Today I had my last transfusion of Mesenchymal stem cells. The transfusion itself doesn't take very long, but there is a 2-hour follow-up period afterwards so that the nurse can check vital signs every 30 minutes to make sure there aren't any adverse reactions. Luckily the SCCA has wifi and a kitchen with snacks like cookies and ice cream and foods like mac & cheese (yum), so the time passes by relatively quickly. I've also been sending my mom out on errands each time to pick up supplies and prescriptions so that we make the best use of the time, since sometimes it takes multiple trips to the pharmacy or supply cabinet. But each visit ends up being about 4 hours total so it's nice to be able to cross this off as one less thing I need to do.
During the transfusion the doctors came by for a visit and there wasn't a lot to talk about since my counts are looking good and we're not seeing any adverse side effects or GVHD. The good news is that they are starting me on oral magnesium pills tomorrow, which means that we're starting down the path to ween me off of the IV magnesium. The reason I've been on IV magnesium is that the oral pills can wreak havoc with your digestive tract, so for people who've just had a transplant it's not an option since your digestive tract is completely screwed up. But now that mine is returning to normal, we'll start with a low dose of oral magnesium in addition to the IV magnesium to see how things go, and if everything looks good we'll increase the oral dose until I no longer need the IV bag. Even though it only takes an hour to infuse the IV magnesium, it will be nice to have one less task to plan and take care of during the day.
The other thing that's changing is that my supplies and prescriptions will be delivered directly to the house starting next Monday, instead of me picking them up from the clinic every few days. This is great, since I'll be able to just call in an order and they'll stop by with the goods. Sometimes I've had to run over to the SCCA on weekends for more IV magnesium bags, for example, since they only give me 3-4 of them at a time. Having everything delivered at home will be awesome.
Then, on top of all that nice news, my nurse said he would suggest to the team that I only come in for clinic visits once a week. Woohoo!! It makes sense, since my visits will now just be for blood draws (15 mins), chest x-rays (15 mins), seeing the doctors (30 mins), seeing the snot guy (15 mins), and meeting with the nutritionist (15 mins). And I bet my awesome team scheduler, Troy, will book them back to back so that I'm in and out in no time. I'm very excited about this, since the less time I spend at the clinic, the more I feel like a normal person.
Being able to check these things off the list makes me feel like we're really making progress, and it feels great :)