I have been in preparation for the Stem Cell Transplant that is scheduled for June 2. It seems like the time has flown by in some ways and in other ways it really has drug, and seemed more like 6 months instead of 6 weeks.
Right after my last posting I have done a lot of resting. I was really worn out after finishing out tax season and I did nothing but rest for over two weeks. Then we had to make connections with a primary care doctor because my blood pressure was a little too high.
Then my wonderful friend, Katherine Garrison (Cat) offered to make me some pajama/lounging suits for me to wear in the hospital. We spent a couple of days with her in Broken Arrow and had dinner with my brother, Gary Majors and his wife Colleen. But did not get to visit with other friends in the Tulsa area because I was just too worn out.
I had to have another CT scan on my lungs to make sure that the shadow they had seen on the last one was really not a cancer but just possibly scar tissue from the radiation I had received for my lung cancer back in October. This current CT shows that shadow was smaller so that gave us the go ahead to do the transplant.
We attended the High School Sports Banquet with out granddaughter, Cassidy. Her mother was in the hospital and could not attend but Cassidy walked away with 5 awards this year.
I was then put in touch with my transplant coordinator, Patti. She is the only person I have to call if I have questions, problems or any concerns. That makes it really nice. She gets back to me very quickly if she is not available when I call.
I had a port put in a week ago that will be used for stem cell collection and to give me my chemo when I go into the hospital. In case you don't know what this is: They inserted two tubes into my body, one into the ceratoid artery and one into a large vein near my heart. They then both come out at one place in my chest and stick out about 3 inches. This way they are easy to access for medical procedures and I don't have to be stuck any more for blood draws (which will be every day while I am in the hospital).
Then we had High School graduation for our granddaughter, Cassidy. Right after graduation she signed a letter to play basketball for St. Gregory University. I am so proud of her.
Memorial Day - we had a family get together with all our kids and grandkids and great-grandkids except one son and his family who could not come. But there were 26 of us anyway. They played games like volleyball, washers and basketball with different families challenging the others. It was never apparent who won because others would switch sides or come into the game at different times. But we all had a good time (and I got to watch all the activity but sure didn't get invited to play!!! LOL) Then we ate hamburgers and hotdogs and all the fixings.
Then we had a hair cutting party. I invited anyone who wanted to help cut my hair off. I wanted to have it cut before I go in for chemo so that I don't have to watch it fall out. I don't think it would bother me but it might. This is one part of my body that I will still have some control over.
This is the girls that were there along with a couple of the guys before the haircutting party.
We also had a graduation party. My great nephew, Bryant Butler, Jr from Fort Worth was there with his family and he graduates high school June 8 and my granddaughter, Cassidy Clark from Little Axe was there (we were at her house) and she graduated last Friday.
Then the hair cutting started. First was Trentyn (my 5 year old great grandson) and then Karman (my 1 year old great granddaughter). Oh, yes and Ashlyn (my 3 year old great granddaughter).
After they were finished my granddaughter, Cassidy, too over. She decided I needed a skunk streak so she took it down to the scalp, almost. After the kids got finished then my daughter, Tammy Horn, took over and finished the job, straightening out all the uneven spots, etc.
The funniest part of the day was when the great grandchildren got into the pen with our dog. We had brought him so he could run around but had to put him in our son's dog pens to keep him from under everyone's feet while they were trying to play. So the kids went in with him. The girls were passing dirt through the fence to put from one pail to the other. PRECIOUS AND PRICELESS.
I do have a little fluid built up on my lungs and the doctor put me on antibiotic yesterday but she said it will not delay the transplant.
As I am writing this I am sitting in a large recliner in the Stem Cell Collection department of the Oklahoma Blood Institute. This is the 4th and last day. They want 500 million cells. The first day they got 1.6 million, Wednesday was 1.5 million and yesterday was 1.2. So today I only have to get at least .75 million. That's a piece of cake! The actual stem cell collection is nothing. I just sit around for 4 hours with out getting up. That's the biggest problem. I can't get up and go to the bathroom in that 4 hours.
They draw out the blood, run it through a machine that collects the stem cells, and then put it back into my body with the second tube. And the best part is they warm it before it comes back. It gets cold when they process it. It is much like dialysis.
But they are very good to me here. They provide me with anything to make me comfortable and they are all very pleasant. When I am finished with this collection I don't have any other treatments or anything else until Monday.
Oh, did I tell you, Monday, June 2 I am to be admitted to the OU Hospital in Oklahoma City for my stem cell transplant. They tell me I will be admitted at 8:30 and will receive a full day of chemo Monday and Tuesday. Then I get a day a rest (always thought that was on Sundays but this time it is Wednesday). Then on Thursday I GET MY STEM CELL TRANSPLANT!!!!!!
You are probably like me and don't know much about stem cell transplant. All it will be is like a transfusion except they will use the stem cells that they have been collecting from me this week. They will give me back 1/2 of what they collect. They will freeze the rest. That's it. No big hurrah, no cutting, no going to sleep unless I just want to.
I can had visitors as long as they are not in diapers or are sick. My doctor told me if I didn't want visitors to just say I couldn't have any. But I will be glad to see anyone as long as I feel strong enough. There may be days that I am not up visitors for too long at a time but I will always be glad to see anyone.
My next blog will be from the hospital.
Through it all, God is with me. I have no fear or worries because I know that he will take care of me and anything that I would otherwise be worried about.
Love to all,