Rabbit 2, PPMHK 0

Rabbit 2, PPMHK 0

On Monday and Tuesday June 20/21, I had the rabbit anti lymphocite serum delivered. Previously, with the classical chemotherapy, I did not feel anything; with this rabbit thing I felt immediatly a kind of weakness, making me sleepy the all days. At night, I did not sleep well as the doctors are still hyperhydrading me (which means I need to go to the toilets every 2 Hours!).

Yesterday, although I was a little down because of the lack of sleep, I was happy because It was “The Day”: time to receive the new high quality hematopoietic stem cells from my donor! Not this day! The doctor explained me that they were “short” in cells in the graft and that they prefered to have more…..So the transplant is now due today.

Yesterday evening, a nurse came to tell me that I was short in platelets and that they have decided to serve me a glass of platelets!

Oh yes, I forget to speak about my visitors! On Monday I have Jaja and Céline and Catherine: no belly dancing, serious people! On Tuesday, I had Jaja and Marie. Eric did not want to go in….

Today, it should be “The Day”, but at 10:30 am no news yet….

I was thinking: my donor is an english man and he decided to vote for the Brexit just yesterday! I will have to do with half cells!

During the day, we got various news about the graft. late this afternoon, the doctor came to explain that the graft just arrived in Paris but was still in another hospital (Saint Louis).

They planned to do the transplant at first in the evening/night, then changed their mind: tomorrow June 24th is now the date! As Eric pointed, it will be awasome to have those lovely cells swimming in my body tomorrow…..

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Mister Rabbit makes his entrance

Mister Rabbit makes his entrance

Today Sunday June 19th is a long day: I  have two chemotherapy one after another (fludarabine, then busulfan), plus some other stuff to prevent side effects and the like! It started around 10 am this morning for the first. At noon, the second chemotherapy started and should last around 3h. Then “Mister Rabbit” will appear for the first time on stage (rabbit antilymphocyte serum (not sure of the correct name).Following discussions with the nurses, it does not seem that this fellow is really a nice guy…We might expect side effects. Well it is another experience.

On the other hand, I have prepared for several days this meeting with Mister Rabbit: as an example, I have taken every time it was possible the carrots soup!!!! (but i have also to admit that during one lunch I had a “lapin aux pruneaux” (rabbit with prunes)…..).

More news regarding my fight with Mister Rabbit will appear soon….

On the bright side of the life, today in Paris we have a little bite of sun: Youpi! Even behind a window, it is good!

Before finishing this short article, I would like to make the following point: of course doctors thing that it is in our good interest to be hyperhydrated so that the kidneys are working fine, BUT it also means that our autonomy is reduced by a large extend (less than 2hours). In a 10 m2 room it is OK, but forget a visit to a movie theather…

Another technical point, which might be seen as interesting for the few chemists reading this blog: the main side product eliminated in the “pipi” comes from busulfan, a sulfur containing compound….when you faites pipi, it smells of sulfur (no need to thank me for those interesting technical details!).

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Mister A

Mister A

Some sun on Paris for this saturday June 18th 2016. Yesterday, Jaja visited me…She is my sunshine ;-)! She had a few pieces of wrapped chocolate to share with me, coming from Monique: thank you Monique! I cannot eat chocolate with nuts, just pure chocolate. I will try to save them for visitors!

Yesterday was my second day of chemotherapy: first Fludarabine, then Busulfan. To limit the possible side effects, there is always an anti-vomiting compound given together with the “good stuff”, plus some other things like calcium etc…The only “side-effect” is that I spend a lot of time in the bathroom “eliminating” the fluids I am ingesting: it is made to clean the kidneys from the bad chemicals…(oh yes, they also measure the volume of “pipi” eliminated). Once a day I have my weight measured too…I hope they are puting all those crucial informations in an Excel table!

Today it will be the same protocole regarding the chemotherapy.

On the first day at the hospital, I started to take some pills: Am I sick or what! I am taking Zelitrex (antiviral therapy), Lansaprazole (or prevacid)(to protect the stomac), Cholurso (to protect the liver).

From yesterday I had my blood sugar tested once a day: Jaja is jealous when she sees the results!!! But she fights back and shows me her red blood cells count!!!

This morning, the nurse changed the dressing around the catheter: everything looked OK!

Yesterday afternoon, the nurse came in the room and told me that he had glued a post on my door: “aplasie” (aplasia). It means that the polymorphonuclear neutrophils were around 100 whatever the units are (near zero!). So I am now at risq for “infections”… (it also explain why I am now Mister A for Mister Aplasia!!!!!

It came maybe earlier than expected, but for me it is not really a surprise as I had already a very limited number of those cells before!!!

Today the weather in Paris is somehow better: a little bite of blue sky, a little sun…as for the temperature, I cannot tell: they don’t allow me to go outside for a walk!!! But on a brighter side, I have now a very long tubing between me and the machine, so it is easier “to run around” the room: freedom, freedom!

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Belly dancing!

Belly dancing!

Today was the first real day for hospitalisation. At the program we had: a catheter to be installed; the begining of chemotherapy; a few other analysis (not to be explained in writing).

At 6am sharp, I had my first visite of the day: blood analysis by a nurse. Before going further I should say that all the person working in the service are very kind and caring, and very professional too of course!

Before going to the surgery room,  I had to wash myself with “betadine” an antiseptic stuff. It took just a few minutes to have the catheter fixed. With this set up, it will be easier “to run around” the room freely!

Early in the afternoon, I had the visit of first one then two belly dancers, courtesy of the French Social Security! This institution is not very reach, so the dancers were not the youngest on the market ;-)! But they were very efficient to make me laugh!

This afternoon, it was the begining of the chemotherapy: two different compounds; one is over, the second one is on its way. Up to now, no side effects (an anti-vomitic compound is also running in the perfusion). I will have nurses visiting during the night to make blood analysis and change the chemicals runing in my veins…

On the side, I started to take pills: Zelitrex which is an anti-viral; Lansaprazole to protect the stomac; Cholurso for I don’t know what but it should be very important. Tomorrow will be another day of chemotherapy more or less similar to today…

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A room with a view…

A room with a view…

Today wednesday June 15 is the begining of a new adventure: this afternoon I entered the hematology service at Saint Antoine. My room is room 426. It is a classical hospital room, nothing fansy (see photos below). I had requested a room with a mountains vue, but they did not have one available at this time:  ! So I have a view on the roofs of Paris, and if I look carefully I can even see trees! Yes!

In entering the hospital late in the afternoon, I expected to have a quiet evening: not so! I have already a drip installed for the night (a kind of hydration stuff (water?), plus I had 3 kinds of pills with my dinner….They are taking good care of me! I had also a blood pressure measurement as well as temperature, plus an electrocardiogram….

Oh yes, I have also a TV: I will be able to follow the football games, then the tour de France…I hope to be out when the Olympics will start in Rio in August!

Tomorrow will be the begining of the real thing: chemotherapy!!! Before I will have a catheter installed, to save my veins!

To be continued….

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A last trip before going to the hospital: le Morvan

A last trip before going to the hospital: le Morvan

We used my last days as “a free man” to visit the Morvan regional park. It is located in the north part of Burgundy. This area has a lot of lakes, like the one on the photo, called lac des Settons. There are a lot of forests too, and one of the products sold around here are Christmas trees…

The weather was pretty bad, rainy and cold! But we were able to have a walk around a part of the lake…

We went also to Vézelay, which is known for its basilica. We met there my good friend Saint Antoine as well as Marie. Following a family tradition, we offered candles to both of them!

We also visited a castle, Bazoches, where Vauban lived. Nice place!

We also visited a wine cellar near Chablis: very good white wine!

Today, we started to prepare all the stuff needed for the hospital: clothes mainly. Everything has to be washed at high temperature, dried in a dryer, ironed (I did the ironing ;-)!). Everything has to be stored in closed bags…Jaja cleaned also my crocs! I will  bring also with me my computer, a hard drive, my kindle… Of course, those things will also be cleaned using some kind of alcoholic solution to kill all the germs. Everything is becoming “real”: no escape! Scarry scarry!

Next time, I guess I will be writing from “my clean room” at Saint Antoine: see you there!

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How do you like my new haircut?

How do you like my new haircut?

Tic tac, tic tac.. the clock is carrying me closer and closer to june 15…

First, I will have a chemotherapy. A well known “side effect” is the loss of the hairs. To prepare for this “traumatic event”, I decided to have a preventive haircut :-)! How do you like it?

Last time I had such short hair was in 1977 during my army service!

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