Many of you have only gotten bits and pieces of my transplant story, so some of my current let's say "adventures" for lack of a better word are a bit mystifying. GOOD NEWS: I have finally transferred all of my Caring Bridge entries over here for you to read when you get curious. Since I couldn't back-date them, they are all separate posts posted yesterday. I have created a table of contents on that page with the dates of each entry starting at the beginning.
Over the past six months I have received many, many emails expressing emotion over going back and reading my story from the beginning. So, it should much easier to read it here the way it is organized as opposed to on Caring Bridge. Please, still feel free to hop over there and check out the pics from my stay as well.
What did I say? SIX MONTHS? SIX MONTHS! Yes, this past Monday I celebrated the six month marker with my new heart. The first six months can very volatile, tricky, and has a lot of restrictions; however, I made it! As many of you already know, it was not without a few bumps.
Several of you sent me Twitter messages and Facebook messages worried about what was going on this week, so here is the explanation you've been waiting for...
I left Mobile on Sunday afternoon for New Orleans; I had my typical monthly labs, biopsy, echo, and clinic visit. However, upon the receipt of my blood work; it was discovered that white blood cell count had dropped drastically. FYI: White blood cells are what fight infection. The less of them you have, the more likely you are to get an infection, virus, etc. This is doubly as vital to the life of transplant patient because we are on so many immunosuppressants to prevent our body from rejecting the new organ, that it nearly demolishes our immune system, hence the mask, no buffets, raw food, etc. Therefore, if we contract anything we have to be immediately hospitalized to prevent it from progressing any further. Mono, flu, etc. are deadly to a transplant patient.
Headed to NOLA, completely unprepared for four days!
By the time I was through with my biopsy, Dr. Patel told me that this was a cause for major concern and that I would need to hang around for a few days to see what was going on. By the time I was finished with all four appointments, I had two more: one to get blood drawn to test for the viruses, and the second to get a neupogen shot in the hepatology-oncology clinic. Thankfully, the virus results came back clear. They stopped two of my meds that can cause the loss of WBC and gave me my first shot.The worst news was hearing that I would have to stay in New Orleans (two hours from home) until Thursday.
On Tuesday, I got up, worked on my blog a bit and went to get my second shot, which feels like a wasp sting with an encore. I decided to hit-up a few book stores, stroll down Magazine Street, browse through Whole Foods, and have lunch at great little pizza spot named Slice. I took a trip down to the water, explored Urban Outfitters and French Connection. Then I made the most beautiful discovery of all: the construction of a new Anthropologie! My summer check-ups may not be such a chore after all! The walk through the French Market wasn't too bad either, not to mention that I went in four book stores in in two days.
Spinach, Sun-dried Tomato, and Artichoke Pizza @ Slice
Wednesday morning I slept in until my lab appointment at 11:00. Which was great considering that I couldn't go to sleep until at least 4:30 (that was the last time I remember looking at the clock). When Tara, my post-transplant coordinator/nurse, called to inform me that after two shots of nupogen and stopping the potentially offending meds, my WBC had DROPPED! I cried nearly the rest of the day because I was ready to home and see my baby and hubs. I waited almost an hour before I called anyone because I could not get it together. Well, hubs called before I was ready, and I just broke down. Well, hunny, if he didn't just jump in his truck and giddy-up all the way to NOLA. Before he got there I had myself some lunch at Pazza Gelato for the second time in two days. It is so yummy! I had a different panini each day and different gelato. When he arrived around 5:00, it was so wonderful to see him. We had a delicious dinner, and enjoyed a great date night.
Gelato: the blue variety tasted like birthday cake icing!
Wednesday morning we went to Dr. Molina, a hemotologist & oncologist, to see if maybe he could narrow-down what was wrong. He too believed it was the combination of meds and asked to see me back Tuesday. If the meds alteration and injections do not work, then he will have to do a bone marrow biopsy. Shriek! he sounded very optimistic, just a bit confused as to why my numbers would plummet in a month's time. I guess we will see on Tuesday.
Upon returning home on Thursday evening, went to my in-law's house to pick Baby Finn. It was soooooooo good to see his sweet cheeks. I didn't want to put him down! Zac's grandparents are also in town for the week, so we will be happily busy once again. Finn and I both are going to the doctor this week! He has his nine month check-up this week...tear. :*( Here's one more reason to shed a tear.