Yesterday dad brought me to Northwestern for an outpatient procedure for my PICC line to be placed.  It’s in my upper arm and looks a little gross with the blood in the dressing.  The procedure itself wasn’t bad  at all.  My arm was a little sore yesterday but today it’s better today.  The nurse said she will be changing the bandage.  The PICC line has 3 lumens used for IV hydration, medications (steroids, antibiotics and chemo), blood draws, stem cell infusion and blood infusions if my platelets are low which I understand from the nurse is common with women.


I’ve had the pre-medications and completed day 1 of chemo with another 3 to go.  I also got a catheter which is fine with me because the lasix had me going to the bathroom so often during mobilization.

I had a nice visit with 2 HSCT vets and the spouse of one of them who were in town for their 4 year and 2 year checkups!  One of them was paralyzed from the ears down and she can walk and jump now!  Both of them are doing great. It’s so good to see that!

This evening I’m starting to get bone pain in my forearms which they say is not a normal side effect so we’ll see how bad it gets and I’ll take tylenol if it gets worse.  And my lips are also numb….more than usual….which I thought was maybe from this mouthwash stuff you have to gargle with 5 times a day to prevent mouth sores but they said no and again this is an unusual side effect.  Leave it to me to be unusual!

This is what I’m in for the rest of my stay.  I’ll update my blog every few days.

Stem Cell Transplant Admission (from HOPE Handbook)

Conditioning Regimen  Admission through Day -1
 Period when chemotherapy and immunosuppressive drugs are given
 Length of conditioning regimen 5-8 days depending on disease protocol
 The days leading up to the stem cell infusion are negative days and the days after the transplant are positive days

Stem Cell Infusion Day 0
 Stem cells are thawed and infused through the PICC line in hospital room
 Takes approximately 30 minutes
Post- Stem Cell Infusion
Day +1 to engraftment
 White blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets will decrease
 Blood transfusions may be required
 IV antibiotics given
 Daily lab draws

Engraftment Day +8 to Day +12 
 Engraftment occurs when cells begin renewing
 Absolute neutrophil count/ white blood cell count > 1