Today officially started off the treatment for my leukemia. I am currently getting some more cryoprecipitate (plasma) to help with my blood clotting ability because my fibrinogen is low. Later on today I will be getting the first of many lumbar punctures and starting my chemotherapy regimen.
The purpose of these lumbar punctures is to check to see if the leukemia has gotten into the central nervous system as well as to inject chemo directly to the area to help prevent the leukemia from spreading there. I will also be getting some systemic IV chemotherapy today, but I am still waiting to hear on what time that will be.
After spending all day in bed yesterday with migraines, it was nice to finally be free from headaches after breakfast and a caffeine pill this morning. I was able to get up and do some walking in the hallway and it felt so nice to stretch my legs. I ended up doing 30 lengths of the hallway so a little more than 1 km. If that is all I get done today then I am happy with that.
I had to do a lot of waiting around today and I was getting more and more anxious by the second. Things are starting to get real and despite having a medical background it still seems so confusing and complex. I can only imagine that patients who don’t have any medical knowledge must be so scared and frightened when they go through something like this. Especially right now because COVID restrictions mean that there aren’t any visitors allowed and people are often taking in all of this information on their own.
While I was waiting on a repeat of my fibrinogen to get the go ahead for the lumbar puncture I received my first chemotherapy, Doxorubicin. This was pushed over ten minutes and overall it went smoothly. Once they got back my repeat fibrinogen and it had gone up, they got ready to do the lumbar puncture (LP). I was most nervous for this but I have to give a huge shout out to my nurse Kathy today. She is so thorough and attentive. She knows when I need a hand to hold or to be distracted vs keeping me in the loop with what is going on. Once the area was numbed I barely felt anything, just some pressure and a little bit of tingling when he injected the chemotherapy. Next thing I knew it was done!
I spent the next three hours laying flat because the last thing I need is to get a lumbar puncture headache especially when I already deal with migraines. While laying flat they ran my second chemotherapy, Vincristine, and that process went smooth as well. Here’s hoping that everything will be this smooth and minimal complications.
Everyone please keep your fingers crossed that everything continues to go as planned. I know everyone wants to help so keep those positive vibes coming. Luke and I are tough cookies and while we may have been dealt one of the shittiest (and rarest) hands, I know we will get through this. We have so much love and support in our corner. If anyone is really itching to help or do something, all I ask is spread the word and if you are able to, sign up to donate blood (or platelets, or plasma, or stem cells). I’ve already received quite a few blood products since being in the hospital and I know how important it is to donate when you can.