Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Just Not Easy...

It's day +3, in transplant language that's 3 days after you get your cells. That was an incredible day, but since then, things have just not been easy.

Bone marrow Transplants are just not easy. physically & emotionally. The day after I got my cells I woke up with a lump in my throat...but I just thought one of the many pills I'm taking was stuck. Then I realized, crap, that's not a lump...that would be a mouth sore. Oh, the dreaded chemo mouth sores. It's getting harder and harder for me to swallow as more fill my mouth and throat. The nausea has picked up along with vomiting and feeling like complete crap. The unfortunate "transplant normals" they call it. They've got me on round the clock anti-nausea meds, and now my very own morphine pump. The med pole continues to grow, and all the lines coming out of my chest are becoming heavy. I'm also on TPN, nutrition that runs through my line, because I can't eat. The very thought of food makes me sick.  
My counts are dropping, which is expected. My ANC is pretty much non-existent, so I am very susceptible to infection, and my hemoglobin and platelets continue to drop. They'll probably transfuse me tomorrow.

This morning I woke up so nauseated, stabbing pains in my stomach, vomiting, and hardly being able to open my mouth because of the sores. My amazing mom sat at my bedside rubbing my back and stroking my hair and telling me "one day at a time". I am so grateful for her. It's been a very rough day, both physically and emotionally. I'm weak and more tired than I've ever been. So, I've slept most of the day.

Another thing is, days +1,+3,+5...they start another chemo called methotrexate, which is a harsh chemo but helps prevent graft vs. host disease. So it's very important. I got the dose day 1, but my liver numbers went up and they couldn't give the next dose to me until those numbers went down. My mom posted something asking for extra prayers that my labs would come back good and I could get the med. Let me tell you how strong the power of prayer is. My liver numbers went down and I am getting the chemo as I'm typing this. God is good, so good. He hears and answers every prayer and I'm so thankful.

In the mean while, I'm hoping for better days to come. All of this is just not easy, but I CAN and I WILL do it.

"Where there is hope, there is faith. Where there is faith, miracles happen."

hair loss update: haven't lost any yet...we'll see how long this'll take.


Saturday, August 23, 2014

August 23, 2014. A day I will never forget.

This past week has been filled with so many different emotions. I finished chemo on Wednesday, but I've been feeling super nauseous, vomiting and having horrible migraines since. Transplant calls that the "transplant normals" unfortunately. Luckily, we've got it managed and I just slept most of the week.

Friday came around and the week had just been a blur. I of course opened my instagram and was shocked to see my school, Higley, go "pink4kin"! The whole school wore pink in my honor and signed lots of posters, and yelled "KIN CAN KICK IT" over a video. I was honestly so shocked. Can you guess what my family and I did?'re right...we all bawled our eyes out. I have the greatest support. I could not be more blessed. Thank you Higley High, from the bottom of my heart. You all rock!

Then Saturday came around. August 23, 2014...will be a day I will NEVER EVER forget. My new "bone marrow transplant birthday" they call it. Today I got my new bone marrow. How amazing is it, that a tiny blood like bag could be filled with marrow, with new life, my new life. Life from a generous donor whom I've never met. Simply amazing.
The day started out early (well early for a girl who likes to sleep in) and pretty normal. The room filled with people I love, nurses, and mama Douglas; it was so calm..(besides the vitals every 5 minutes) . Then my wonderful nurse Aiada, brought in the bag of bone marrow. She hung the bag and I slept after we took some pics of course. And just like that it was done. My mom, dad, hattie, jace, granny, and jobe family were all by my side. We all sat in tears and with gratitude. It was the most amazing experience. To the donor that I don't know, thank you for saving my life, thank you for being so willing to donate your marrow, thank you for giving me this second chance at life. I am so grateful.
This is just the beginning, it's not even close to being over, and it will get harder. But I'll get there one step at a time. Now it's time for my new cells to start growing...I've got three words for ya cells...GROW CELLS GROW!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2014


 I was admitted today into PCH today and I was pleasantly surprised when I walked in and saw my whole room decorated. IT'S FREAKING ADORABLE!! Feels like home, well as homey as a hospital room can get. lol. Thank you so so much Aunt Kara, Meg, Granny, and Buzzuto's!! I absolutely love it!


I HAVE ALL PINK HAIR!!! & I absolutely Loveee it! I had to just go all out before my hair started to come out!
Thanks to Candice Shumway!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Good Friends & Good Times

This week has been great. It's been so nice to be away from the hospital and home with my family. Over all I've felt pretty good. Tired and not a lot of energy...but that was expected. The chemo wiped out my lymphocytes, so it's harder for my body to fight off infections now. luckily, I haven't gotten sick and I've done really well.
I had a clinic appointment Monday for labs and a dressing change, and we met with Dr.Adams, another transplant doctor. She said everything looked great and my counts were good, so it was a positive visit. We got everything set in place for tomorrow (Thursday). I'll be admitted tomorrow, then start chemo Friday. The chemo they're starting is called Fludarabine. I'll be on high doses of that until next Tuesday, then on Wednesday they will start a different chemo called Melphalan. That will just go on for that day. These chemo's will cause mouth sores, fevers, vomiting...etc. Definitely not looking forward to that. My Dr. said my hair will start falling out within two weeks. Right now I'm ok with the whole "hair loss" thing, but I'm sure when it actually starts happening it will be difficult. Thankfully there's beanies ;) I'll have two days of rest, then August 23 will be my transplant birthday. I'll receive my new bone marrow. It will be an amazing day.  

People ask me how I'm feeling about all this and my thoughts on it, and I usually say "fine" or "ok" but honestly I'm terrified. Not many things scare me and I can usually handle a lot of things, but I'm absolutely terrified. There's so many "what if's" and so much scary to transplant. That's just the truth of it. But at the same time, I'm excited. Excited for the future, excited for hopefully one day being healthy. There's so many things I want to do that right now I just can't, so I'm excited for that day when I CAN do anything I set my mind to.
On a happy note, The other night the two sweetest boys, Hayden and Tyson showed up at the apartments with their heads shaved in support of me. It was a total surprise!! I came out of the room and saw their bald heads and almost started to cry...I have the coolest friends EVER! THANK YOU guys! Along with them my friends and family had made this week so great. I love you guys so much!
P.S. I might have a very Pink surprise coming soon :)
XOXO, Kin 

Friday, August 8, 2014

The good with the bad (transplant days -23 through -14)

This week has been long and challenging. I was admitted into the BMT unit at PCH last Thursday to start the pre-transplant regiment. So, I apologize for my lack of posting. The week has been pretty exhausting and I've been pretty out of it.

To catch you all up...
So last Thursday I was admitted and scheduled for my line (broviac) placement. Everything went good and I have a fancy new line on the right side of my chest now. Along with the port. The broviac will hopefully make for a few less pokes, easier blood draws and an easier way to get meds in me through. It's nice...but the down side is no showers and we have to be very very cautious with it so there won't be line infections. The next day I started a chemo called Campath, which killed all of my T-cells. They did a trial run to make sure my body could handle it. I was pre-treated with Benadryl and other meds to prevent reactions...but the Benadryl completely knocked me out for a good chunk of the week. It was actually quite nice. I did Campath the next four days. Chemo can change your taste buds and it sure did that to me. Everything tasted different and nasty... even Diet DP if you can believe it.
I did pretty well with the Campath the first few days, but the last dose I broke out in awful hives. I was covered from head to toe in what looked like giant welts. It was pretty miserable. Thankfully, Benadryl was given and I was knocked out again, lol. The rest of the week went pretty smoothly. I was going to be discharged yesterday (Thursday) but I woke up with hives again that morning, so they had to keep me in. Luckily this morning I woke up feeling a lot better and with no hives, so they were able to let me go home. Home as in an apartment here in phoenix. While we were getting ready to be admitted last Thursday our house flooded and so my doc wouldn't let me go home, home because of the risk of infection. None the less, I'm grateful to be outta pch for a week... away from constant beeping of the monitors, countless meds and be able to be with my family. It's the little things.
I'll be re-admitted this upcoming Thursday for the long stay. It will not be easy, but I know with bad things comes the good. There's a light at the end of the tunnel, I just need to get there.
Dueteronomy 31:6
Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the lord thy god, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
This week I had so many wonderful visitors, texts, notes, etc and I definitely felt loved. It made the week go a little faster and become a little more bearable. I love you all so much!
I'll be back at PCH next week ready to "kick it" a little harder. #KinCanKickIt