Nov 01

Transplant Schedule Determined

Pulmonary Testing Booth 0203, originally uploaded by Buck Cash.
Yesterday, I had to go in for several tests at Karmanos so that the doctor could determine what, how and when my stem cell transplant would proceed.

I had chest X-Rays, a full set of Labs, echo-cardiogram, EKG, and a pulmonary exam. The phone booth looking box in the photo is where you sit for the pulmonary exam.

The pulmonary exam consisted of a series of breathing normal, sucking hard, blowing hard, breathing shallow, breathing deep, a breathing treatment, then more of the same. It took about 45 minutes.  Here are a couple more photos of the booth:

In the end, the doctor determined that my lungs are too messed up from all the years I smoked to use an outside donor, including my sister Trudy. So, I’ll go with a different transplant donor: Me.

With that decision made, my treatment regimen is called, R-BEAM. It stands for:

R – Rituximab (Rituxan)
B – BCNU (Carmustine)
E – Etoposide (VP-16)
A – Ara-C (Cytarabine)
M – Melphalan (Alkeran)

I’ve got the full schedule here, and it all starts on Thursday, November 8th, 2012.  On that day, I’ll begin collecting my urine for 24 hours in a big collection jug which I’ll turn in the next day at Karmanos.  Then, on Friday, November the 10th at 8:AM, I’ll check into Karmanos for two 780 mg shots of Neupogen. I’ll treat myself to 2 more at 8:PM. For the next 2 days, I’ll administer the same amounts to myself – 4 shots per day.

On the following Tuesday, November 13th, I’ll have surgery to install a Trifusion Catheter into the left side of my chest, opposite the port that’s installed on the right side of my chest.

The next day, Wednesday, November 14th, I’ll check into Karmanos at 7:30 AM for stem cell collection. For two more days after that, I’ll repeat as necessary.

The Monday after that, on the 19th, I’ll go in for Labs, Dr. visit and a visit with the pharmacist to talk about the chemo that’s next.

On Tuesday, the 20th, I’ll start the chemo with a Rituximab (Rituxan) infusion.

On Wednesday, the 21st, I’ll continue the chemo with a BCNU (Carmustine) infusion.

On Thursday, the 22nd, I’ll keep it up with an ARA-C (Cytarabine) chemo infusion. Same thing on the 23rd, 24th and 25th.

On Monday, the 26th, we’ll change things up with a chemo infusion of Melphalan (Alkeran).

On Tuesday, the 27th, I’ll have a day of rest from it all.

Then, on Wednesday, the 28th, it’s…


From there on out it’s all about recovery. I’ll spend the next week or couple of weeks or maybe even a few weeks in the hospital working on getting my counts back up.  The time just depends on how long it takes to get my blood back on track.

On the 6th day after the transplant, Tuesday, December 4th, I’ll start injecting Neuprogen shots again to help with that recovery process.

So, that’s the plan, man! I’ll update as this thing progresses!

1 comment

  1. Donna

    That is a lot ot take in. The best of luck to you cuz!

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