Today is Day +368. 368 days since I received my bone marrow transplant. 368 days since I received the cells from my brother that gave me a new beginning. 368 days. That’s a lot. When I look back, it’s amazing to think of how far I’ve come in the past year — my mom also agrees. I received this text from her on Sunday. =)
I arrived in Bethesda at 11pm last night after a short but weathery flight from New Orleans. I was in New Orleans for a bachelorette party; it’s a tough life I live sometimes and is why I didn’t post on Sunday but, ya, know. It’s good to reflect but it’s also great being in the moment. And I was being in some amazing moments with some amazing people.
I got to the hotel. Unpacked and prepped for today. My schedule was a bit crazy and looked a little something like this…
I headed to NIH around 6:45am (I was running a little behind) and got my blood drawn and provided a urine sample for them to complete the pregnancy test that was required before the DEXA scan. They insisted this must be done even though I guaranteed them I was not pregnant since I still haven’t had my period since last April. (And just for the record this part has been pretty great. I’m of the mind set that if I am infertile (which remember was like 95% chance), it would be pretty cruel of my body to still give me a period. I found tampons in my cabinet the other day and was like “Huh, I should probably get rid of these.” Then I figured I should keep them in case I had friends over that needed them one day. But I wasn’t sure if that was weird. I equated it to how I keep flour in my house even though I’ve been gluten free for 5 years but still. I didn’t throw them out. FYI — lady friends, if you are ever at my house.) Anyways, here’s the blood. They didn’t take nearly as many tubes as I’ve had taken in the past (urine sample was omitted on purpose, you’re welcome).
After the lab I met my dad to say”Hello!”(remember he’s in town, too, for his yearly appointments). I haven’t seen him for a couple months so I was excited to get to see him here.
I then had my DEXA scan completed. This was the first time I had had this specific test done. The machine looked like this:
A DEXA scan is an x-ray that tells how dense your bones are. They took x-rays of my left wrist/hand, left pelvis area and left leg. Apparently they just do your non-dominant side since theoretically that side would be weaker. I won’t get the results until Thursday or so and the technician wouldn’t allow me to take photos of the scans but said I could get them from my doctor. Stay tuned for pictures of my bones!
I then had my ECHO (the machine pictured below was used). Nothing exciting to report here. I still have a functioning heart, which I heavily suspected. (Chip, if you are reading this, I missed you as my technician!)
I then did my pulmonary function test (PFT). This tests how well my lungs are working and unsurprisingly they are working better than they did back in October (I’m exercising more which is why this wasn’t a surprise)! Check out how sexy I look.
And yes, I took the nose pincher with me. I’m not sure why. I guarantee you I will never use it again. Maybe it’s like my logic with the tampons…?
After the PFT I saw the dermatologist. Here I am sporting my hospital gown. Like with my dermatologist back home they were looking for any irregular moles and further signs of GVHD of the skin. My skin has been pretty boring recently but I did have them confirm that I had a zit on my nose. For some reason, I haven’t had any acne since the transplant. I’m not complaining, just making an observation since I thought it was a little odd so when one spring up on my nose I was like “Huh, is that a…? Oh, it is! Weird.”
After the dermatologist, I saw Cindy and Dr. Holland. They presented me with this beautiful coloring to celebrate my 1 year anniversary. It was in a folder with notes from my doctors. It was such a beautiful and sweet gesture. I love my NIH family.
After the clinic appointment, I went back to the hotel, took a nap then met with my dad for a steak dinner. Tomorrow we are both getting our bone marrow biopsies done which means no eating after mid-night so I was trying to fill up as much as possible.
I’m actually pretty hungry again so I’ll be heading down to the hotel lobby to toast me some bread (gluten free of course) before I can’t eat any more for the evening.