A Day in the Life of a Transplant Patient

Anxiety reached new limits today and then came crashing back to reality.  Day -10 of the transplant process.  Not even an official day on the calendar, but a day at Mayo none-the-less.  Today was a day of meetings and information.  We met several more members of the team, everyone was very nice.  I don’t think I could have chosen a better place to have this stem cell transplant than Mayo Rochester.

Found out that Day -9, the first official day on the calendar, is going to be a day of getting platelets.  They changed the protocol and I didn’t need some of the meds they were going to give me.  So, instead of meds on Tuesday, it’s just platelets.  Probably only one package (referred to as a 6 pack) of platelets should get me to at least 50.

50 is what I need for the surgeon to put in my port.  Any less and they won’t/can’t do it because it’s too dangerous.  I need the port because Wednesday at 4pm I get checked into the hospital to start the chemo.

5 days of the first chemo aren’t supposed to be too bad, the other 2 days of the other chemo are supposed to make up for the first 5 and be worse.

Then I get a day off.

Then it’s Transplant Day.


Really cool thing is, my blood type will change in 6 months to a year.  This is due to the fact that my donor is A+ and I am O+.  When all my bone marrow is gone, no more O+, and all that is left is the A+.  Teresa and I both geeked over this completely, I think to the puzzlement of Dr. Alkhateeb and the lady who I have forgotten the name of who was present.  Can’t wait to tell my brother, he will geek over it too.


About my anxiety…  Yeah, this morning was really bad.  Hugely bad.   I was at the worst I have ever been I think.  As the day went on and I spoke with these people, the anxiety lessened and lessened.  Now, I won’t say it’s gone, but I will say it’s a LOT better.


Teresa and I have held a Pokegym in Portage for several days.  Really weird as we aren’t there to heal our Pokémon.  It’s all good.  Just weird considering that specific gym had changed hands like 6 times while we were in the area.

Speaking of Pokémon, I know I mentioned this before, but Mayo and the surrounding area is like a Mecca of Pokestops and Pokegyms.  And the sheer number of Pokémon there are to be caught is amazing.  I literally almost ran out of Pokeballs cuz I was catching everything.


The air conditioner is broke here at the Transplant House.  It was 84 here today, kinda making it unbearable inside of the Transplant House for most of the day.  Tomorrow, at least, is supposed to be cooler (even if it has to rain).  The broken air conditioner is supposed to be fixed on the 11th, which is not a huge deal for me since I will be spending the 9th 10th and 11th in the hospital.  So I only have to deal with the broken air conditioner for 2 more days.


Oh, Teresa has gotten around the No TV rule at the Transplant House.  Her Mac basically can play any TV show that isn’t on CBS.  So, we are sweating in front of fans, watching TV on the Mac and being anti-social.


Just cut my fingernails for the last time in the next few months.   Yeah, there is no finger or toenail cutting allowed while under the effects of chemo/recovery.  So, I chopped my nails real short.


Oh yeah, we found out from Dr. Alkhateeb about the potential after transplant chemo.  It’s supposed to be mamby-pamby and able to be done at home, done by Dr. Wehbe.  So cool deal there.  I feel like I dodged a major bullet for some reason.


Dr. Alkhateeb is very much on board on no more than 100 days here.  He even said that if my numbers are good and I am up and doing well, I could go home in as little as 70 days.  WOOT.


Just got the last of my lab results.  Platelets are still 20.  Hemoglobin is 9.6, which Dr Alkhateeb brought up today and I was gonna bring up today.  Hemoglobin has been on a steady downward trend over the last several months.  So, while neither number is surprising, both numbers SUCK.  So platelets tomorrow and a transplant in 10 days.


Good night folks.


Author: Jeff Campbell

I am 49 year old guy, who beat blood cancer but is getting his butt kicked by bone marrow cancer. At this point it appears I am dying. Married and in love with the most wonderful woman in the world (27 years). She has stood by me thru a lot of crap and I love her so.

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