Day +72: draggin’ the line

I had my Hickman line removed this morning. I couldn’t have any food after midnight and had to promise I had no allergies to contrast dye or shellfish. So I was expecting anesthesia. Instead, the doctor informed me they don’t usually use anesthesia unless there’s a problem or if the procedure becomes too painful. Then he grabbed the line and yanked it out. It was done in about 2 seconds, before he could even finish saying, “Are you doing okay?”

We then hung around the hospital for my midday appointment to get blood drawn and see the doctor and nurse practitioner. I’m doing very well, aside from still fighting the nausea and a mild case of oral thrush which is easy to treat with a mouth rinse four times daily for a week or two. I’m trying a different antibiotic to see if it helps with the stomach issues.

Today’s counts:
White Blood Count: 6020.
ANC: 3790.
Platelets: 211.
Red Blood Count: 3.73.

The doctor now says I can get my hand fixed after I pass day +100. He wants me to start the Vidaza treatments around day +90. I’ve also been having trouble with my eyes – itchy, red, swollen – so they referred me to the Wilmer eye clinic, also at Hopkins, to get checked for gvhd.

We were able to get a same day appointment but the clinic was very busy so we were two hours late getting in to see the doctor. She was worth the wait, very apologetic about the long wait and very thorough and knowledgeable with transplant issues regarding the eyes. My eyes show no sign of gvhd but are extremely dried out from chemo, the transplant, and the dry winter conditions. I need to apply lubricating drops 10 times per day until they’re better.

It was a long day with much waiting but overall very positive. We left home at 7 a.m. in rush hour traffic and didn’t return until after 7 p.m. in rush hour traffic and with a stop at the store to fill prescriptions. We are tired and headed to bed. Goodnight all!


  1. Karen, it sounds like a very long day! Your optimism and up beat attitude is amazing. keep up the good work, and hope you have some nausea free days soon!
    xoxo jenny (and charlie)

  2. You are a remarkable lady. Michael is remarkable too. You have both gone through a lot this pass year. I hope this year will be a great one for you. Love you both.

  3. Good Morning karen;
    My goodness girl you did have a very full day.
    Glad it was worth it for you in the long run.
    Perhaps today would be a good day to rest up even further. What do you think?
    Have a blessed day
    Jan & her Fur Purrs

  4. Sorry the day was long, but it sounds like the outcomes were good. And plans are being made for the future. Best wishes as you meet each new goal. Just wanted to let you know we were thinking about you. Love, Sherry

  5. What a long day for you two! The good news was all the good news you got today. You are in my thoughts. Toby

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