Here is my BEFORE photo. This is my real hair. It's grown a lot over the last few months and this is my real color. I can't color my hair for a while so this is my real color. Still deciding if it's blond with lots of gray or gray with a bit of blond. Or Brown with gray, maybe gray with brown???Anyhow, this is it.
SPOILER ALERT - This is a medical post, I know that some of you don't really like the idea of medical posts and I fully understand. So run to another blog and my feelings are not hurt at all. In fact, I would love to run away from this as well but unfortunately I have to live it.
Just to remind you I have a blood cancer called Multiple Myeloma. It's not curable but treatable. So far I've had 16 weeks of chemo (35 pills once a week, and a shot in the stomach once a week). Then I had 8 more weeks of chemo again (shot in the stomach once a week, and a different chemo pill every day) and lots and lots of steroid drugs. I've gained a lot of weight! My hair got very thin, and some parts fell out so I was wearing a wig for a bit, then I had super short hair that felt like straw and looked like it too.
Then I rested and tested to see where I was. I am in remission!
I call it my before photo because in a few weeks I will have an AFTER look.
You see we are moving forward with Stem Cells Harvesting. It's a bit complicated but it involves a lot of steps for me.
I had a lot of tests to make sure that there is no issue with past chemo and that I am healthy enough for Harvesting.
Soon I will begin the process of Harvesting my own Stem Cells. Each case and each person's walk is different.
For me that includes:
I will loose all the hair you see in the above photo. It's only one day of Chemo but I've been told it is very strong and that I WILL lose my hair.
Then I will have 2 days of rest, followed by a shot a day of a growth hormone for between 9-13 days that will force my body to grow more stem cells than it needs, forcing those cells to spill out of the bones and into my blood stream. I will also have blood tests every other day to see if they can figure out how many stem cells I am growing.
I will then have surgery to put 2 new ports in my chest that will be used instead of the veins in my arms which are not good for this procedure.
Then I'll be hooked up to a machine and the stems cells will be pulled out of my blood and the blood returned to me. 5 hours a day for maybe 2 days (but it could be 3 days)
Finally, surgery to get the 2 new ports out of my chest and then it's done!! Then I rest up, recover, take a maintenance dose of chemo drugs and live my life normally.
In all it's about 14 days from Chemo to the end of Harvesting. Sounds scary doesn't it? Yes it does but I'm the girl that has had 4 Bone Marrow Biopsys so I am not scared. I 've been working on building up my stamina, staying healthy, and strong. More Importantly, I've Got God On My Side. I've done all I can do, now it's in His Hands. And His Hands are Gentle, Loving, Trusting, and He only Wants the Best for me. It's going to be a gruelling couple of weeks so if you don't see me much, this is why.
I start with the Chemo on Monday 1/13/14 and the Harvesting will be sometimes between 1/22/14 and 1/24/14. In between, I'm pretty much stuck at home and can only go out for doctor's appointments.
I'll post an AFTER photo when I feel strong about that.
Keep us in your prayers, OK?