Kelly West

First post: Jul 21, 2022 Latest post: Mar 1, 2023
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using this site to keep family and friends updated rather than sending/missing lots of email  Thank you so much for your support and thoughts! Please see the "Planner" link above if you are local and interested in helping out with childcare or meals. Thank you!!!!!

Many are curious about the details and what is happening when. Below is our personal schedule as well as links to a few websites that give a general overview of autologous stem cell transplant.

August 5-7: Daily injections of Zarxio to stimulate stem cell production. May be feeling flu like or have bone pain
August 8: Central line will be placed under sedation (Permacath). This will stay in place until the beginning of September. From now on no swimming or heavy lifting (includes children!!!). Will probably start staying at parents' (David and Vivian) house this evening, with visits to the kids during the day.
August 9: Apheresis day!! Will be hooked up to a machine in clinic all day to collect stem cells.
August 10: Possible day 2 of apheresis, depending how many cells were collected yesterday
August 11-17: A recovery period.  Expect to feel quite tired from aphaeresis. Some physical limitations due to catheter and need to be extra careful not to get sick now.
August 17: Busy day of clinic appointments for bloodwork, EKG, chest Xray and medication check
August 18: High dose chemo day. It's a one time infusion but extremely potent stuff. The entire procedure is done as an outpatient, so I go home (parents' house) at the end of the day. From now on need to be in very strict isolation as the blood counts start to drop.
August 19: Return to clinic for stem cells to be returned to me. This is Day 0. From Day 0 to Day 21 there will be daily clinic visits that will last 3-8 hours for blood checks and transfusions.
August 20-23: Days +1 to +4. Might have some chemo effects but may not be feeling too badly yet
August 24-31: Days +5 to +12. This is the worst of it. Blood counts will be at zero and probably will become febrile. Will generally feel awful. Expect to be admitted to the hospital during this time.
September 1-9: Days +13 to +21. Blood counts will slowly start to climb as the stem cells engraft and begin to proliferate. If all goes well day +21 will be the last of the daily clinic visits.
September 10-November 17: Days +22 to +90. Weekly clinic visits. Should be slowly regaining strength and appetite. Hopefully able to go back to work in November.
November 17: Day 90 is a big milestone! No longer need strict isolation but still need to be very careful. My entire immune system has been reset and I have no immunologic memory, so very susceptible to viruses- immune system of a newborn baby in the body of a NOT newborn baby. Clinic visits and testing to see how we are doing and determine next steps.
November 18-February 18: Months 3-6. Expect to be very fatigued and immunocompromised but hopefully starting to function
February 2023: Can get COVID vaccine! Until this point I am COVID naïve (as if I've never had the vaccine or been infected)
August 2023: Can begin getting childhood vaccines (yep, measles, mumps, rubella etc- have to redo all that stuff and am susceptible until then)

To read more, check out these links:


https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/diagnosis-treatment/cancer-treatments/blood-stem-cell-transplantation/autologous

https://www.mdanderson.org/cancerwise/what-are-autologous-stem-cell-transplants.h00-159540534.html

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