It’s official – Justin has been admitted to the BMT Unit!
Transplant day is considered Day Zero in the BMT world. It’s the day when everything goes back to zero and we start counting up again. After admission day and two days of chemo, we are starting Day -3: the first day of radiation treatment. We’re not entirely sure what to expect, but we are extremely confident in this team and know they will keep us moving in the right direction.
For the first time in all of his treatment protocols, Justin had a port put in for all of this IV fluids, blood draws, and medications. Instead of having to be poked and prodded on a daily basis, he simply lifts his shirt and lets them connect the tubes. I say simply, however it’s anything but simple. Justin was in a lot of pain for the first 24 hours, and had some itchiness from the adhesive. The pain was to be expected, apparently it is one of the most common complaints among patients within the first few days. I suppose being “one of the crowd” is comforting.
The first day of chemotherapy hit Justin a little more than anticipated, but with the help of a quick nurse, some IV meds, and a nap he felt better after about an hour. I, hesitantly but at Justin’s urging, decided to head home for the night to catch a good night’s sleep, cuddle our puppy, and enjoy a shower. Day two of chemotherapy seemed to go much better than day one. No nausea or weak feeling that he was hit with the day before.
The unit itself is really quite remarkable, it’s a small city cut off from the rest of the hospital. It even has it’s own supply of air being pumped in to keep infections to a minimum. As expected Justin has made friends with his nurses, he has fun with them, jokes with them, and builds incredible relationships with them. He even met a nutritionist that enjoyed a 30 minute conversation about cheese with him.
Just when we get used to the day to day flow of this temporary life, the schedule changes. Today brings a new part of the treatment process – something that Justin has never experienced. Twice a day for three days he will go through a radiation treatment, leading to the inevitable Day Zero.
As you might expect, Justin is in good spirits and taking each day as it comes. Thank you for continually supporting both of us as he takes on this fight against his lymphoma.