Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day 7 Post BMT

Last night was pretty bad. I found myself awake with my eyes wide open every hour. My throat was so sore that it makes it very difficult to swallow. The nurse gave me an oral suspension, it has Maalox, Benadryl and Lidocaine. The solution was so gross! I only used it thrice.

Around 4:30 in the morning, the CNA took my vitals. I had a fever. Right away, I was placed on antibiotics. The doctor also ordered a machine (PCA) that automatically dispenses pain medication by pushing a button. To avoid overdose, you can only push the button every 30 minutes. I pushed it every hour, I must say it helped out a little bit. Another weird thing, the tip of my fingers were tingling last night. I hope none of my family or friends have to go through this. It's horrible!

"Is this really what I signed up for?" I asked myself. I guess Dr. Farol was not lying when he said I will feel really down for the first couple of weeks. Well, it's now Day 7 and according to him, my counts should start elevating by Day 12. I can't wait...

The coolest thing happened today! My nurse, Julie, asked if she could pray for me. Of course I said yes. I felt very special. James 5:16 says, "So admit to one another that you have sinned. Pray for one another so that you might be healed. The prayer of a godly person is powerful. It makes things happen."

Missing My Danica

It has only been a little over a week, but I miss her and feels like I haven't seen her in months. Here are some photos of Danica, taken by my sister, Vivien. Never mind, I don't know how to upload pictures from my iPad. =x

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Day 5 Post BMT

Sorry I have been MIA for a couple of days. This Chemo is really kickin' my butt. My vision has changed and so has my skin color. I got darker! The doctor said these are side effects from all the drugs I've been receiving. I feel very weak, my WBC is down to 0.1. I have very thick secretions and I'm having a difficult time swallowing. It hurts to drink water. I asked the doctor to order racemic epinephrine via hand-held nebulizer. Of course, she wrote the order. After all I am a Respiratory Therapist. Bwahaha! She was actually glad to have an RT on the floor.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Day 2 Post Transplant and the Bulls Lost

Last night, I barely got some rest. The nurse was in and out of my room, checking my vitals, pushing meds, assessing my mouth and skin. I had so much pain, especially in my legs. Due to lack of exercise, perhaps. First I asked the nurse for Tylenol, didn't work. Then she offered Morphine, no effect. Finally I tried Dilaudid and that's what did it for me. I was pain-free for 3 hours.

Before I got diagnosed, I never really took anything for pain. Just topical analgesics, such as Vicks, Bengay, Salonpas and/or Katinko. It makes my room smell like an old woman's perfume, but it really is the only answer to my muscle aches. So tonight, my sister, Ate Ex, visited me and gave me Katinko. I was like a little girl in a carnival, eating cotton candy. Yes, my friends... It's the little things in life that makes me happy. That's how simple I am.

Well, it's now Day 2 post BMT. I had my hair cut today and boy oh boy do I look like a boy. Hahaha!!! I don't really care how I look, as long as I get cured. And as long as I can be here for my family and friends. On a sad note, the Bulls lost tonight. That probably hurt the most, forget the Chemo! Bwahaha! Good night, sleepyheads.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Today is Day One Post BMT

I haven't eaten since Saturday morning. I have 6 different lines hooked up to my PICC line. One of them is TPN (total parenteral nutrition). This is how they will feed me because I can't hold anything down. My stomach feels queasy. I'm gagging all over this room. To top things off, I have diarrhea. Sorry TMI.

Luckily, Raul is here to see me everyday. Just where and how would I be without him? He is my advocate. He takes care of all the paperworks, calls the doctor, he's very proactive when it comes to my health. I love the fact that he's involved with everything, almost as if he is the doctor himself. The nurses are scared of him. Haha! Raul is the kind of person who doesn't take "no" for an answer. I love my husband!

So it's Day 1! I'm super excited to be 100% again. Good night for now. XOXO

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I did it. At 11:00 in the morning, the nurse infused the donor's stem cells into my bloodstream. No adverse reactions noted. Praise God!

I was told by one of the nurses that she had a lady down the hallway, who is very depressed because she has a 3-month old baby boy at home. I had her call my room number and she did. We were both in for bone marrow transplant. Although we had two different diagnoses. I assure her that she will be fine. We talked for while, because my nurses were working on me. But before I let her go, I asked if I could say a short prayer for her and I did. Amen. Ever since I got sick, it has been easier for me to talk about God with others. This is truly God's plan. Praise be to God.

Monday, May 23, 2011


I didn't blog yesterday because I was very exhausted. My WBC is going lower and lower. I had nausea and vomiting. I haven't eaten in 3 days. I can't sleep, the nurse and her assistsnt kept coming in to check my vitals. Gosh, it has been only 2 nights and I'm already sick of this place. I want to see my baby love already..

Friday, May 20, 2011

I'm All In

This is it, I've checked in at City of Hope. I'm in Room 6103. Here's where I'll be for the next 4-6 weeks. Oh I miss Danica already. I can't wait to see her and hold her again. That little girl just melts my heart. Every time I look at her and she smiles at me, she makes the pain in my heart go away. She brightens my day, she's my sunshine... My only sunshine (just like the song).

My white blood cell is down to 0.6. The doctor said it will go even lower. I'm not looking forward to it, but this is something I have to do to get better. I will receive Melphalan at 11 pm tonight. This is the drug that will make me feel really bad, I heard. Blah!!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Good Evening! It's Day 5

I was asleep most of the day, so I'm checking in late tonight. My platelet count was low; 37,000 yesterday and my guess is it was most likely around 25,000 this morning. The nurse didn't bother checking my blood count because my doctor has standing orders to transfuse below 40,000. Really, I should have gotten it yesterday but I refused to. I hate getting platelet because I have to be premedicated with 25 mg Benadryl IV. It makes me groggy, sleepy, dries my throat... but it's something I need to prevent any adverse reactions from receiving platelet transfusions.

My older sister noticed my weight gain. I thought I was the only one. I'm eating the same amount of food. If anything, I'm eating less because I don't have an appetite lately. Must be the Chemo. Blame it on the C-H-E-M-O! Haha :D

Before I sign out, I also wanted to share that my Grandma Net went to the ED today. Praise God! My Lola is doing well. She had a CT scan done, the doctors didn't find anything wrong except that her BP was elevated. She just needs some R&R, that's all. Please include her in your prayers. I don't want anything bad to happen to her. Having her here reminds me of my childhood with Lolo Pering and Lola Medy. They all have the same positive attitude and very outgoing. If you ask me to describe Lola Net in one word, I would say she's "cute." Why I think she's cute? Let's save that story for another day.

Sweet dreams.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Day 4

I wish it was already Friday. On Friday, I will be admitted at 2 pm in the main hospital. I feel like crap, this Chemo is kicking my butt. I want to check in and get admitted already because I don't feel well. My White blood cell is down to 0.9 - I have to avoid being out, especially in a big crowd. I'm now sporting a yellow mask that covers my nose and mouth. I'm also starting to look very sick, and I don't like it. People in the hallway stare at me as Raul pushes my wheelchair. This place is making me sick, or maybe it's the Chemo. I can't wait to get better....

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

This Old Man - Day 3

How many pokes does it take to start an IV? This older man sitting next to me got poked 3 times before the nurse could start a line. Poor guy was so scared of the needle. His nurse had to be aggressive. In the middle of giving instructions, he interrupted the nurse, which got the nurse a little mad. "Let me finish," she said. Yes, I was eavesdropping. The whole thing made me laugh. He is what we call a "difficult patient." Very picky, giving the nurses a hard time about everything. I was laughing because I used to be that guy. I used to get so mad at my nurses when they have to poke me more than once. They were kind of intimidated because they know I work in the health field and I know how things should be done. I'm sure my Kaiser nurses are happy to have a break from me. I don't blame them.

So it's Day 3 of Chemo and all I have to say about it is it gives me this weird stomach ache. It comes and goes throughout the day. The nurse premedicates me with Zofran to prevent nausea. Other than that, I don't really feel anything else. That's all for now.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Day 2

I waited 1 hour and 47 minutes in the lobby. Luckily, I got my iPad so it wasn't that bad. I'm currently reading "The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake" by Aimee Bender. It's a good read, so far. The narrator is a third grader named Rose. I digress.

Last night, I kept tossing and turning in bed. I couldn't sleep because I kept thinking about the catheter lying just above my heart, in the superior vena cava, to be exact. Every time I turned to my left side, I felt my heart fluttering. Almost as if the tip of the PICC line is tickling my heart. I had nightmares about it the entire evening. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. Maybe it's all psychological, it's all in my head. Well, I hope this feeling goes away.

The nurse took my vital signs. My blood pressure was 84/45. I told her my diastolic is usually in the 90s, my systolic 60s. She worried a little, but I told her that I was feeling dizzy because I was hungry. Now here I am, sitting in the same room I was in yesterday. This time, a different chair. Blogging while waiting for my Turkey sandwich that the nurse ordered for me. I'm so hungry, I can already taste the tender meat and the crispy lettuce. Oh great! Here's my lunch. Perfect timing, I shall blog again tomorrow.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

First Day of Chemo

Good morning! I'm blogging from the Infusion Department at City of Hope. This is it! Today I will have my first ever Chemotherapy. I'm receiving Fludarabine (floo DARE a been) via IV. This medicine is used as therapy in preparation for bone marrow transplant. Not sure exactly how it will make me feel, but I'll let you all know tomorrow. That's all for now.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Little Girl, Full of Hope

I had a PICC line inserted at City of Hope yesterday morning. Unfortunately, I had to come back around 6:30 pm because the dressing was soaked with blood. What I thought would be a 2-minute dressing change ended up being a 6-hour ordeal. The doctor ordered a unit of platelet because I was actively bleeding from the PICC site and I also received two units of packed RBC. My CBC result came back with a Hgb of 7.4 - no wonder I was feeling crappy.

I was waiting for my nurse in room 5 when I saw the little girl being pushed in a stroller by her Grandma. She was maybe 4-6 years old. She had a pink blanket, her nose and mouth covered with a mask. I knew it was her when I saw her green eyes. I first saw her in the Pediatric Department on the 3rd floor. She was wearing a purple and white striped shirt, purple vest, light green, ruffled skirt, purple flip-flops and a purple headband to match. She was bald, but I could tell she used to have blonde hair like her mother. She was very beautiful even without hair. She only spoke Russian, her mom had to translate everything the nurse said. The little girl kept looking at me while my nurse was starting my IV. Our eyes met and I could tell she felt my pain. "You're a brave little girl and very beautiful," I told her. She didn't need a translator. I'm sure she knows exactly what brave and beautiful mean, and I'm sure I wasn't the first person to tell her that. I never got her name, I just know what she looks like. When I saw her again last night, I was sad because I knew she was there for hydration. At the same time, I was very happy to see her. To me, she is a friend... a special one.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

My New Hair Do

I found a store in Pomona called "Crown's Wig." The store owner is this really nice Asian lady. Her store has been open for 20 years. Because I'm undergoing Chemotherapy next week, I figured I'd buy my wig today. The lady helped me pick out a wig and turban and showed me how to put them on and how to care for it. When she found out from Raul why I needed a wig, she was in disbelief. "But you're so young," she said. She felt bad for me but I assure her that I will be fine. Everything rang up to around $250. I've lost track of my medical expenses but I'm sure my husband hasn't. After all, he is a Financial Advisor. The trips to the ED, the hospital admissions and doctors appointment - it's quite a lot when you add them up. But God is good all the time. And all the time, He is good.

Friday, May 6, 2011

From my BlackBerry

There really is no reason for me to not be able to blog. Thanks to technology, I can blog from my iPad, phone, laptop or desktop. I guess you can say that the only excuse I have is I'm tired. Being anemic is no joke! People always tell me to eat more green, leafy vegetables and eat liver and don't forget to take iron pills. However, the kind of anemia I have is not due to low levels of iron. As a matter of fact, my iron level is way too high that I need to take a medication called "Exjade" to get rid of it. Although I stopped taking it because I started getting these weird bubbles under the skin of my palms. There's always something, I swear. All I want is to have my energy back. I want to be able to do the things I used to do, without being short of breath. I want to be able to take care of Danica. I love her sooooo much!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

1st Year Wedding Anniversary

Happy Anniversary to my dear husband and best friend! You are my favorite person in the world. I love you so much!!! Thank you for the gifts and card =)