Dag -5: Today 1st chemo day (out of 4). Today was very tough. I have been very sick, my head was spinning, nauseous and weak. I am unable to get out of bed. Holding and typing the phone is also too difficult. So for now… sleep, sleep, sleep. Work in progress… The daily medicines are also expanded as of the first chemo day. I already received a stomach protector, but now also anti-virals (Acyclovir 1200 mg/d), antibiotics (Co-trimoxazole (Bactrim) 960 mg/d and Ciprofloxacin 1000 mg/d) and anti-fungal (Fluconazole 200 mg/d).
Day -4 / Chemo day 2: New day, new chances. I am freshly showered, had my breakfast, waved to my children via Skype and hop! Let the next round of chemo begin! It starts around 10 a.m. and the infusion takes approximately 3 hours to drip. I expect it be become tough again during the day. I just have to take it day by day with ups and downs. No Chemo No Cure! The nurses bring us bottles of Nutridrink (also available in pharmacies in the Netherlands) to still get the right nutrients with reduced appetite.
While having HSCT treatment in Russia, there is first started with a 4-day block with daily prednisone in the morning and stem cell stimulation injections in the evening and night (G-CSF injections, brand name Filgrastim or Neupogen). The stem cells produced by the body are then harvested, filtered and frozen. This concerns the CD34+ blood cells that are important and will be reinfused later. On the day of rest, the hickman line is exchanged in the neck for a more comfortable subclavia line around the collarbone. This is followed by a 4-day block with high-dose chemotherapy. This concerns Cyclophosphamide 200 mg per kg body weight, spread over 4 days, so 50 mg per day. After this block there will be another resting day and after that the transplant day will take place where the thawed CD34+ blood stem cells will be transplanted back into my body.
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