supposed to reduce the risk of leukemia relapse.
The infusion of ATG was given with a combination of other drugs including, steroids, antihistamine, antiviral and antifungal treatments. He is also on medicine that protects his liver and anti-nausea medication. So he is pretty “doped up”!
By the time we made it back home, Kevin was pretty hungry and this is because of all the steriods. I asked him if he also felt like pumping some iron too, but he didn’t. lol He did eat like a psycho when we got home and then that turned into a tummy ache. I feared that might happen, but I couldn’t stop him from eating like a crazy person.
I am beyond exhaused and suviving on about 6 hours of broken sleep over the last 3 days. This is only because Kevin had to drink and pee every hour. His parents and brother did help out with that, but I was too worried about him to sleep. Tonight I plan on getting a decent sleep and hopefully I will be rejuvenated in the AM!
Well, that’s all for now! Thanks for stopping by!