where and how do i begin explaining high dose chemotherapy with (tandem) stem cell transplants? i have been considering how i should go about describing the process, however i wasn’t even sure i understood it correctly.
in my case, and this might be the same for other patients, i am not sure, but upon admittance the clock starts at “day -5” (day negative 5). so, “day 0” is when i get my stem cells back. days -5 — 0 are, as you might have guessed, chemo days. by this i don’t mean normal, outpatient days that, in my case, lasted several hours depending on the regimen. no, i am talking about round-the-clock infusions, IV bags of chemotherapy drugs that run for 24 hours and then are switched out for new bags that run the same length for days and days. the intention, with such long days filled with heavy-duty chemo, is to destroy the current stem cells / marrow & annihilate the existing cancer and then replenish my system with untouched (by high dose chemo) stem cells from which my body will reconstruct itself literally from the ground up.
the regimen i am on now is ifosfamide and etoposide. both of which i’ve had before, although in standard, “conventional” dosage.
along with the continuous stream of chemo, i have also been receiving liters upon liters of fluids. this is to prevent any damage to the liver, kidney & bladder. though, it is often uncomfortable and, according to the nurse, i am currently retaining 8lbs/3.6kg. of excess liquid. needless to say, i feel uncomfortably bloated.
between days -2 and 0 i will just be receiving mesna, a chemo protectant, and more fluids to continue to flush my filter organs.
Cross-posted from Cyclical.Life