Sunday, October 28, 2012

Labs, but no blood this time

Bucks Blood Transfusion 0193, originally uploaded by Buck Cash.
Last Tuesday, 10-23-2012, I went in for Labs again (like pretty much every week). My blood counts the week before were kinda low, but not quite enough to need a transfusion. We figured by the time Tuesday rolled around, they'd be low enough again to need one, so I was all prepared for it.

Happy surprise though: My counts were back up, so I didn't need a transfusion this time! Yay! I've gained a little weight in the last few weeks too.

Since then, we've gotten word from our contact at Karmanos that they've got all the lab work, x-rays, PET scans and so forth, and things are looking SO good that I might actually be able to provide my own blood / stem cells for the bone marrow transplant BACK to myself. Gotta love modern science!!

We're scheduled for a visit to Karmanos next Wednesday for more Labs, tests, etc., and I'll visit with the Doc there to find out what the next step is and get some schedules worked up.

The photo for this blog post is of me getting my most recent blood transfusion (2 units / bags), on Friday, 10-12-2012. You can just make out the hose from the IV snaking up into my shirt, where it's plugged into the port that's installed in my chest, though you might have to click the photo and then view the larger version on Flickr to actually see it (not that it's much to see!!  LOL!!).

Anyway, I'll post again after our visit to Karmanos, unless something else comes up before then.

All's well here! ; )

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Dentist, PET Scan, Labs & Bone Marrow Biopsy

The Awakening 8258, originally uploaded by Buck Cash.
Had a pretty busy week this past week. It started with a trip to the dentist last Monday, 10-15-2012, to get an exam, X-rays and a letter clearing me for treatment at Karmanos for the Bone Marrow Transplant that we're gearing up for. That went well, and the dentist said they'd fax it to Karmanos for us that day, and we could get a copy on Thursday, when we're back in town on other business.

On Thursday, I got PET Scan, which involves getting a radioactive isotope injected into me, resting for about an hour while it works its way through my system, then laying on a moving table while it moves in and out of a donut shaped machine that takes pictures of my insides, lit by the radioactive juice.

We forgot to get the copy of the letter from the dentist and decided to do that on Friday, since we'd be back in town again.

So, on Friday, we went back in and got Labs, then a bone marrow biopsy, which isn't really much fun.

An hour before the biopsy, I took a prescribed pain pill and another pill that was supposed to make me forget the experience, but I remember the whole thing, and I don't know that the pain pill did much good either, to be honest.

I got a local anesthetic at the site on my back side on my right pelvis, which is like a bee sting. Then a couple more of those to make it even number, which weren't quite as bad, since the first one had started to work.

A few minutes later, a needle goes in, punches through the bone, and extracts some marrow to be tested. Then another needle goes in, and its job is to get a sample of the bone itself, which is supposed to come out in the hollow of the needle. That didn't work out so well, so the doctor had to try it again. Unfortunately, it didn't work out either, so he went in a third time, and finally got it.

The bone doesn't get numbed by anything, so you feel it each time. All you can do is breath deep, clench your fists and teeth, and squeeze your butt cheeks, while looking forward to it being over as soon as possible.

So, now it's all over except that the site on my backside feels bruised.

It's my granddaughter Gracie's 3rd birthday (yesterday, actually) and she's having a BIG party today, complete with a bouncy-house! Wish I could be there, but it's a few hundred miles away. Looking forward to seeing the photos posted though!

Happy birthday Gracie!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Another Transfusion

Back Yard 2521, originally uploaded by Buck Cash.

On Friday, 10-12-12, I went in for labs and to see the oncologist. The labs showed my blood counts were low again, so upstairs to the 3rd floor we went for another 2 units of blood transfusions. Like last time, we decided to do it in the Family Room, which is more comfy than the hospital rooms.

Candace went and got a large pizza with everything for us to have for dinner.

Earlier today, Monday the 15th, I went to see a dentist to get X-Rays, exam and a letter for Karmanos saying I'm all set to go for the bone marrow transplant.

Coming up on Thursday, I've got a PET Scan, then on Friday I'll do labs again, followed by a visit with the oncologist.

The fall colors burst like flames all around us, but now the bright oranges and reds have mostly turned to yellows and barren limbs again, and the air has chilled around us considerably.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

We have a WINNER!!!

Patsy_Birthday-1085, originally uploaded by Buck Cash.
Karmanos, the folks that will be doing my bone marrow transplant, called my sisters yesterday to pass on the news that our sister Trudy (seated in the photo) is a match and will be my donor!! It was very exciting news - so much that when she told me over the phone, I got all choked up and couldn't even speak for a minute or two!

This morning, I got out of the hospital after another round of R.I.C.E. Chemo that started on Monday morning.

I'm feeling well and making plans to get down to Karmanos in Detroit, probably in about 3 weeks, if our tentative schedule from them holds up. Trudy is scheduled to go in next week to start the process. They'll draw her blood and start processing it for the raw ingredients that will become my new bone marrow.