Last week I had my extra chemo as part of the transplant. It was a more intense, higher dose of one of the drugs I used to receive in previous chemo sessions. I felt a bit funny for the first time whilst having chemo. It did take four attempts to get the canular in, a new personal record, and I just didn't feel right. I came home from chemo with a big bag of injections to have every day and feeling a bit sick.
The next day I woke up feeling pretty horrendous and for the first time, having already been through six rounds of chemo, I threw up. I went back to bed for a couple of hours and threw up again. Everywhere. My dad phoned the chemo ward to let them know and they suggested some stronger anti-sickness medication, which he went to pick up. After taking them, I felt much better and didn't throw up again. I didn't mind the whole vomming situation, as I think I've been very lucky not to have even felt sick or thrown up from my previous chemos so I wasn't too gutted.
Every day after chemo and before the stem cell harvest I had to have GCSF injections, which are meant to promote stem cell growth. I had two of these injections every day in my stomach and now have some nice bruises to show off. I even let my friend do one of the injections (she is a trainee nurse and the doctor was there watching!) In the stomach they aren't as painful as they would have been in other places. Before the harvest I also had to pee for 24 hours into a bottle, which was to check my kidneys were ok. (They are :)) I also had to go for one final blood test which they did on the chemo ward. One nurse tried and gave up after one attempt cos she was so scary I flinched. One of the regular chemo nurses took over and got it in on her second attempt, so only 3 goes... not as bad as last week... Damn my rubbish veins!
I had my harvest session today. It involved more needles, tubing and being hooked up on to a very large machine for four hours. One regular canular got inserted into my right hand, no problem getting it in, and one massive metal needle which doesn't bend was inserted into my other arm on the inside of my elbow. This arm could thus not be moved for the enitre process. They did tell me that once I was hooked up to the machine, they weren't unhooking it until the end, so if I needed to pee, it would have to be into a bottle... not so easy when you can only move one hand... I will spare you the rest of the details... The whole process of filtering the blood and removing the stem cells lasted about four hours. They collected 2.5million stem cells, which disappointingly only looked like a small sandwich bag not even half full.. Never mind! I am to see the consultant again next week, who will then decide when I will be admitted to hospital! Still more fun to come!
PS sorry for all the talk of vomit and wee...