Part 2: Immunotherapy begins!
The doctor in San Francisco confirmed that I had aplastic anemia. Treatment would begin with “triple immunotherapy.” I was admitted for four days for the treatment. He told me that if this didn’t work, I’d need to stay in there for four months for a stem cell transplant.
My first night of immunotherapy was so bad that I was going into shock. The next few days, it was a little easier but I needed blood and platelets. My body started to reject the platelets, so that worried me! I was fortunate to find one donor, all the way from Sacramento, whose platelets I could tolerate.
I was so anxious to go home to my babies! Five days after the transfusion, I thought I would be discharged. When they took my vitals they told me I couldn’t leave. I cried with worry and fear, wanting to return home so bad. When the blood work showed my bilirubin was high, they called in a liver specialist. They tried to see if that was a side effect of the medications or transfusions.
Finally, my 11th day in the hospital, they found there was no damage to my liver. They determined that the number of transfusions I’d had caused the high bilirubin counts. Finally, I could go home!
I’m still waiting for my 90-day follow-up. I have to go to Clovis three times each week, have transfusions every other week. We’re praying to see improvement. I am trying to avoid a stem cell transplant because I’d have to take four months to stay in San Francisco. That would mean I’d have to ask a family member to take four months out of their lives to take care of me. I’d need child care as well. I expect to have a hard time finding a match, too!
My request for today is that you sign up to be a donor on the registry, you can save a life! I need your help, and others like me do too, so that I can see my children grow up.
I’ll be writing more updates as I continue with my story of surviving, and beating this!