Monday and Tuesday of this week Steven and I traveled to Tampa once again for me to complete my pre-transplant or vital organ testing. We were up at 5 a.m. for our early am flight and were in Tampa and at Moffit by 9:15 a.m.
My first task was to give blood, and not just a little - 14 vials of blood. They had a very hard time finding a vain to take it from, mine are all scared over from all the chemo, they had to call in the big gun there who has a vein finder, a tool to help him find a vain that might work. They tried twice and finally got one, but it did not want to work so well, so after lots of fishing, poking and prodding and 3 vials clotting, they eventually got it all and I was done with that - 17 vials later! I then went to meet with the psychologist and also had memory tests. This testing is to set a baseline for where I am at mentally, physically, etc. with all of my organs. Good news is my memory is excellent. After that I checked in to have a bone marrow biopsy, another iv shoved in and then I was put fast asleep for the biopsy. After I woke up, I had an EKG in the recovery room. I had to fast to the biopsy and I woke up around 3 p.m. from that thinking I could eat something, but was told that I had a CT scan at 5 pm and I had to be fasting, so no eating for me. I had a chest xray next, the easiest thing of the day. From there I went to nuclear medicine to have a muga heart scan. I had kept my iv in since we knew I would need one for these tests, but for this test they draw some blood from your iv, then they inject the blood with a small amount of radiation and then we wait 20 minutes. After 20, they inject that blood with radiation back into me through iv and then I lay still why the machine takes photos of my heart. After that was over I was on my way to get a CT of my thorax and sinuses. Finally about 5:30, we were done for the day. We headed to our hotel, exhausted and starving and found that the power was out. We got into our room to drop off our stuff and headed back out to get dinner, and we also toured the apartment complex where we will be renting an apartment, the outside common areas at least, it is really nice and they have a big pool and outside area, with a fire pit, and also in the club house a fitness area and pool table, there is a big lake to walk or run around, it looks like it will be a great place to spend some time outside with the kids while we are there. We headed back to the hotel and the power was on, and I think I was out for the night as soon as my head hit the pillow.
Up early the next day, I had an 8 am pulmonary function test, that was a challenge believe it or not. I thought I was in the clear for getting poked with needles that day, but it was not to be. The pulmonary test even needed blood, and not from just a vein, from my artery, in my wrist, to check my oxygen. Ouch, that hurts in that spot, your arteries are down deep. I survived and then completed the breathing parts, then we headed to Bone Marrow clinic for an appointment with physicians assistant, who determined that my liver enzymes are high and have been rising over last few months, they need to know why before transplant, so you guessed it, over to lab for yet another stick. This time the girl got it on first shot and I was relieved, can you tell I have alot of anxiety over being stuck all the time with needles??? We briefly meet with a social worker, every patient is assigned on at Moffit, and then we headed for a quick lunch. After lunch we headed to our final task, a bone marrow transplant class, which lasted for 2.5 hours with three other patients and their spouses. Finally we were done and heading back to the airport. There was a bad accident and we were stuck in traffic, and just made our flight, but we did make it and were home that night to sleep in our own bed and put the kids to bed. Man, what a long two days that was.
I am supposed to head back on the 19th to get the results of all the tests. I hope all is well and we are still on track for Nov 1st start date. The one glitch we have now is that policy states that they will not give you keys to the apartment to rent until you are released from hospital, which does not work for us since we need that apartment before I check in so the kids, Steven and my mom have a place to stay. They are working on seeing about making that happen, but I will not know until a few days before we leave, talk about making it hard on you. If we can not get in there are other apartments owned by private companies we have to rent for the time I am in the hospital, they could be double the cost, or we can rent a hotel room. I am crossing all I can and praying that the apartment comes through and we don't have to move more than one time.
Things are busy around here, we are starting to think about going and what we need to bring, do before we go, homeschooling the kids and more, it is a lot to think about, but we are trying to take it one day at a time, easier said than done most days.