Another uneventful day of Cyclophosphamide and Mesna, which means we have now well and truly entered “the point of no return”: they have given me enough toxins to eliminate my old immune system, and are preparing to give me my new one. Thus I will begin anti-rejection drugs such as tacrolimus tomorrow which will smooth the transition for accepting my new stem cells from my brother. Though I have had my share of nervous moments about this exact phase of the transplant, everyone seems to feel things are going very well, and in the end it is very hard not to assimilate this to all those other moments where I have essentially put my life into the hands of experts who are familiar with the risks and rewards of the rarefied methods they employ. In other words, the miracle I thought you kind of had to strive for has started morphing into something that everybody treats as pretty banal. Which is really just as well, come to think of it; not every transplant patient is so lucky.
My parents arrived today to visit and help with the kids; it was of course great to see them, and their presence, as well as my brother’s, have only added to the strange but welcome sense of normality that I’m enjoying in the hospital. And yes, after some anxious moments, my brother collected his gold medal in the 100-yard dash while I galloped home in the 400 (we finished “Chariots of Fire”).
A few odd side notes: my weight has reached an all-time high of 190+ pounds, thanks to all the IV fluids they continue to pump in. My tongue is so swollen that I bit it twice last night in my sleep (I have to sleep on my back exclusively, it seems). I am snoring like crazy from the liquids in my sinuses, so I feel like I have developed instant sleep apnea. Aside from all that, I feel pretty good: I’m still riding the exercise bike to break a sweat, and my throat and mouth are more or less sore free (aside from self-inflicted teeth wounds). However, I no longer use a tooth brush, or even the kids’ toothpaste I have gotten used to over the past year or so, but rather these odd sponges that just kind of swab out your mouth.
I’m looking forward to Day -1, because that will be my last day in negative numbers. Starting from zero will seem like a head start, I’m thinking.