This is a blog intended to keep family and friends posted about my progress as I undergo a stem cell transplant to fight my relapse of Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Day plus 4, the fun begins

Just an update on by beautiful wife.. She woke up this morning finding out that her hemoglobin was below what the doctors would like, so they are giving her 2 bags of blood to try and help her out. She is also getting an I V drip for some fluids, and a morphine pump for the pain she is having in her throat and stomach. It seems to be working, but making her a little tired. But for some reason she refuses to sleep, she thinks she needs to watch her Packers play understadably. The morphine seems to be helping, she is able to drink a little without being in a whole lot of pain. She goes from being free and able to walk around to being stuck in bed and hooked up to a machine with about 50 tubes and wires hooked up to her. Looks like she is resting comfortably, probly because it is about half-time of the game. That's about all for now. GO PACKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Day plus 3

Hey everyone this is Sky's hubby, just letting you know what has been going on in the fabulous world of hospital stay. Today Skie's immune system is now down to zero and the fun begins. She is starting to get a little more run down, her throat is getting a little more sore, and a little more tired. They say it will take about five to eight days before her system will start reproducing cells again. She will start getting her shots on the day five. We are hoping between day eight and day eleven she can be released as an out patient, if there are no complications. She is a little down because she wasn't able to get to see her boys on Thursday. Riley our oldest was told that he has walking nemonia, hope I spelled that right. As of Saturday he was feeling better and playing again. Both of the boys got to go up to the farm on Friday and help start the 2007 season of harvest, they were both so excited to get to help Grandma and Grandpa. I have to send my best helpers up to harvest beings I'm down helping Skie recover. The Grandparents are in good hands, or should I say thay they have there hands full. Well I should quit writing and get to work on getting Skie up and moving. I would also like to say Thank You to everyone who has wrote, called, e-mailed, and just kept her in your prayers. It has been a big help and and gives skie a big boost to know that she has all the support in the world from everyone. Thanks Again.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Day 0!!!!! Happy ReBirthday to me!!!!

Okay, so I've been slacking again on my updating duties. There really hasn't been too much to report on--mostly more of the same. I did get a good night of sleep last night, with the help of Tylenol PM and Ativan--with another Ativan kicker at 4am! The new pillow has helped somewhat, but the bed is still greatly uncomfortable (no egg-crate foam yet)

Anyway, I am happy to say I have been "reborn"! My two little bags of stem cells were reinfused into me around 10am this morning, effectively giving me a new immune system to build. Lots and lots of sleeping today, and not much desire to eat, but I am gently coaxing myself into eating. No mouth sores yet (and hopefully I'm doing a good job keeping them away), I haven't vomitted (although I'm not sure if that could still be a possibility!), and no fevers. However, I think it is pretty common to have fevers and need blood products as your stem cells fight to engraft themselves into your body. That's my understanding of it, anyway.

Alright, time to try making myself eat something! You'll know more when I know more!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Day -3--side effects but Packers WIN!!!!

Okay, so today I've been a little slower moving than in previous days. Of course, I probably spent all my energy cheering on my Packers--it's so nice of Brett Favre to have a good season (so far) just so I can get through my SCT easier!! Thanks Brett!!

I'm having a little more nausea today, but getting a combo of Zofran and Compazine seems to be helping that out--as long as I remember to get the meds before I start feeling too queazy. Since they can't give me anything that could mask a fever, I get Hydrocodone for the headaches (caused by backaches) that this lovely bed is giving me. So right now, I feel pretty good! The only other real side effects I'm having is an almost complete lack of appetite and constipation. The doctor is trying to "gently" work on the latter of these problems, since he seems convinced that I'll be wishing for constipation within the next couple of days. I am sure you're all sitting on the edge of your seats waiting to hear about my next bowel movement! However, my lack of appetite could definitely interfere with the "poo" situation--if I don't give my guts something to work on, they will go to sleep, further enhancing the lack of poo. Anyway, probably too much information!! Sorry, but I am also using this blog as a way of helping me remember the high and low points of this whole process--in addition to keeping my friends and family updated.

On a MUCH better note~~my wonderful husband if making his way down here tomorrow to visit me!!!!! Poor guy will be just getting off of his third night shift in a row, but he promises me he will get some sleep before the 2 1/2 hour trek down my way. He'll only be able to stay overnight, and then head back Tuesday (working days on Wed. and Thurs.), but he will be back for the weekend!!! This is good news, because, accoring to what I keep hearing and being told, this coming weekend with begin the roughest part of this whole ordeal. I will likely be having the majority of symptoms as my counts bottom out and attempt to climb back up again. I feel so thankful to be able to have Scott here for what I can only imagine will be a not-so-fun time. Oh yeah, forgot to mention my husband is bringing me a REAL pillow!!!! Maybe I'll get some better sleep, although actually being in my own bed is probably the only thing that will help me get the kind of rest I really need.

Well, I'd love to keep writing, but I really need to work on convincing myself to eat something. Hopefully something from the menu pops out at me as something I can make myself enjoy--or at least be able to tolerate! Love to all~~and hopefully sweet dreams to us ALL!!!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Day -4

Well, today has me feeling a little more tired and queasy, and if I could sleep decently on this rock-hard bed and plastic pillows, I'd be feeling a lot better. But, luckily, my emotional state seems a bit more stable today. Yesterday I was feeling pretty blue--being away from my family is just so hard. But, I am doing better today--got a few phone calls and even a visitor!! Yay~!

Not much else to report. I ventured out and around the hospital today--decided I better enjoy the healing garden they have here before it's too cold or I feel too crappy to wander around. It was beautiful--nice breeze and mid-80's out in the sun. I sat in the shade and read the names of all the people who have struggled with their health who's loved one dedicated a brick to honor them. It was nice, and not as morbid as I would have thought--it sure seemed like many of the bricks were there as contributions to the hospital for helping their loved ones get back to good health. It was touching, although I still don't think I'd want to see my name on a brick anytime soon!!

Well, about another 1/2 hour of chemo, some sleep meds, and hopefully I will get a good night of sleep tonight. At the very least, I have the Packer's game to look forward to tomorrow!!! Sweet dreams everyone! Oh, and Nik, I didn't forget your birthday! I sent you an email, then realized afterward that I sent it to your work address! Sorry!!!! Love ya--now you're back to being almost as old as me!!!!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Days -6 and -5

Hi everyone! Just wanted to let you all know that I was admitted to the hospital right on schedule yesterday, and received my first dose of chemo last night. Pretty uneventful--no side effects yet. I don't anticipate too much for side effects until sometime after the stem cell infusion. I've been told the reason for that is just because they hit you with so much chemo in such a short period of time, it's almost like my body does not react to it much until it's all over! Weird, but the side effects show up mostly once my immune system dies off, which should be approximately on day +3.

For the next four days (including this morning right at 4am), I will get two doses of chemo, at 4am and 4pm. My last day of chemo (hopefully FOREVER!!!!) will be on Tuesday, with my "re-birth day" happening next Wednesday. Then it's all downhill~and uphill~ from there!

Just wanted to give an update to my mailing address here at the hospital. I would like to believe things should get to me even with the other address, but here's a specific one:

Skie Peltier-Anderson
Patient Mail
Room Number 7453
P.O. Box 6159
Omaha, NE 68106-0159

Best guess is that I will be at this address for about 3 weeks--they estimate in-patient hospitalization for 10-14 days after the reinfusion (next Wednesday!)--barring any complications such as infections.

Love to you all, and I hope you are all doing well! For those of you who are having a hard time posting messages here, I'm going to try changing some of my settings which will hopefully make posting easier. Please don't give up trying~~~being here by myself for a major portion of my time in the hospital, you have no idea how much even quick messages mean to me!!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


My oncologist has nicknamed me the collection queen, because I was able to collect 9 million stem cells in one day!!! He said I'm setting new records around there--which I'm not sure is true--but makes me feel pretty good anyway! So, what does this mean? Well, first, I don't have to go back for any more collection days. It usually takes an average of 3-4 days to collect, so right now I'm doing better than average!!! YIPPEE to me!!! Second--and most important--I will be admitted to the hospital tomorrow (Thursday) and begin at day -6 because I'll be getting my first day of chemo. This type of chemo is called BEAM, and I just recently received the educational sheets on it, so I'm not able to speak knowledgeably about this regimen yet. However, I can say this is 6 days of high dose chemo, and basically any side effect you can think of (and many you've never dreamed of) will be possible during it. It is intended to completely wipe out my immune system/stem cells, so they can be reinfused on day 0. The transplant team estimates I'll be in the hospital for another 10-14 days after transplant, as my immune system rebuilds itself. So, I will eat a good meal tonight, get a great night of sleep, and head to the hospital tomorrow around noon. Wish me luck, and I'll keep you updated as often as I can. Thanks to those of you who are sending me emails and cards. Your support is so appreciated--you have no idea how much it all means to me! Love to all!!!!


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Thought I would make this its own blog entry...

My dear friend, Kelly, from the Hodgkin's message board I am a part of, wrote some really important things to keep in mind regarding my restrictions as I go into the stem cell transplant, so I thought I would copy it into its own post so anyone considering sending anything knows what I can't have....Thanks Kelly!!

Dear Friends and Family of Skye,

I wanted to share some restrictions that you might not know about for Skye since she's now moving towards her stem cell transplant...

First of all, she really likes presents...BUT... DON'T send her flowers because unfortunately she's not allowed to be around them.

Another thing is raw foods, so if you're going to drop off food for her (which would be a terrific idea) make sure it can be fully cooked because miss Skye's immune system is shot and she can't fight the bacteria that may live on them.

Also things I know that might be helpful "gifts" for her...

Maybe you could offer to babysit her boys, or come clean her bathroom, or do dishes, or do laundry, or do grocery shopping for her. Little helpful things like that would really make life a little easier for her.

Thanks for reading!!

Kelly, Skye's hodge fighting pal :)

Regarding my progress--I head to Omaha tonight with a friend/coworker so I can be at the hospital bright and early tomorrow morning to get my Hickman catheter placed. Beginning on Tuesday, I start collecting stem cells--and this is all considered out-patient, so I am not officially "in" the hospital yet. I won't be admitted until the day after I have collected the minimum amount of stem cells required to do the SCT (stem cell transplant) successfully. I will definitely post on here when I get admitted to the hospital. All my restaging tests came back good, although my onc (oncologist) wouldn't actually say I was in remission. At least the ICE did its job well enough for me to move forward. Wish me luck that I don't spend more than about 3-4 days collecting!!! I want to get this show on the road, so I can get back home to my family!!! Sending my best out to you all!!! Love always!!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Ready, Set, COLLECT!!!!

Hi everyone! A quick update to let you know that my scans came back pretty good. The doctor wouldn't actually say the word "remission", but says the ICE did its job well enough to proceed right away with the transplant. So, I'll be getting growth factor (neupogen) shots twice a day from Friday to Monday, get the Hickman line in on Monday, and start collection on Tuesday. Hopefully it'll just take a few days to collect, and then I will be admitted to the hospital to start high dose chemo. So, the next stage is in full swing, and I even scored a prescription of Vicoden to help with the pain from the neupogen shots! YAY!!!! (Because I know getting only one shot--once a week--had me in some pretty fair amounts of pain for a few days each time). Besides, vicoden is fun!!! Just ask anyone I've made phone calls to after taking it!!!! I tend to have little to no memory of what I do while under the influence of the stuff! See, cancer can be fun!!!!!

Nik--your husband called and left a message saying he would have probably slept better if he hadn't had to snuggle up with a Packer's blanket!!!! Poor guy!!! Crystal--got your package and the card had me crying because I was laughing so hard!!!! Thanks for the super soft jammies!!!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

You will be able to find me at...

I should have Internet access while in the hospital, but it was recommended to me that I provide people with a mailing address--just in case you want to send me a card while I'm "incarcerated"!!!! Of course, gifts (purely to keep my spirits up!!) will be accepted as well!!!! Hee! Hee! Hey, if you can't ask for presents when you have cancer, when CAN you ask!!!! So, here's the address, if you are feeling inclined to make my day a little brighter. I'll let you know all know when I'll actually be in the hospital to begin receiving!!!!

Skie Peltier-Anderson
University Tower, OHSCU (7th floor)
P.O. Box 6159
Omaha, NE 68106-0159

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Here's the low-down for the next couple of weeks

On Monday (10th), Scott and I go down to Omaha for a fun-filled day of bloodwork, PET scan, CT scan, and a bone marrow biopsy (BMB). We will have a doctor appointment on the 11th, (yes, that's 9/11--a little eery), to determine if the two rounds of ICE have put me into remission. If not, I will likely start my third round of ICE--but I'm being optimistic!!

Assuming I am in remission, here is the remainder of the plan that I know of right now...I will start neupogen shots on Friday (14th)--through Monday (17th). This is done to "pump up" my white blood cell count and help me produce enough stem cells for my transplant.

On Monday (17th) I will return to Omaha with my friend/co-worker, Angie, to have my Hickman line placed. This is a central line, which will be used for stem cell collection. Beginning on Tuesday (18th) I will begin collecting stem cells. To my knowledge, I get hooked up to a machine that basically sucks the blood out of my body, separates out the stem cells, and puts the remainder of the blood back into my body. Once I have collected the magic number (somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 million)--and this could take anywhere from one to seven or more days--I will then be admitted to the hospital to begin 6 days of high dose chemo called BEAM (given twice a day). In case you haven't figured it out, that's intended to completely wipe out my immune system--then I will get my stem cells back and wait for my immune system (WITHOUT cancer!!) to return to a level that is survivable outside of a sterile environment. A mere 3-5 weeks from the beginning of the collection process, I should be sleeping back in my own bed again!

So, there's the tentative timeline. My admission to the hospital will be completely determined by how long it takes me to collect enough cells, but I will try to update as frequently as possible!