I just finished day two of bone marrow stimulation, to produce more stem cells, with filgrastim injections. The first 30 hours went very smoothly, however, the past 5 hours has been a little rough with bone pain and chills. But, it seems to be getting better. I have one more day of this, then testing to see if I have enough stem cells and if so, they will be harvested on Monday or Tuesday.
Some Good, Potentially Great News!
I was scheduled to have a second pair of catheters place in my chest on Friday morning. I was in the pre-op area when the decision was made that my one pair of catheters can be used for both dialysis and stem cell collection-infusion. This is not a done deal as there is still some discussion among the team members if this is the right thing to do.
Speaking of dialysis, I had dialysis at the U of Washington Medical Center this morning. While doing dialysis, I met with two nephrologists (kidney doctors). They too had a discussion and after reviewing my labs and history, and came up with a consensus to end my dialysis. Now, I was fooled once before and I say this with guarded optimism. My kidneys still function like someone has beat the shit out of them with a baseball bat. It is also a possibility that the treatments over the next two weeks will damage them beyond repair. Yet, if I don’t do the treatments they will be for sure damaged more by cancer cells.
However, the nephrologists were in agreement that my kidneys have improved enough to end dialysis . . . for now. You know how much I’ve longed for this day. I said I would dance in the streets when and if this day came. The only reason that I’m not dancing is because, 1) I’m not allowed to leave the floor, 2) I feel very crappy tonight, AND 3) there is no guarantee that I will not have to go back on dialysis in a couple of weeks. But if my renal labs remain stable, this means that these tubes in my chest may come out in 2-3 weeks.
It is hard to overstate what ending dialysis would mean for me. It would mean that my risk for death from the cancer would go down significantly. It would mean that some day I can travel again (not in the coming 6 months because I will be immunocompromised from the stem cell transplant). It may mean that some day these awful twitches and jerks might get better (one nephrologist felt that the dialysis could be aggravating these symptoms).
I’m not going to post every few days from the hospital like this, but this potential good news was too good not to share. Please pray that 1) today was indeed my last day of dialysis, forever, 2) my twitching would end, 3) We can harvest enough stem cells, and 4) I can tolerate the process that is coming. Thanks for your prayers, Mike