T-47

T-47I woke up at 1:30 AM this morning, thinking, and couldn’t go back to sleep. Like most sleepless thoughts, these weren’t terribly productive. I was thinking about this T- count thing I have going on.

Yup. Not terribly productive. You do realize, don’t you, that I have no definitive way of knowing exactly WHEN I will receive the transplant? I chose July 11th simply because it is the day after my scheduled admission to MD Anderson’s stem cell transplant unit. I know certain things will have to happen before the actual infusion of my donor’s stem cells.

I know that my white blood count will have to be zero. In order to achieve that, I will be dosed with massive amounts of chemotherapy drugs – more than I have ever received before. I don’t know how long that will take. I do know that blood draws will be frequent (I think every two hours) before, during, and after the transplant takes place for days on end. Hospitals are a terrible place to sleep.

So, like any NASA space shot, I have built in an automatic hold. At T-1, this hold will begin. On the day I receive the stem cells, it will resume with T-0 being transfusion day. The next day, I will begin a new count: RB+1. Why RB? As with many transplant recipients, the day of the transplant becomes “Re-Birth day.” Beginning then, we will be looking at the CBC results searching for evidence of any white blood cells at all. Once they are found, we will know that the new cells have begun to take hold and replicate themselves.

Once my bone marrow resumes cell production, the next major hurdle is reaching the number 2.0. That is the number of the neutrophil cells that will allow me to return to our Houston home, which we don’t have yet and is a matter for prayer.

I suspect that this explanation is seriously over simplified, but you get the idea.

The day that all SCT, stem cell transplant, recipients celebrate is RB+100. That is the target day that allows us to return to our Arkansas home, at least if everything is going according to plan. 265 days later, we will celebrate RB+1 year.

I have noticed that most people take pictures on T-0, RB+100, RB+1 year, and each successive year after that. Expect to see those photos either here on Harley’s Health and/or on my Facebook page, Harley’s Super Heroes, along with any other major achievements along the way.

Well, now that I have written these thoughts, I can go to sleep. I wish. Unfortunately, it is mid-morning, and I must stay awake and get something done towards the other T- count, T-32 until we leave our Arkansas home and arrive at our Texas home.

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