Sunday, December 19, 2010

Day +6 (post-transplant)

I have determined that this blog now serves another purpose. In addition to keeping family members and friends informed and providing help to other people with MS who are considering this procedure, it will also be a lot of help at letting Chris know exactly what happened during this process. After the last few days I have decided that Chris will remember very little of this part of the procedure (probably a good thing) due to high fevers, high amounts of pain medication and just a lot of drugs overall.

Last night was definitely the roughest night ( you may sense this from my last post). We learned that Chris does not do well with morphine. While it did wonders for his pain, with all of the morphine building up throughout the night, he was really freaking out at night. They took him off the pain killer and gave him a drug to calm him down. He ended up having a bad reaction to this drug and in addition to the morphine, he became extremely anxious and disoriented When I came back from getting dinner he was extremely angry and convinced that his IV pump was broken (at this point he wasn't even hooked up to it). They gave him a bunch of sedatives and asked me to leave the room while they calmed him down. By 4:00 am I was able to come back in his room and he was a lot better.

They continued to give him anti-anxiety medication throughout the day until the morphine is out  his system. They have switched him to Fentanyl, which is short lasting. The benefit of this drug is that it will not stay in his system long and therefore he is less likely to get the negative side effects from it.

Today was a much quieter day. Chris got to have a shower, which really made him feel a lot better. It probably didn't hurt that he had me and two other nurses helping him out since he was pretty drugged up.

His counts stayed relatively the same:
WBC: 0.1
Hemoglobin: 87
Platelets: 18 (this meant that he did not need to have a platelet infusion today)
Neutrophils: 0.0

I am really hoping for a bone marrow transplant miracle and that all of sudden Chris is going to wake up with a higher WBC and Neutrophil count. Usually the earliest this can happen is Day +10, but since he was so good at growing stem cells with the neupogen last time (see stem cell collection portion of the blog), I just want the same to hold true this time around. We could use some good news and Chris seems to do everything differently.

Coming into this we were told all about the bad side effects of the chemo. Chris really hasn't had any of them, but has invented his own set of symptoms. We were warned about loss of appetite, nausea, extreme fatigue, diarrhea and mucocitis (sores all over your mouth and throat).Other than the infection and fever,   Chris has really not been affected by any of the regular symptoms (knock on wood!!), but he has bad pain, anxiety and has trouble sleeping. He really likes to do things his own way, so I just keep hoping that this own way involves an impressive recovery that brings him back to his regular self in time for Christmas. The hardest part for me during this part of the procedure is not being able to talk to" non-drugged-out Chris". I really miss him.

Finally, I would just like to thank our amazing friends that shovelled our driveway today. It was amazing to come home tonight to have one thing taken off my plate. I told Chris and he thought it was pretty cool too.

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