Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Day Zero

Our little hero has weathered the past few days of chemo in preparation for her transplant with little more than some tiredness as a result. All things considered, she has had an excellent preparatory period leading up to today, Day Zero.

Day Zero is a special day in many ways. Many people consider this a new birthday. This is the day she will be given a new immune system and will start the process of taking on a new blood type (if the donor’s type is different than Erica’s). The start of a new life. So, remember April 29th!!! (and June 4th too – her original birthday).

There have been some sobering, but also thankful moments as Day Zero has approached. For one, the nurses have reminded Erica of the possible side effects of her radiation and chemo treatment that will not be able to be fought off by her immune system, because she will have none until her white blood cell counts go up somewhere in between Day 14 and 21. This was all instigated by what I call the Mouth Sore Secretion Suction System (MOSSESS, not too unlike what a dentist would use) that was introduced to her last night. Mouth sores and dry skin/rashes are common following these procedures and can be quite unpleasant. These side effects have had her quite down in the past 24 hours.

What needs to be remembered, and something one of her nurses reminded her of last night, is that there are some people who don’t get donors, so that is why Day Zero, although a start of some difficult times, is mostly a cause for celebration. This is the chance to get her life back. The cause of hope for a promising future. So, if anything celebrate this day for Erica!

Day Zero officially began at 6:00 pm on the dot (so all you astrology buffs can check the exact time)… The doctors came in with what looked like a Bloody Mary cocktail mix in a bag and hooked it up to one of her lines. The “transplant” takes place like a blood transfusion. The initial flow was set for an hour, but because she had no immediate adverse reaction (great!), they increased the flow and she had sucked it dry within 45 minutes. Having taken some meds prior to the transplant, she slept soundly throughout the procedure and continues to sleep soundly, now over two hours after the transplant, with still no reactions. Now it’s just keeping tabs on her and making sure she doesn’t get any fevers or itching…

I wish I could tell you what kind of spirits she was in, but she’s been awake about an hour the entire day. Probably for the best.

Happy Birthday Erica!!!

20 comments:

Abby Wood said...

Happy Birthday, Beautiful! And sweet dreams. See you soon.

Love,
Abby (who is also sending love to your donor, whoever s/he is)

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Erica - much love and health!

A regular reader!

Joe.Karen said...

Happy birthday to you...
Happy birthday to you...
Happy BIRTHDAY dear Ericaaaaaaaaaaa...
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!!!!!!

Erica, you and yours continue to be in my prayers. I so want to witness you kickin' this leukemia crap in the ass. And I know you're going to do it with style and sass. A million hugs to you, the people around you, and your donor.

Love,
Karen

Nancy said...

Happy Birthday Erica!!! Thank you sweet donor for this blessed day! Take care & keep up the positive attitude. love, nancy

Anonymous said...

My dearest E, here's your wake-up challenge: "Happy Birthday"s in different language, can you guess which is which??
Yom Huledet Same'ach! Alles Gute zum Geburtstag! Gratulerer med dagen! Qu Ni Sheng Er Kuai Le! Buon Cumpleanno! Breithla Shona Dhuit! Feliz Aniversario! Eid Milaad Saeed! Feliz Cumpleaños! Joyeux Anniversaire! Isten Eltessen! Otanjou-bi Omedetou Gozaimasu! Vill Glück zum Geburri!
Felichan Naskightagon! Heri Ya Siku Kuu! Droonkher Tashi Delek! Eku Ojobi! A Freilekhn Gebortstog!

(Ok, I admit, I cheated on 98% of them and had to look'em up...)

Sending you all my love. Stay strong querida!!!

Gioia

Hopers said...

Happy birthday! I am wishing you all the best.

Susan and Judy said...

Erica-

sending massive hugs from Down Under. You are brave and awesome and in my thoughts all the time.

and let me just say, with great respect and affection and no hint of objectification, that you have a very nice ass.

stay strong, erica, and know that people are thinking of you all arcoss the globe.

susan (banki) in sydney

Clif said...

Happy Rebirthday, Erica!

Anonymous said...

came to your site from joe.karen blog...i am from the cutest girl around (another link on karen's blog). i know you are suffering greatly, but also know there is no other way for you to get well. keep up the attitude..."radiation can kick my ass"...humor helps! gigi (livi's grandma)

artineh said...

Happy birthday Erica!! And here's another to add to Gioia's: Daredartsd shnorhavor. Ooh and I think I know the Persian too: tavalodet mobarak.

Can't wait to hear how it feels to be reborn.

Sev, Karineh, Lucy and mom all send you their love and best wishes.

lots of love,
art

Nela said...

Hi Erica,

Always thinking about you, all of
Fletcher misses you!

Love, kisses, & BIG BEAR HUGS!
Nela

Anna said...

Hi sweet mama,
I pray for the least amount of discomfort possible during this rebuilding/ new birth period. We all love you so much. I love you, and miss you very much. xoxoxoxox

slucas said...

Erica-chan,

Otanjoubi-omedetto gozaimasu! Kore kara yasashiku narimasu, deshou?! Yokatta!

Jya, raishuu aimasu, ne! Tanoshimi!
Erica-chan, daisuki.

Anonymous said...

Buon Compleanno Erica!
thinking a lot about you and sending positive energy!

hugs,
Margherita

Anonymous said...

Feliz Cumpleaños Niña Bonita!!

Celebro to Cumple... Y en este dia glorioso pido tu dicha al Señor, na na na!! (Dominican B-day song, will translate to you soon...)

My dear friend, I'm thinking of you and celebrating from our lovely "office" at Fletcher! Miss you..

Besos,

giselle

Anonymous said...

Sending you lots of love, hugs, strength and health..

following your progress daily!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ERICA!!!

Melissa Marie said...

Happy Birthday, Erica! We are thinking about you constantly and sending tons of love your way always.

Love,
Melissa & David

Paula said...

Happy Birthday Erica! We are sending so many thoughts and prayers your way. You are in Jim's and my thoughts constantly. We can't wait until you have a big celebration because you have kicked leukemia in the ass! Take care and stay tough. Love, Jim & Paula

Anonymous said...

Sending lots of good wishes your way!! Thank you to Josh and Jaci and everyone keeping us posted on your experiences. We are SO with you in spirit!!!

Love,
Eve (and Meng Fei, who hasn't gotten to meet you yet, but says you're the best possible reason to get going with making hapa babies! ;)

Carmen said...

Estas son las mañanitas que cantabaa el rey Daviddd, a las muchachas bonitasss se las cantamoss aqui :)
(Mexican birthday song)

Happy birthday Erica! :)

XXXXXX