Blog for Jackie Sue while at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. UPDATED. This blog now covers her progress after her mini-allo MUD transplant. Her transplant was the first one to be performed by the Mayo Clinic.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Transplant -6 (Friday)

Well, so far today hasn't been too bad! We had to report to the pharmacy at about 9:15 for our drug kit pickup. The drugs took three shopping bags to transport. I've included a photo of the drugs that are required. Many of these are "3 times a day" meds.

I suppose today is the official start of the transplant process. Jackie got her first infusion of Fludarabine. It has been about an hour since she finished the infusion (which thankfully only takes 30 minutes) and she is OK. The only symptom so far is a headache. I'm sure some nausea is bound to follow. As part of the process they pre-medicate for nausea. They also draw lots of blood for blood cultures every day. Today it seemed like they needed an entire unit. I think on most days it won't be so much. They do this to test for infection.

I think I mentioned in one of the blogs that Jackie is positive for one type of virus (can't recall the name). About 1/2 the population is positive for this particular type (her donor is negative). She probably had flu like symptoms at some point in her life and got over it quickly. In any case, this particular virus poses a risk for reappearing during transplant. It is one of the more risky ones you can get. So...the Mayo draws blood and gene sequences her blood every few days to check for minute amounts of virus replication. If they spot a trace they start her on drugs to combat the disease. I doubt this sort of check would happen at smaller transplant centers. Of course, as with all tests, this one is done here at the Mayo Clinic. Nothing (as far as I can tell) is sent to an outside lab! Many of the non-gene sequencing tests here come back within a few hours. It is amazing how efficient they are at the Mayo! In most cases the standard blood tests are drawn one of the downstairs labs. By the time you get upstairs and checked in for a doctor's visit he will have the results popping up on his computer. This is often within the same hour. EVERYTHING is computerized! The lowest level nurse can examine your schedule, your meds, and even the complete treatment protocol with a few keystrokes. It really is medicine as it should be.

Today was also the first day of "no". No travel outside the apartment without a mask. No makeup. No brushing teeth with a toothbrush; only a soft swab and special mouthwash. No lotions. No creams other than a special Mayo Clinic cream. No deodorant. No regular soaps only a special Mayo Clinic soap. There are probably some other "nos" I am forgetting. There are a bunch of them. These will continue through at least day 100!

Yesterday they told Jackie to throw away all her old makeup. When the process is over she can repurchase new makeup. This really pained me. I think the cost to replace the makeups will be more than the transplant itself:) I told the nurses we would donate the makeups to the needy. Tiff and Brittany can expect a package from Rochester soon:)

So, today has been fairly easy compared to yesterday. We report for chemo round number 2 tomorrow at 9:00.

Until then...

Bruce and Jackie
from Rochester, MN


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