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~ Day -8 ~ Today Is The day!

Posted Nov 05 2009 10:02pm
Today is the day. I am posting those words that were said to me by one of my transplant doctors today. That is the slogan that is used at Moffit and as he was talking to us and all excited that we were starting today, he said those words to us. Today is the day that I came back to Moffit. Today is the day that I begin my cord blood transplant. Today is the day that Moffit admitted their 1st patient for a cord blood transplant. Today is the day we don't talk about it anymore but we begin the process and do it.

I was told to expect a call after 10 am today or maybe later afternoon when a bed was ready for my admission. Well at 8 a.m. exactly my phone woke us all up and it was admissions saying they had a bed ready. I wanted to spend some time with the kids playing, etc. but that was not to happen. We had breakfast and hung around a bit and then we got ready to leave. Saying goodbye was hard, I knew it would be. And it is not goodbye, it is see you in a little while since they are here and will be visiting daily, but knowing I would be in hospital for 4-6 weeks and not home with them all the time, and just that we finally arrived at this point to start makes it so real. Steven and I made a quick stop at the health food store to pick up the kids gluten free foods and dropped them back off and we headed to the hospital.

To say that since we arrived has been a whirlwind would be true. My door has been revolving with people in and out all afternoon. The nurse and tech who take care of me, with all of my instructions and directions. The pharmacist who gave me way to much information about all the drugs, filled out my calendar and went over my schedule, etc. The infectious disease doctor. Dr. Fernandez my transplant doctor, and also Dr. Tomblyn who I had not met. She is the new doctor here and the reason why Moffit is now doing cord blood transplant, she did them at University of Minnesota and is starting the program here. I wanted to meet her and I had some questions which she was able to answer, plus it was nice to put a face to the name of the doctor getting my cells ready.

Things are quiet for a few minutes now. Steven has headed home to eat dinner with the kids and my Mom and spend some time with them. I am sitting and blogging waiting for dinner. Today is called day negative eight (-8). We start out negative and count towards positive, day 0 being transplant day. I will have three days of chemo, with Sunday being a day of rest, meaning no therapies. Monday through Thursday next week I will have TBI, or total body irridation (radiation) two times a day. Next Friday, November 13th will be my new birthday, that is transplant day.

Tonight is my first chemo at 9 p.m. I will be receiving Fludarbine. Tomorrow and Saturday I will receive Fludarbine and also Cytoxan. Cytoxan is hard on your kidneys, so starting tomorrow am I will be hooked up to continuous fluids and one other medicine Messa, I am not sure of the name to help flush out the chemo's till Sunday.

I found out today the ages of my cords as they call them. I am receiving cord blood from two babies, one was born in 2002 and one in 2009. One is O blood type and one AB, so after my transplant my blood will change over to one of theirs. No one knows which one will become dominant and win out, we shall see. Amazing that a 7 year old and a baby will be saving my life.

Everyone seems to be doing well with our new living situation. The kids are having a good time with Grandma, investigating their new environment, waiting to be able to go swimming. We are waiting till Christian is better till they go. Christian woke up with pink eye yesterday, so we had to take him to a walk in medical clinic for a check up, he got antibiotics and drops for his eye. Its never a dull moment in the
Russo household. As soon as he is better they can come and visit, hopefully that will be soon. Grandma is taking good care of them, hopefully we wont wear her out to soon. Steven has been working with his laptop and phone, keeping busy. Homeschooling starts on Monday. I am hoping to settle in here and be relaxed, it is a long stay and a long road ahead of me, I think and hope I am anticipating it to be worse than it will be, but it is so unknown I don't know what else to do. I have to learn to take it one day at a time and stop invisioning the whole picture, but that is harder said than done. Today was a hard day for me, at home and moving, getting us all settled took up all my time and thoughts, but getting here and sitting now,, the reality of what is happening starts to hit you, I just dont even know how this all happened and we got here. Thank you for all of the prayers, love and support of our family, it has been amazing to see how wonderful everyone has been with us, we are blessed. I hope to update every day on what is going on and how things are, I am positive there will be some days that I will not feel well enough for a long post, but right now I am only worried about today.
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