Friday, July 17, 2009

UCSF Continued: The plan - long version

Here’s what needs to happen;
1. Re- take the tests we’ve already taken (in Fresno) and send new results to Dr. Wolf.
2. Return to San Francisco to sign consent forms and meet with a social worker who wants to know that when I am finally discharged after transplant, I will have around the clock care. (This is where my friends come in!).
3. In Fresno I get daily shots to encourage the production of the stem cells and forcing them out into the blood.
4. Back to San Francisco where I will undergo the collection of stem cells as an outpatient. (We’ll stay in a hotel.) A large IV catheter will be placed in one of the large veins in my neck. The collection of blood is taken and separated to collect stem cells. Remaining blood is returned to my body. Each collection takes approximately 4 hours (lying very still, no eating, using a bed pan – tv available) This could take 1-5 days depending on how productive I am. When I have enough, the catheter is removed and the stem cells are frozen for later use (2 treatments).
5. I get a rest in Fresno, where I may need more blood tests.
6. Back to San Francisco for the Transplant! I get a new, super, powerful chemotherapy drug called melphalan -1 time injection. Then after two days, when the drug is out of my system I will be given my stem cells by transfusion. Seven to ten days after my stem cells are given to me, my blood counts will go low from the chemotherapy. This is the most dangerous period of the transplant. I will need antibiotics to prevent infections.
7. I will return to Fresno for recuperation (round the clock care at home) I may need transfusion of red blood cells. I have to return to UCSF at least once in the first week at home. For a month I have to avoid groups of people and avoid people with illnesses. I will have blood tests monthly. After 3 months I will have a repeat bone marrow aspiration and biopsy procedure. Another bone marrow biopsy is done at 1 year post-transplant.
8. The doctor believes that I will return to teaching at the semester break, Jannuary 22, 2010.
9. Whew! That’s a lot of work!


The Luedtke Family said...

This will be an amazing amount of work!!! But from what I read, you seem to have the strength to endure it and have loved ones to help you when you think you can't. This brings back tons of memories. I pray for you, very very hard!!!

La Cootina said...

Fellow MM patient here (diagnosed 12/07). I underwent a Stem Cell Transplant in September of 2008. Just wanted to wish you much good luck and a speedy recovery. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. -- Nancy

(LaCootina at gmail dot com)