So….since I’ve had my first dose of chemo last week and my immune system is suppressed this week has been all about building new stem cells.

Sunday morning at 7am Robert started giving me the neupogen injections so that my body can start making my own stem cells!  I’ll be getting them through Friday morning.  Since Robert leaves very early Thursday morning and I’ll have to do them myself Thursday and Friday I had to learn how to do them.  He asked me this morning if I wanted to try and I said “let’s do this.”  I did the injections myself and it was easier than I thought it would be.  The syringes are pre-filled and refrigerated.  They need to come out of the fridge 30 minutes before you stick yourself so that they get to room temperature.  The nice thing is you don’t have to tap out the air bubbles or anything too clinicalish.  You rotate sites on your stomach in quadrants.   The syringe has a thin needle so it doesn’t hurt when you put it in your skin and then when you push the plunger on the syringe after the medication has all dispensed this automatic closer thing comes down over the needle.  The side effect of the neupogen is bone pain which is supposed to be quite severe so they prescribe Norco.  I’m trying to avoid it by taking 2 Tylenol before injections and that has worked for me today and yesterday.  Today is when the bone pain is supposed to begin and I started to feel a little pain in my back and arm so popped 2 Tylenol and I’m okay now.  They also have me on anti-biotic, anti-fungal and anti-nausea meds to prevent any issues.

Dad will come on Thursday and spend the night and Friday early in the morning we will go to Northwestern where I will get the Vascath placed in my neck and we will then sit for several hours while my stem cells are collected.  Then they will send us to eat dinner while they get an estimate of how many cells I’ve collected.  The goal is more than 2 million.  If I have met it then we will go home.  If not, I’ll be admitted but my nurse Michelle says with MS patients it’s rarely a problem.

I’ll post more about that process called apheresis afterward.  🙂

Much love and thanks to my friends and family….especially Robert and Michael for coming out to take care of me to get this process started.