18 days to Transplant

IMG_4304Hello family, friends and loved ones,

Good news, we had our FINAL transplant work-ups this week, both Tony and I. I met with the Psychologist, she is FANTASTIC. She said the social worker was worried I had control issues, hahahahaha, and she said “I think he is not used to Women who are strong like you and masters of their own ship.” πŸ™‚ I will take that as a compliment.

BEST NEWS: We are both cleared for donation and transplant. The next 2 weeks will really be preparing for transplant chemo for me (they have to wipe out my immune system completely in order to receive my new one, will be different from the leuk beating, but still chemo) and Tony preparing to donate all his healthy, happy and awesome cells! πŸ™‚

Currently the transplant is scheduled the 24th, but I could be receiving cells as early as the night of the 23rd, either way I am excited to be rebirthed as an “earthy” Taurus, but will be forever Aquarian in my independence and ability to be the “master of my own ship.” πŸ˜‰

For those who saw my instagram yesterday, I did my GVHD trial donation, this was one of the more difficult procedures I have had done. They were more or less stripping my blood for certain T-reg cells and then putting back what they did not need. I had to have a temporary line put in my neck, REAL FUN, and it took about 5 hours to donate all my cells. Good news the PA who put in my line was sharp as a tack and I felt no pain while putting in the line, just discomfort after due to the placement. I was able to sleep though, as this process really wipes you out. Tony is on deck for Monday. As I mentioned before, Graft versus Host is the most common complication with Allogenic Stem Cell transplants and we are part of a sibling match only study, to ensure I do not have ANY GVHD. They will be mixing our T-reg cells together before the transplant and infusing them sometime before or after transplant. The T-reg cells are what my body could potentially recognize as foreign and then I would have a GVHD reaction. Here’s to hoping and praying those in the future receiving Allo tranplants will have successful outcomes with this trial once it gets past Phase 1 at Moffitt.

I am really happy with my decision to come down to Moffitt, my PAs, NPs and Doctors are so fantastic. I miss my nurses, fellows and primary oncologist at UMD everyday but the support here as made it so much easier to be a bit isolated from my East coast life. Uncle Mike, as I refer to my transplant Doctor, is intelligent, quick-witted and funny, makes this process less daunting as well as his confidence in me as a patient to do great things post transplant! πŸ™‚

Will keep you updated as I approach admission date but continue to enjoy the sunshiny days in Southwest Florida. I am staying present and enjoying the moment, and allowing laughter to carry me into this procedure……Laughter is the cure-all.

Lots of Love, Gros Bisous et xoxo


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