Day +1 July 17, 2013
Today is Day +1, or one day post stem cell transplant. This morning, Bryan woke up feeling very tired. He described it as the "bug hit the windshield" feeling. Dr. Burt said that today it would be normal to feel like "you had been hit by a truck". Bryan described his Day +1 morning as feeling "off". He said that he felt exhausted, but didn't have the CIDP feeling of legs crawling or fingers tingling. I am sure that those of you who have CIDP or other diseases with neuropathy can relate to these sensations.
On Day +1, for those CIDP patients out there, you receive Rituxan.
Rituxan is a targeted form of chemo that attacks your B Cells. Dr. Burt
said that basically it attacks any last "bad" cells in your body to
allow for your new stem cells. To remind you, Rituxan's pre-meds are
Benadryl, Tylenol and steroids. In addition, he is taking antibiotics,
anti-fungal and anti-viral medicines on a daily basis.
I should also note that Bryan is near the neutropenic level. His absolute neutrophils and white cells were 0.6. When these blood counts get to 0.5 or lower, he will be considered "neutropenic". This is also when you are at the greatest risk for infections. Infection is Bryan's biggest enemy right now. That is why when he woke up in the middle of the night with a low-grade fever it was a little scary. We were quickly reassured that a low-grade fever was normal. As long as it didn't get above 100.4 there was nothing to worry about.
As the day went on, Bryan started to feel better and his fever eventually went down. Once the Rituxan had finished its 4 hour course, he and I went for a short walk. Yesterday he walked 200 feet and today he was able to get about 70 feet. We will take each day as it comes. He is also doing his arm exercises with thera-band right now. They have him doing strengthening exercises each day for both the upper and lower extremities.
Bryan is starting to feel sensation again in his feet. He said that during his walk today he felt the nubs on his hospital socks against his feet. He also started to feel the coolness of the floor after his shower. It is amazing how much has happened on his road to recovery in such a short amount of time. I wish you could all see how much his balance has also improved. Maybe tomorrow during his walk I will do some video taping to share with all of you. There is no other explanation than this treatment is working. Of course this treatment is through God's healing and knowledge that he gave to Dr. Burt and his research team.