Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Update - Day 8

It's hard to believe that it's been eight days since Clyde's transplant, perhaps the only t-cell transplant in history chased by a bowl of chili. The reports I've gotten since, Clyde on Saturday, Bee on Monday and Rooch last night, are all resoundingly positive. Clyde has been to the clinic three times and each time has left with high marks.

On Wednesday, the day following the transplant, she was there for a dose of an immunosupression drug. She went again on Friday for a dose of Rituxin. Tuesday she was in for more immunosuppression and some potassium or magnesium or some letters off the Periodic Table. Apparently the immune suppressing drugs deplete some vital element tha can cause spasms in the muscles, in extreme cases to include the heart. Her levels were at the low end of normal but they supplemented just in case. Her blood counts have been low but where the medical team expects them to be. At this point, her white blood cell count is non-existent. Her hemoglobin is low, as are her platelettes but not to the point that she requires a transfusion.

Rooch told me last night that while tired, Clyde is feeling well. She reported that Clyde has gained some weight and is eating very well. It's a rare opportunity to able to brag about one's sister gaining weight and eating a lot. I guess that's one of the benefits of being this close to the procedure. Donate some t-cells, earn a license to discuss Clyde's eating habits. My guess is that this privilege will be revoked in the weeks to come.

I also understand that Clyde has been getting outside a bit for a walk around the block. For many of you that won't seem like a lot of exercise, but when you've been nearly two years in acute chemo, that's epic. She has always been an excellent athlete. We all remember her as an "All-City" basketball player in high school as well as the driveway H-O-R-S-E champion. My own obsession with fitness makes me glad to hear that she is using exercise as part of her recovery. Maybe now that she has some of my cells she'll take up triathalons.

As far as my own recovery goes, it's been fairly simple. As far as I can tell there have been only two side-effects.

Prior to the procedure I was completely consumed by the thought of what it would take place and what the consequences would be for Clyde. In that state, I managed to become completely unavailable emotionally from my wife Lindsay. I simply wasn't there to help her deal with the day-to-day demands of a family and small business let alone a marriage and friendship. Lindsay's birthday fell on the day that my blood was harvested and I made some serious mistakes around that. Side-effect one is needing to repair the damage caused by that. I'll start with this, Lindsay, I'm sorry.

The other side-effect is the let-down now that the process is done. For Clyde the process of the transplant is on-going and will last for months. For me it was about five days long and ended as we watched the transfusion disappear into Clyde's arm. "Ended" may be a strong word in this case as it lives on every time I see one of you that's been following this story and you ask how things are going. Please know that your interest is hugely appreciated. It reminds me of one of the more important events of my life.

For now, and hopefully forever, things are progressing beautifully. It sounds as though Clyde is getting stronger everyday. Today is day eight. Keep a good thought for day nine, ten, eleven...

Be well.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Rick, thank you for sharing your story.
    You, your sister and your family are in our positive thoughts, hope everything will continue well,

    Maria & Erik