Out for a stroll.

Well I am all checked into the Duke Hospital Transplant Unit (9200) and ready to start my high dose chemo regimen.  I am scheduled to receive the BEAM protocol, Beam standing for BCNU, Etoposide, ARA-C, and Melphalen.  (Who in the world sits around and dreams up the names and acronyms for these drugs.)  But before rushing right into my first treatment, they put me on a fluid IV to get me hydrated for my first infusion later today.  So in the meantime, I went out for a stroll on the floor to get some exercise.

14 laps equals one mile and they say that regular exercise is one good way to assist in quicker recovery from chemptherapy treatments, so I have been trying to keep up my daily exercise.  Learning how to steer an IV pole is not especially difficult, but when you get two or three patients in the halls at the same time, it can be an exciting, and sometime hazardous experience.

The chemotherpy infusions are broken into one hour doses.  Today I start with a one hour infusion of BCNU, also known as Carmustine, which is a derivative of a mustard gas compound.  Now doesn't that just give you a warm and fuzzy feeling.  On Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday I get two doses each day of ARA-C (Cytarabine) at 9:00 AM and 9:00 PM , and one dose daily of Etoposide at 10:00 AM.  This continues for 4 days, and then on Tuesday I get 1 hour of Melphalen, only to be discharged and sent home to our apartment.  So for the next 6 days I will never go longer than 12 hours without getting another chemo infusion.  Now I better understand why this is referred to as the high dose chemo phase.

My nurse just brought me a small chocolate milk shake from a batch that was just mixed up.  I can see that the next several days will be a series of highs and a series of lows.  Have to go now and enjoy one of my highs.

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