So I'm back in the hospital again. It's been two weeks as of today. I'm going a little crazy from being so isolated, but things have finally changed a bit, so this week hasn't been quite so boring.
I'm in here because since leaving HUP, the amount of inflammation in my lungs has gone up a lot and my oxygen needs were up to 100%. Up until now they have been giving me tons of steroids, but having little success in reducing my oxygen requirement.
As of yesterday they had reached a point where they felt that I needed to have an open lung biopsy to determine whether inflammation or infection was the culprit. Really to rule out infection and start cytoxan treatment or to pin point the unlikely infection. We needed to rule out infection because the cytoxan would wipe out my immune system and an infection could kill me.
Open lung biopsy is not a simple procedure. The technique that they use is video assisted, so it's simpler than the old technique that required a four inch incision between my ribs, but it still requires general anesthesia with intubation. They go in and take three or four thumbnail sized chunks of lung tissue then analyze them for a difinitive answer.
At that point, the plan was to start cytoxan and proceed with the full stem cell transplant. So big changes, fast.
Last night, however, I had a repeat CT scan and apparently the steroids have finally started working and the inflammation has been decreased by half since last week. So it looks as if we don't need a sample of the tissue to determine what the cause is because infection wouldn't respond like that.
So now I'm waiting again to talk to the pulmonologist and oncologist about what we do now. From conversations we had yesterday, my guess is that we'll just continue on with the cytoxan treatment and get this transplant moving, but who knows, they may have other ideas.
So that's it for now. I'd update more often if life was less boring or if I had a real WiFi connection from this room - I love my iPhone, just not for long correspondence. So I'll keep in touch as I know more.
Mobile Blogging from here.