My Schedule at SCCA
Following is a basic schedule of what I’ll be doing at the SCCA:
Monday, September 1 (Labor Day) - Blood draw to review counts (see “Key to Normal Blood Counts”)
Tuesday, September 2 - Spinal tap (to make sure no leukemic cells have entered my spinal fluid); food safety class; class about managing my care at home
Wednesday, September 3 - MUGA scan (to ensure my heart is functioning as it should); CT scan of chest/abdomen/pelvis (I’m assuming to make sure these are all clear as well!); Gynecological exam (probably TMI, but it’s on my schedule!–they certainly cover everything! ); consult with pharmacist; consult with dentist; meeting with my physician and nurse
Thursday, September 4 - Blood draw - I have to fast for eight hours before this one
Friday, September 5 - Meeting with my social worker; some sort of orientation/teaching class with my nurse
***I don’t yet have my schedule for the following week***
The following part of my schedule is basically a guideline for transplant prep…I might have other appointments during the day, but I don’t know when those are yet, because they give me my detailed schedule weekly. I actually have a mailbox in the clinic that I’m supposed to check each day for any messages and/or changes to my calendar, and each Friday, they give me my calendar for the upcoming week.
Here is the basic guideline for pre-transplant workup (once I pass all the tests I need to pass so they know I’m healthy enough to go ahead with everything):
Friday, September 12 - Preliminary Gamma Scan (I think this is related to the i131, but I’m not sure of the specifics)
Saturday, September 13 - Start Iodine drops to protect my thyroid
Monday, September 15 - Test dose of radioactive iodine (to make sure I’m getting the right amount and it’s doing what it needs to be doing)
Tuesday, September 16 - Gamma scans; bone marrow
Wednesday, September 17 - Gamma scans
Thursday, September 18 - Gamma scans
Thursday, September 25 - Admit to University of Washington Medical Center for infusion of i-131 ************START OF RADIATION ISOLATION - I will be isolated for several days while I’m radioactive (I will probably be discharged Tuesday, September 30)************
Friday, October 3 - Infusion of Fludarabine (chemo)
Saturday, October 4 - Fludarabine infusion; start Cyclosporine (an immunosuppressant drug to minimize any effects of GVH (Graft versus Host Disease))
Sunday, October 5 - Fludarabine infusion
Monday, October 6 - Rest Day…I have to go in for blood draw, but other than that, I’ll be resting!!
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 7 - 11 AM-A zap of total body irradiation
2PM-STEM CELL TRANSFUSION FROM LAURA’S HEALTHY MARROW!!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOO!!! This day will now mark my *second* birthday…that’s right, I’ll have two. I’m never giving up December 16, but I am definitely adding October 7!! This day is the beginning of a healthy, new and improved Julie!
The days following the transplant will basically be meeting with doctors and nurses and having my blood drawn. I will keep you posted!!
Tentative schedule for NOVEMBER, DECEMBER AND JANUARY:
(I’m grouping these together because my hope is that I won’t have too much going on with the clinic…we’ll be waiting, watching and enjoying time with visiting friends and family). I’m including some specific dates for your knowledge and my memory. In fact, one of these has already taken place!
NOVEMBER 4, 2008 (Day 28 post-transplant) - Peripheral Blood Chimerism (10cc Heparinized blood to chimerism lab for quantitation of T cell and granulocyte chimerism)–I tried to look it up, but can’t find a good description…I believe it’s somethin’ with the chromosomes…isn’t that the fancy way of saying it?; Bone Marrow Aspirate and Biopsy (to track how well Laura’s cells are doing, and also to make sure there is no evidence of disease in the marrow through observation and cytogenetics).
DECEMBER 2, 2008 (Day 56 post-transplant) - Peripheral Blood Chimerism (I think they’re checking my blood to make sure there are no signs of disease, but it doesn’t involve a bone marrow this time).
DECEMBER 29, 2008 (Day 83 post-transplant) - Peripheral Blood Chimerism (damn! there it is again! I’ll ask next week and give you a better definition) ;); Bone Marrow Aspirate and Biopsy; Thyroid Panel (to make sure it wasn’t damaged by the radiolabelled iodine and total body irradiation–so far, no signs, but keep sending good thoughts!).
DECEMBER 30, 2008 - Follow-up Dental Exam; Meeting with my team (Dr., PA, Nurse); Appointment with my social worker
DECEMBER 31, 2008 - NEW YEAR’S EVE!!!!!! My dad arrives and I visit the clinic for a Nasal wash; Medical Photography (not sure what that is for); Axial Skeleton with Radiology (again, I’m not sure, but I guess I’ll find out on New Year’s Eve!); Pulmonary Function Test
JANUARY 2, 2009!!!! - Meeting with my nutritionist; Pulmonary Function Test (I think this may be a repeat put on my schedule accidentally, but I have to check with the SCCA).
** My mom and I are looking forward to coming home sometime between the 9th and 11th of January, and if it’s meant to be, we’ll be there! If not, we’ll be home soon, give or take a few days. We have to make sure my test results are great and finalize our flight plans.Â It feels so good to actually be writing about coming home—the first time I wrote in this section of my blog, I was nervous with the anticipation of the i131, the total body irradiation, the chemo and of course the transplant. Now we’re day 81 post-transplant! Full speed ahead!!!!! I’m gettin’ back to VA, my life, my friends and family and my future. But Seattle, you will always hold a very special place in my heart.