Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Chemo School Day 1

Yesterday was day one in this "journey" as everyone but me calls it.  Really, getting chemo, stem cell transplant, sickness and all that shit is a journey?  I'd call that getting fucked.
Regardless, Lisa and I rolled into Seattle Cancer Care at 11AM, I checked in and got my packet to fill out about my health, prior surgery's, family history and all that other crap.  Then I checked into the blood draw and waited a bit with a bunch of living dead to get a gallon drained from my arm.  The nurse that drained me of blood informed me that she gave stem cells/bone marrow to a 4 year old 10 years ago.  She had to have the marrow taken from her hip bone too.  Pretty painful, super admirable and the kid is 14 now. 
12 viles of blood were taken.  Two for for my HLA typing, which is the 10 markers they need to match me up with the 18 year old German kid that's agree'd to give me his stem cells so I can live.  This is the final match up to make sure that our puzzles fit so he can go forward and donate his stem cells.  Other viles were my normal tests, HIV testing, amongst other things. 
From there we went up to the 6th floor and was welcomed to the "Yellow Team."  The Yellow Team is my new care givers for the next 100 days or so.  Dr. Beckers team hands me off to this transplant team and they now are the ones responsible for every aspect of my care until I get out of the danger zone 100 days post transplant.  It was sort of a meet and greet with who does what and what to do. 
Then I had a physical with one of my Yellow Team Doctors.  There was a good question and answer session that went down between Lisa, myself and him.  Things that I remember from this would be that 60% of transplants that go down from unrelated donors get graft vs. host disease.  Skin rashes, stomach cramps and vomiting are things I can look forward too if I fall in that 60%.  He was pretty non nonchalant about the whole procedure and kinda minimized our fears while talking to him.  Which could be a good thing, or bad.  Who knows. 
5 hours later we were gone, home for a Pagliacci pizza and a couple episodes of Netflix's Pablo Escobar resting up and getting ready for todays meetings which include signing all sorts of consents to be part of clinical trials as well as getting my EKG heart check up.
What a fun journey this is.