Day 1: The morning after

Transplanted and now, waiting

Yesterday I received fresh stem cells from the donor. It was always described to us as anticlimactic, since it just comes like any other blood transfusion. Everyone keeps thinking its some sort of operation, where they put something into my spine but it was really just an infusion over a few hours.

The bag of red fluids is my new bone marrow

It seems so simple, but my mom kept pointing out it was anything but simple. There was so much that came before, and to come next, that makes this whole process pretty complex.

I’m so relieved and happy that the chemo and the transplant is over. Everything has gone well so far, despite feeling anxious, nauseous, and in slight achy pain everywhere. I know its only going to get worse, and that feeds more into my anxiety.

For the next 21 or so days, I’m on immunosuppressants so that my new immune system has the time it needs to get used to by body and doesn’t attack its new host. Soon my white blood cell counts will drop to 0. According to my team, things get terrible in the next week and I might not be able to eat or move for a while while the new cells get situated. I’m so nervous but keep reminding myself to think about the months after.

For now, I’m exhausted. I’m on so many meds and haven’t slept much. I’ve got one hell of a Benadryl hangover and my breakfast is coming soon. As Ibu says, “now we play the waiting game, the worst game ever with the best outcome”.

~ Kauser