Today is Day +25 since Deb’s stem cell transplant – she is a quarter of the way through the 100 days that she is required to wear the HEPA mask whenever she goes outside. The mask is bulky and uncomfortable, so it’s a bit of a deterrent for wanting to spend a lot of time outside, but we are trying to take short walks every day.
Deb has been out of the hospital for five days, and the time has been challenging for her and her caregiver – me! We both moved into the townhouse on Tuesday, so everything needed to be unpacked, put away and organized. Andy and Tara were here to help on moving day, but this is still an ongoing process for me. Deb had two appointments at the outpatient center on Wednesday, both morning and afternoon, and one on Friday. It was tiring for her just getting up and out, and then there is a lot of waiting while we are there. First they draw her blood, and then we have to wait for the counts before they discuss things with us and examine her. Friday she also needed to have a chest x-ray, which they do every two weeks.
Deb is on many medications and another challenge has been managing them. She is on antibiotics to prevent infection, immunosuppressants to help prevent Graft vs Host Disease, a medication to avoid liver damage from the chemo … and the list goes on. Some cause nausea, so she is on anti-nausea medication; others cause heartburn, so she is on meds for that too. Some need to be taken on an empty stomach, some with food, and some not at the same time as others. Figuring out the right schedule has been like a complicated math problem! But we are doing it.
Deb’s mucositis is much improved, but she is still only able to eat soft foods, as her digestive tract was shut down for two weeks, and it needs time to start working again. We have been making soups in her Vitamix and that seems to be working well for her. Gradually she will be adding more foods.
The good news is that Deb is doing a little better every day, and despite the issues she has, they tell us she is doing really well. We continue to be very touched by the outpouring of love and support, and thank you all for everything you have done to help Deb along on her journey to recovery.