Author Archives: stellabella529

Labs, Follow Up, and Bone Marrow Biopsy

Before every biopsy, I feel anxious.  Not only is the procedure scary, but waiting on the results…nerve racking.  I’d like to think that I’m strong enough to do this without sedation.  I put on some oldies and laid on my belly while my oncologist prepped the site.  He gave me some lidocaine and after a few minutes…the biopsy begins.  My hip was raised off the bed a few times.  It’s hard to put into words how I felt while the procedure was happening.  I had tears streaming down my face, hoping that I don’t have to do this one day.   I’m tired of being pricked.  No more needles please.  Getting my labs drawn this morning was an ordeal, my veins just weren’t cooperating.

Healing is what I’ve been working on.  Trying to stay positive through this whole process. Mason has been my motivation.  He is my motivation.  I need to recover so I can be reunited with him.   I received a text message from his father today that read “Thanks since you failed to respond to my email.  For your information I have spoken with the court about your time away.  We’ll see the adjustments needed when this is all done.”   How can someone be so heartless?  Asking me for financial assistance during this very difficult time.  I am fighting to live.  I literally have to live day by day, hoping that I stay in remission.  Hoping that my cancer is cured.  Hoping that I can be cancer free for a year, 3 years, 5 years, 10 years and on.  Hoping that I WILL be around for Mason.  His dad has no understanding how difficult it’s been or has been for me.  Has he even thought about how it’s affected Mason?  I was the one that reached out to the school, making sure that he’d be okay during this transition.   But in his eyes, I’m not doing my part as a parent.   I’m doing the best that I can and will continue doing so.

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Day + 60

Day + 60 today!  I had a follow up appointment this morning, a little dehydrated, but my labs look good.  I asked the nurse if they considered issues with my knee a set back.  I could see the look in her face that this could be.  At the allogeneic clinic today, I saw the dr in the hallway that was the on-call physician while I was in-patient.  He said he had spoken with my physician, and since the blood cultures showed no growth, I may have to see a rheumatologist.  I have an appointment on Monday, June 25th to get my stitches removed.  I’m really hoping it won’t be too painful.

On a more personal note, while I’ve been battling this awful disease, I want to make a promise that I will live my life to the fullest.  I need to enjoy all of these moments.   Remembering to be grateful that we only have one life to live.  I promise to be more patient.  There’s absolutely no rush in life.  I realized how fast life moves, just by watching how fast Mason has grown.  All of his little cuddles and kisses will fade.

Day + 59

More than halfway through my 100 days after bone marrow transplant!  Happy Father’s Day daddy.  I love you.

Last Saturday, June 9th, I was readmitted to the bone marrow unit at the University of Maryland Medical Center.  Once you’ve been out of the hospital, you don’t want to go back.  I thought the pain in my knee would subside, but it had only gotten worse.  I could barely walk on my right leg.  I dreaded making “that” call to my doctor.  He told me to come in and prepare myself for the possibility of being readmitted.  If there was a way to do this outpatient, then we would.  My right knee was swollen and there was a buildup of fluid.  They needed to do an aspiration, labs, and take cultures.  My white blood count and neutrophils were high, which pointed to an infection.  My team of doctors decided that I needed to have knee surgery that night.  Whelp that escalated quickly.  Everything happened so fast, IVs were being put in, I was signing consent, and getting prepped for surgery.

Since I was diagnosed in September of 2016, I’ve been poked countless times.  I’ve had 6 bone marrow biopsies so far.  I’ve had to do intrathecal chemotherapy (chemo delivered through a lumbar puncture) a few times.  I’ve gone through multiple rounds of chemo as well as total body irradiation.  I’ve shaved my hair twice.  And now knee surgery has been added to what leukemia has done to my body.

I officially started physical therapy yesterday.  He gave me 6 exercises to do while I’m at the Hope Lodge in Baltimore.  I’m in so much pain, it’s easy to give up right now.  How do I stay motivated, when the finish line seems so far?  I’ve got to keep pushing through.  Recovery after transplant is about a year.  I’d love to have dinner and watch a movie, but I’ll have to avoid crowds.  Every time I step out of the house, I’ll need to wear a face mask.   Will I be able to take Mason to his 1st grade orientation?

Is it selfish of me to just want life to be normal again?  Can I press resume and continue where I left off from before I was diagnosed?    ACUTE LYMPHOBLASTIC LEUKEMIA’s chapter in my book is done.  I’m ready for the next chapter, LIVE, BREATHE, AND BE HAPPY.

Mother’s Day 2018

Feeling a little sad that I’m unable to be around Mason today.  Trying to take it one day at a time.  These 100 days are so critical in recovery that I just need to do it right.  Mind over body.  Trying to stay positive for the most part, can’t help but break down sometimes.  This is just a little bump in the road.  I’m ready for many more years ahead.  Mason asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up….my response “I want to be your mommy forever.”  I just want to be healthy.  I want to see him grow.

I’m feeling better today than I was yesterday.  Still a little fatigued though.   The little bit of hair on my head is still falling out.  My skin is peeling from the radiation.  I take a handful of medications twice a day.  Getting stronger everyday!

Cycle 4B

914.  It’s almost been 2 weeks since I’ve been admitted.  My numbers seem to be dropping slow.   I got platelets and blood today.  #vampirestatus  I was hoping to be home for mother’s day, but that might not happen.  It’s been a week and a day since my last chemo treatment.   Let the hair growth begin!!!  It’ll probably take me 3 years to grow back to my original length.  But that’s ok, hair is hair.  I am happy to be alive.

Feeling a little lonely today….

A little Snapchat fun to keep my mind occupied.  Everyone seems so busy with their lives while I sit here and wait.   I’m here to live another day, but I miss my normal life.   Today my family’s taking my son to the circus.    I feel like I’m missing out on these very important memories with them.  Wish I could see the face of my son as he watches the circus for the very first time.   I miss him so much and really can’t wait to be reunited in his tiny little arms around me.    I fell in the shower yesterday and the old lady pains are starting to show up in my body.   My lower back and butt are achy. So now I’m considered a high falls risk patient.   They’ll be setting a bed alarm on me.   :/

#stellastrong #kickincancersbutt #leukemiasucks