I was released from the hospital yesterday after 3 1/2 weeks, possibly one of the fastest stays for a patient who has had total body irradiation, high dose chemo and a stem cell transplant. No fevers, no mouth sores, no major infections and I maintained eating throughout the entire stay. These are not bragging rights as I really just happened to get lucky (although I guess I am bragging), but I am very relieved to have the hospital stay behind us. Making it through the transplant, and getting out is a major milestone, but there is still a long road ahead as the first 100 days post transplant are still quite critical. As one of my nurses so optimistically pointed out to me, I am already at day 15, so only 85 more days to go!
During the next 85 days I am required to maintain a rather strict diet, limit outdoor activity, limit visitors and basically just stay home and allow my immune system to grow. I can spend some time outdoors, but am unable to go into any indoor spaces where there are other people, so no movies, restaurants, malls, supermarkets etc... Once I reach that 100 day mark, they start to ease up on some of the restrictions and by 6 months, I should be back to a mostly normal routine with a few restrictions continuing for about a year.
Unfortunately, we have some colds that have surfaced at my house, so I am not actually home, but am checked into the beautiful Best Western of Concord right down the street, and I will be staying here for a couple of days until the colds are gone and it is safe for me to return. The doctors essentially told me... you really cannot go home, but you also have to leave. Fully understandable though... once a patient reaches a certain point (blood cell counts have rebounded), their job is done and they need you to leave. So a few more days of bad TV and isolation, but I am almost home. I am literally just a 3 minute drive from our house, so Ha is able to visit and bring me food (oh the leverage she has now!), and it is nice to be so close and at least feel like I am back in Concord. One step at a time...
I have a follow up appt on Monday and will be visiting my doctor twice a week for the next month or so. Barring any complications, I am looking forward to an uneventful couple of months at home and will continue to report out here with hopefully really boring news about nothing.