Last Thursday, February 5th, 2015, Kevin had his final pre-transplant consultation at the Bone Marrow Transplant Centre in Ottawa. It was officially the beginning of the countdown to transplant. “Day -13” We met with several members of the Transplant Team. It was like a speed dating round! One person would enter the room and speak to us about a certain part of the transplant plan and then when they left the room, another person immediately walked in. This appointment had a calming effect on Kevin and it provided much needed comfort and confidence. There was A LOT of information to process and we were sent home with a ton of reading material.
Kevin and I are pretty well informed about the whole bone marrow/stem cell transplant process. We have joined several support groups and have done our fair share of googling! However, because the transplant program in Ottawa is an OUTPATIENT program, things are a bit different. This means that Kevin will have to go to the BMT Centre every day for treatment for 4-6 weeks, but he will not stay in the hospital overnight if it is safe for him to leave. That will be based on a number of factors. We have been told to expect that Kevin will need to stay in the hospital some nights, but it’s something that will be decided on a day by day basis. I will explain the outpatient program in detail on a different blog post.
One thing that we learned is that we would need to move to Ottawa sooner than expected. We thought we would move on February 15th, the day before Kevin is admitted into the hospital to start his conditioning. However, Kevin gets his Hickman Line inserted the morning of the 11th and he will need to have it cared for by the Ottawa hospital. So we were told it’s best if we move to Ottawa on the 10th and that is what we are going to do. Thankfully there is now a “BMT Apartment” available and it is being reserved for us. It is not free, it will cost $45/day, BUT it’s only 2.5 KM away from the treatment centre!!! Wooo Hoooo! We are so happy about that!! We just don’t know what our address or anything is yet because they are getting back to us about that on Monday… the day before we move. LOL It’s a good thing that I have lots of experience being spontaneous! If it wasn’t for the last minute, I wouldn’t get anything done. 😉
We also learned that Kevin needs to bring his OWN food to the hospital… even though he will spend several hours in the treatment centre every day. It’s because he’s an outpatient. So that was surprising and little disappointing. Food is a huge scary challenge when feeding a transplant patient and I was hoping I wouldn’t have to worry about feeding him every single day in the beginning. Not because I’m a lazy ass. Because it scares the shit out of me. But I will just have to get really good at preparing food carefully. I can do that. I’m also looking forward to this lifestyle change and hope that we will both take advantage of the benefits.
So the transplant is still on schedule for February 25th, 2015 and we are scrambling to get things together and ready to go because we move on TUESDAY! Kitty cats are going to their new home today, Lexie’s before/after school care is all taken care of, people looking after our house here in Kingston have been arranged and we just have some last minute things to finalize. It’s going to be REALLY hard to leave my Lexie, but I know she is in a lot of awesome capable hands. She will also be visiting us quite often and will stay with us more once we are past the 6 week mark providing Kevin is doing well enough not to have to go to the hospital every day.
So that’s the scoop for now. I have added a TRANSPLANT CALENDAR to our website so you can see exactly where we are in the pre/post-transplant process. I will also be blogging most days. Many people have benefited from our blog and so we want to keep it as detailed as possible.
Many of you ask how Kevin is doing. He is doing amazing considering the fact that he is facing the greatest medical challenge of his life.
He is happy and grateful that he has this second chance at life, but an allogeneic bone marrow/stem cell transplant is one of THE MOST challenging and invasive medical procedures that ANY person on earth would ever face in life. The high dose chemotherapy and the risks involved with transplant are intense. I know it’s hard for people to understand that, but we don’t expect anyone to fully understand. However, we do ask that you respect the fact that we are not exaggerating anything about what Kevin is and will go through. I’m going to leave it at that. If you have questions about anything, we are always happy to answer them.
Well, that’s the scoop for now. Basically we will need to live life one day at a time and hope that Kevin reaches the +100 DAY milestone successfully without too much difficulty. Your love and support is also an important part of his treatment plan, but visitors will be limited for at least the first 100 DAYS. I will be setting up a Facebook event for his “Bloody Awesome RE-Birthday” and then some other Facebook chat events as we go. But you can also stay in touch through regular Facebook, email, text and phone.
Thanks for stopping by and thank you so much for your continued love and support!! xoxo