Tuesday, June 25, 2013

New Life

On June 7th I was admitted again at UCSF hospital to start the transplant process. The first night they told me my port was not sufficient and that I would need a PICC line. They placed the line in my right arm. It was a little unsettling because I could actually feel the tube being fed in my vein which led to the center of my chest, near my heart. 
I started the CBV chemo regimen right away. This therapy was extremely difficult. I now know why the Dr. was calling it "the Bomb"! It literally wiped me out like I was hit with one. At a few different points while getting chemo, I felt like I was crawling out of my own skin. My head felt like exploding! I got sick almost every day. It was awful. For the first time they had to give me drugs through IV to stop the pain and help me sleep a little. My counts dropped to less than zero. I was then ready to receive the transplant. 
Having my new fresh cells being placed back into my body was a very odd experience. They warned me of the "tomato soup" smell, that ended up taking over the air in my room for a few days. The process tickled my throught and I coughed a lot while each tiny bag was defrosted and placed into my PICC line. Six tiny bags, hopefully cured me that day. I now have two birthdays! My Re-Birthday is June 14th 2013. A day I will never forget. 

Picc line placed
My room
Last day of Rough chemo!!
Frozen stem cells
Defrosted cells going in
My sister and I celebrating 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Pinch me, I must be dreaming! Remission?!!

Two weeks after being home from my first three week stint in the hospital, the Dr.s wanted to give me a PET scan to evaluate my status thus far. Throughout my cancer journey every time I got a scan I was so incredibly nervous. I always had a negative feeling lingering in my head, that I wouldn't get the greatest news. I guess it's because I was just so used to being disappointed, and I never received good news. This time I felt powerful! I had no doubt that the scan would come back great. I knew I put in so much hard work, emotionally and physically, and so much time, that this had to be IT!! 
The scan began and I felt at peace. I said my mantra, that I was cancer free, and this time I whole heartedly knew it was true! 
A few hours after the scan I met with the Dr. 
Nonchalantly he said, " So.... your scan came back good..."
"Good? What does that mean!?!" I said. 
"Oh... Complete remission."
WHAT?! I thought, did I just hear that right? I immediately broke down in tears. I asked "are you sure?!" He showed me proof on the computer, I searched for my name first on the report. I had to make sure it was truly me they were talking about!! It was me. I couldn't believe it! REMISSION!! I had been dying to hear that word for almost two years! The feeling was overwhelming! I have been on cloud nine knowing that this treatment is working. 
I am very nervous about going back to the hospital this Friday, June 7th, for another three weeks. The treatment is going to be more intense and when I get home I need to have somebody take care of me for 24hrs and for a month! It's going to be extremely difficult, but I'm going to do it! I can finally say that I am WINNING! It feels unbelievable!!
The day I found out the amazing news! Soo happy!!
Reflecting, at my favorite place