Saturday, March 19, 2016

Day one... 1st filgrastim shots

We officially started today.

I was supposed to drive up and check into the hotel Friday night, but instead I decided to drive up this morning so I could have dinner with the hubby one last time before spending 5 days apart.  This meant I was up at 5:30 this morning to drive to Stanford in time for my 10 am appointment. To say that I'm not a morning person is putting it mildly, so this morning was a little tough. :)

I made it to my appointment right on time. I've been here so many times that I know exactly where I'm going, where to park, etc; it's crazy how removing "the unknown" eliminates a huge amount of anxiety. I was definitely more relaxed than my 1st time around.

The appointment started by taking my vitals and weight. Weight is pretty important since that's how they determine how much filgrastim they need to inject you with. After that, they drew just one vial of blood to check my complete blood count which will be checked again right before I donate. I also had to answer a list of questions about where I'm feeling pain. These questions get asked every day to monitor changes in how you feel.

While we we checking vitals and drawing blood the filgrastim was coming to room temperature. Surprisingly important... If they don't let it warm up before injecting it's significantly more stingy. I was given 2 injections, both on the back of my left arm. We use a different spot every day. I have a tendency to bruise a little a the injection sites so I'll have a delightful collection of tiny bruises by the end of the week. Also important, the nurse needs to push it really slow this will also help minimize owies. Honestly I feel like the shots hurt less than last time. Well see if my opinion changes in a few days.

The first time they give you filgrastim, you have to sit around for 30 minutes afterwards to make sure you don't have an allergic reaction. It felt silly considering I've done this before, but Be The Match is super strict about it. Of course I had no issues and I was released back into the world until my next injection tomorrow morning.

I spent the rest of the day napping and watching terrible television. We don't have cable at home so this is surprisingly amusing to me. I started taking daily Claritin, which is something I did not do last time, but was recommended by the doctor to help with the bone pain. I'm also taking Tylenol on a regular 6 hour rotation. Keeping up on the meds helps keep the pain in check. My injection site was red and a little itchy for the first 4 hours but that subsided.

It's been 12 hours since the shots. I'm feeling mild overall achey-ness. But there is distinctly stronger in my sternum and my feet (that didn't happen last time). As I write this I'm also noticing the back of my pelvis as well. Experience tells me this means it's probably going to be more than achey in those spots tomorrow.

Going to bed now... Super tired, but I suspect that this has more to do with waking up early than the filgrastim.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Bringing a blog back to life...

Well hello there...

Long time no post...

I'm not so good at this blog thing, but I'm reinstating this bad boy for science! :)

I'm going to be donating peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC) to a patient in need of a bone marrow transplant for the 2nd time and since I've gotten so many questions about the process I've decided to document it this time around.

I'll be posting here as well as on Instagram @MsJoannaBananas

If you have specific questions, let me know and I'll answer them to the best of my ability.

- Joanna