Any melanoma patients who would like more details on the experience I would love to share. I found it really helpful to talk to people who had been through it. Just let me know.
|We walked around Seattle together the night before we checked into the hospital. I thought we would have lots of time to explore when we got discharged from the hospital, but that wasn't the case. Glad we had one perfect evening.|
|Okay, let's get this party started. University of Washington welcomes me.|
|My must haves for hospital stays are simply a family photo and my own pillow.|
Waiting for things to start. Do I look like I have cancer? I don't feel like I have cancer.
I was pretty obsessed with my hair in the hospital. Unfortunately I left all my hair care products (moose needed for curly hair and a round brush for straight) at home. I loved what I had anyway. Here I show off one of my white streaks.
I've learned from a few bad experiences with PICC line insertions (where they thread a catheter from your upper arm to your heart) to ask for something to make me less aware of what's happening (ativan) before they start the proceeder. It's a good thing I did, this one was horrible. A ton of pushing and shoving to no avail. They finally had to use a peripheral IV for the chemo that night and place the PICC using cameras the next day. Oh well, I had a pretty relaxed afternoon!
Ready for the fight. Chemo in. Fascination with my hair leads to lots of selfies.
Barfing starts here, and will continue more or less throughout the stay. Josh says it's in my head. I really think it could be. You associate on thing with another and it's hard to separate them. Nausea and hospitals go hand in hand for me. The first chemo I got was rough immediately for me.
Whenever I would feel okay I would walk the narrow halls. I had to stay on the bone marrow transplant floor. I felt very confined. Random doctors would praise me for walking so much, but I would have gone crazy if I stayed in the room. I went crazy anyway, but this helped a lot.
|Every night I made Josh climb in bed with me and watch a sad show. Sad shows make me feel better sometimes.|
|The day has arrived! They had just broke the news to me that the lab was only able to grow 13 billion cells. I tried my hardest to smile, feeling 100 billion cells short (that's 11 zeros I think).|
|I think I complained whenever I was awake. When he was on the phone I had to be quiet. Luckily there was always a window to look out.|
|The day after the TIL cells were infused we transferred to the ICU for the IL-2 part of the trial. It was twice the size of our first room and had a much better and bigger view. This was a good change.|
|Plus the chemo side effects.|
|Many hours of sleep.|
|We loved having visitors. This is Josh (our High School friend) and his wife. Josh ran his share of errands for my Josh, thanks Josh!|
|Getting sick is getting old.|
|I loved getting texts from the kids while I was away. Luke just needed to say hi all the time. I can't believe how much I missed them.|
|This one made me laugh. I had to call him to see why he was texting me about the dryer. Surely there was a hidden meaning. Nope, he just thought I would like to know that the dryer was done.|
|This was the best. As if!!! This is a Grandma Vicki gift for sure. That closet has never been cleaned out.|
|A lego flower bed that spells mom.|
|To this. I always had to give myself "tummy time" as I spent a lot of time on my back.|
|Feeling the worst ever. All the symptoms all at once. Wanted to run away. Wouldn't have minded dying. Mad at Josh for letting me go through with this. Cursing my decision making.|
|Blood made all the difference for me. Does that make me a vampire?|
|Josh looks like a hairy beast at this point.|
|Selfies not so fun anymore.|
|He was woken by a dream that they were calling his name over the hospital P.A. system. 2 weeks in the hospital felt like a month at least.|
|The cancer center gave me a free wig and a hat. I went with long blondish.|
|Josh in my other wig, gave me a good laugh.|
|This was my first happy day in Seattle, at the end of our journey. My old roommates Natalee and Melissa came for the afternoon and it did wonders for my spirits. Loved them 15+ years ago and love them the same now. Thank you!!|
I would do this treatment again in a heartbeat. It was the opposite of fun, but it was very doable. You couldn't have gotten that response out of me during the treatment, but now that I look back...
My stomach is all in knots about the results we will get next week. Of course I will keep you informed.