And So It Begins…began?

I meant to publish this post after getting my Hiccman cather placed. Then, I intended to post it after I woke up the next day. Then I wanted to post it…and things kept moving it back and back and back.

Well, let’s get back on Track, shall we? I’ll start from the beginning.

Hiccman Catheter Placement

So, instead of a port, it turns out its actually called a Hiccman Catheter. I think the difference is just how it sits on your skin, and the different thickness in lines that you can fit into it. From my understanding, I was being basically under a light sleep, and then given stuff to forget the procedure altogether.

Let me, not for the first time, once again curse the gene that decided I have a high tolerance for all things drug related.

I was completely awake, talking to the anesthesiologist, after she did her second dose. Here I am, still talking to her about where I’m from, and how lucky I was to make it through Sandy relatively unscathed, and the doctor walks up, no pre-amble, and just starts jabbing me with local anesthetic.

Ok, I can deal with that. Not the nicest of bed side manners, but wha-OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW. WHAT THE HELL WAS TH OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW. JESUS HOLY MOTHER MARY OF JOSEPH OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW. Good LORD man! That god damn thing hurt like a BITCH.

And here I am, more than a week later, recalling the entire experience perfectly.

I call bull shit on the Remember-Me-Nots (props to anyone who gets that reference).

Now, its easier to showed with the Hiccman, compared to the PICC line, BUT, I’m connected to the pole 24 hours a day, 7 days a week . I get disconnected once a week to change the bandage, and that’s basically it. Rough. Pretty sure that lasts for the remainder of my time here.

 

Post Placement

After the Hiccman was placed, I was in a pretty solid amount of pain, and spent the rest of the night recuperating with my family. I kicked them out early, though, so they could get a head start on fixing all of the nonsense caused by Sandy. That first night wasn’t too bad.

Embrassing Shit Happened

I’m going to break out the embarrassing stories separately because they’re just too funny not to share them.  Also, to give you fair warning about their extremely graphic nature.

Chemo Was Mainly Easy

No crazy amounts of hydration, no crazy amounts of non-showering, nothing really annoying about the regime of various chemo drugs I got. Basically all of them were “side effect; delayed nausea”, though, which we’ll come back to.

One of the interesting drugs, though, required that I shower 1 hour after finishing, and 6 hours after finishing. Apparently you secrete it out from your pores, and having it just chill on your skin is bad.

First Weekend Was Mostly Painless

I have lots of visitors, my cousin and sister showed me this awesome plan they had to get people to send me pictures from all around the world (picture of the wall to follow soon), and people in general were just awesome.

And Then Monday Happened

Monday was when the real unpleasantness began, and has continued mostly unabated.

First thing on Monday was Total Body Irradiation. That’s where they hook you up to this harness who’s sole purpose is to prevent you from falling (but it doesn’t actually hold you up at all…that’d be too easy). Then they have you sit over the world’s most uncomfortable bicycle seat (which you’re not actually allowed to sit on), and then you stand there.

For 11 minutes. Try not to move.

Then, they turn you around, and do it again.

After that, I had part 3 of the embarrassing story, which I was annoyed about, because I thought it was only happening twice, but w/e, they explained it to me, so I went along with it. From then on, I’ve been exhausted, nauseus, or head-ached, 100% of the time. Tuesday I went back for all of it again. Monday I also started the anti-rejection drug Cyclosporin, which, let me tell you, is just ALL kinds of fun.

First you get the crazy chills, so you want to duck under every cover and blanket you have. Then, islolated parts of you start to get crazy over heated. And then just everything is over heated. For 2-3 hours. Oh, and so far, there’s like a 70% chance that I vomit when the drug ends. Seriously, the worst drug I’ve gotten so far.

Transplant Day

They loaded me up with so many pre-meds that I slept all day. The highlight? Dr. Barker came all the way up to my room to see me and talk to her, and I promptly vomited into a tin. That wasn’t fun.

Haplo Day

Pretty much the same. Highlight of this day was that BOTH Dr. Roboz AND Dr. Barker came to see me. I was so thrilled! Even though I pretty much passed out immediately afterward. There’s just something comforting about their presence that made my sagging spirits rise a bit.

Second Weekend

The second weekend has been really rough so far. I have to give huge props to Jessie for being my bad ass little patient advocator, vomit-helper, comfiter, and just generally a little bubble of wonderful among all this crazy sickness and unpleasantness.

 

So, that’s basically it. I have 2 really embarrassing stories to tell, but they’re great enough to stand alone. Looking forward to people’s responses.

 

And finally, in closing, I’M ALIVE! I’MMMMMMMMMM ALIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE.

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16 comments

  1. Dawn Salerno · · Reply

    Hells yeah!!! I hope each day brings more good feelings…love ya heart and soul xxxooo wish we could do more

    1. Thanks Dawnie 🙂

  2. you are remarkable !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! love you xxxx

    1. Don’t know if this is my Auntie Anne, or Anne C., but either way, love you both back 😛

  3. Linda Brandi · · Reply

    You are as tough as they come. Truly inspirational. Looking forward to you helping me with snowboarding. We love you xxoo

    1. I can’t wait to feel snow under my board, wind in my face, and freedom ahead of me.

      Soon enough, soon enough.

  4. Wow!!!! I am so pleased to hear the all is going well ( feeling horrible notwithstanding). Keep trucking.

    1. Haha, yeah, it’s kinda like “YAY things are going as planned!” “BOO the plan is basically feel like shit”.

      Oh well, I’ll keep on keepin’ on.

  5. jonathan hammond · · Reply

    Your strength is very inspiring. I’m sure you’ll pull through, I’m praying for you anyways though. You are a Trooper! God bless you and may you make a full recovery as soon as possible. I’m glad your doctors give you a sense of relief. Your story gives me hope.

    1. Thanks for the kind words. I tried to always have a positive outlook on life because the diagnosis. I see no reason to change just for this stupid cancer. 🙂

  6. Elizabeth Breslin · · Reply

    Rooting for you!!!!

  7. Hang in there, bro

  8. Tony, Our prayers are with you. Please remember you have an enormous army of friends and supporters. D

    1. Thank you again for all of the continued Farrell support. You guys are the best.

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