Transplant Day - Day 0
Updated: Oct 31
So, the day came and went. Literally. There really isn’t much to report other than it was uneventful. So, this is really an exercise in getting to 600 words or so.
My D 0. My re-Birthday. The day of my Stem Cell Transplant.
I have seen, with warranted enthusiasm, in my mind anyway, a penchant for calling the day of Stem Cell transplant one’s rebirthday, the day one is rescued from an immune system that has been completely fucked by Chemo, and the Immune System that doesn’t do what it says on the tin, an immune system that couldn’t fight its way out of a wet paper bag; in fact, zero immune system. It has to be said, though, that I’ve found a couple of instances of care staff who don’t buy into that and almost sneered at me, suggesting that the balloon and banner and card that Kerry brought me was claptrap. Well, I say to those people, GAGF. I think we deserve a wee bit of celebration. I see this event as the pinnacle, the apex if you like, of my particular treatment path.
The time for the re-introduced stem-cells to engraft is variable, but the time between finishing BEAM and engraftment is the time when one is most vulnerable. I don’t think it’s as simple as one (old) switching off and one (new) switching on. I think there has to be a handover process, but I do know that the old does get completely depleted at some point; hence the hospital stays in a quasi-safe environment.
I woke up and had my Weetabix, yoghurt, and a cup of tea. I then went for my Coffee (6/ 10 btw). A slow morning all in all. At 13:00 or so, the pre-meds were started. I really can’t recall what. One assumes anti-spew primarily; there was Dexamethasone, but also, interestingly, Phenergan. Kerry arrived and brought me said goodies. A lovely thought.
At 14:00 or so, Lucee (the Nurse Co-ordinator for BMT) came with my stem Cells. By this time, I was very, very chilled from the Phenergan. We took some photos, and the Cells were connected to my line, and 3 x bags were re-introduced one by one over the course of an hour or so.
I munched on Werthers and an Apple to avoid the much-talked-about taste/ smell. Kerry boaked a couple of times and anyone who passed remarked about the smell, to which I was otherwise complete oblivious. Shortly after the infusion was finished, I drifted in and out of a semi-drowsy state for a few hours; at some point, Kerry left; I think the smell was off-putting.
It brings me to Phenergan. Oh, my fucking God!!!!! When I moved to Australia and was starting a family, Phenergan was always discussed as a ‘helper’ for Toddlers when traversing the arduous trip back to the UK, and we did end up using it with mixed but mostly good success. Never, of course, like the fantastic parents, we were, testing on ourselves. I mean, why would you when you have Temazepam, Xanax, or Valium to help with extended haul flying? I have many, many sleep aid tales about what works and what doesn’t; I am the only person that medical science appears to know that has 2 x Temazepam and can stay awake!! But, LET ME TELL YOU THIS…...the Phenergan was amazing. I drifted off and on for hours right until about 9:00 pm. I could’ve slept solidly but didn’t want to end up awake at the wee small hours, so I fought it. I asked for more at 9:00 pm and was DENIED 😡😡😡, bugger, fuck and shit!!
I had to settle for Melatonin. I still had a broken sleep, punctuated by loo visits, but I got back to sleep between wee-breaks. And I felt fresh this morning, too, v.little hangover. I’ll be buying some Phenergan OTC upon release, that's for sure. Every day’s a school day, and today I learned, among a few things, why Phenergan has the reputation it does.
It does strike me that there was some ‘browsing’ of things on the internet. I’ve not checked CC statements as yet, so who knows what might turn up in the coming days. Perhaps some things, perhaps nothing. Maybe even something for Kerry…. who knows the mysteries of the Phenergan state?!?!?
So, the day passed. It was uneventful. Other than that fact, Kerry and I injected some emotion into it. It was a great day and one that I am eternally grateful for. I think there are perhaps some bad days just around the corner when the side effects catch up, but I’ll just deal with them one day at a time.
Oh, when I woke, I was reminded by a FB connection about a song, a song I really like, and it all fits in so well. My re-Birthday is 21st September; here’s the song……chasing the clouds away with September…love the 80's video work...have a wee boogie for me.