Saturday, January 1, 2011

Day +19 (post-transplant)

Happy 2011 Everyone!

It was a nice start to the year with a day away from the hospital.

Not surprisingly Chris spent the majority of the day sleeping. He really wanted to stay up to watch the Leafs-Senators hockey game and the Winter Classic, but could not make it to the third period.

We mentioned yesterday that we wanted to reflect a little bit on the procedure. One of Chris' nurses asked him not long ago if this whole transplant was worth it. He responded very confidently, "Oh yah, definitely." If this procedure is able to stop Chris' MS progression, and possibly reverse some of his symptoms, it was worth the terrible month he has had.

However, we both admitted that this procedure was far worse that we had imagined. Chris joked early on this would be a "walk in the park." It was far from that. It really is the worst month either of us have ever experienced. While Chris had to go through it all, he doesn't remember much. I remember everything, but have no idea what it was like for him.

We skimmed over a lot of the really horrible parts of the procedure in this blog. The main reason for this being that we did not think it would be fair for our close friends and family members to read such painful accounts of Chris' life online. We didn't want anyone to panic or be scared for Chris. Also, since Chris was not exactly "with it" during this procedure, I did not think it was really fair for me to disclose information that he might not like being made public.

Chris was in a lot of pain due to the infection that he had early on. His doctors actually think he may have had it before the actual transplant while he was having chemotherapy. The pain was so bad that he was on a lot of pain killers, which included morphine. Chris ended up having a terrible reaction to the morphine that actually made him delusional and at some points a little violent. Even when he was taken off the morphine, he was so heavily drugged that he became completely reliant on his nurses and me to help him do anything. He couldn't even get himself out of bed and sometimes was not sure where he was.

It was a little bit ironic at the time. Chris became completely helpless and dependent on others. But the reason we were doing this procedure was to stop his MS and prevent this from happening.

However, not all of the delusions were upsetting. He was often entertaining and on more than a few occasions he had me and the nurses in hysterics with his different antics. I remember on one occasion looking up at him while I was lying on my cot and saw that he was eating something off his stomach. I was worried that he was eating something that had fallen on his bed, but he told me not to worry,  "I am just eating cheese." Sure enough he continued to eat imaginary cheese for a few minutes and then fell asleep. But when his cheese omelette arrived at lunch later on, he said he couldn't eat because he wasn't really craving cheese anymore.

For anyone that is considering this procedure, we just wanted to be clear that while we think it is worth it, it is extremely hard.
It is definitely not a "walk in the park", but it sure beats the alternative. If everything has worked according to Chris' doctors’ plan, Chris will just have to worry about getting better and not have to be concerned about getting worse.


  1. That last blog paragraph rings especilly true for me, as well. My procedure was also quite hard to endure. I guess I'd have to say that was the sickest I've ever felt in my life and I was sorry that my wife had to watch me go through it.

    But funny thing now at one year post-transplant for me and that I am progression-free of MS and continuously improving. . . . . emotionally I don't remember being that sick a year prior. I hope you & Chris will follow the same pattern. In the end it was well worth it. No equivocations.

    Happy New Year to both of you & the family!

  2. Welcome to the MS blogging community, Chris and Erin. Good luck on your journey.