Today was the last chemo treatment that I will ever have to have. I am so happy that once my hair grows back chemo will not be able to take it away from me again. I tolerated the pre-transplant regimen better than I expected to. When you hear you are getting high dose chemotherapy you get the idea that you will be in lots of discomfort. I only had a few days of nausea and my appetite is not what it once was, but that's the worse of it. Tomorrow will be easy day since all I get is fluids.
My white cells are on their way to zero. This chemo regimen will destroy my white cells and they will never recover without the transplant. My donor should be ready for her part tomorrow. She has received 5 days of a white cell booster so her body can overproduce stem cells so there are enough to collect. She will be hooked up to a machine that will take her blood and put it thru a machine that will separate the blood into layers. They will collect the stem cells in a bag and give the rest of her blood back. Once they collect enough stem cells a courier will bring them to Dallas to be given to me. We hope that there will be enough cells on the first day so that she will not have to donate twice. I will for sure get my transplant on Friday because once I start my chemo we are on a schedule that can't be changed.
My part of the transplant is painless. When you hear the word transplant you think they are going to have to cut me open. Stem cells are smart and they know where to go in the body. They are dripped thru my I.V. like a blood transfusion. Once in my body they will make red blood, white blood cells and platelets. In 10-14 days my donors cells will engraft and start to produce white cells. It will be a year or more before I have a normal immune system again. A year after the transplant I have to get all my immunizations again. This process is like being reborn. On Friday I will have a new birthday. My life will be forever changed because of the stem cells of a complete stranger. I am truly blessed.