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It's on Like Donkey Kong

by arlo tejada 18. January 2013 16:59


Arlo's BdayThe first part of the final part is finally in Sight. As I write this I am in the hospital waiting for the chemo, which will be here in 3 hours or so.

The past little while has been a real blast. I have seen a ton of people and been rather busy which has kept my mind of the BMT. I went to an MLS soccer game on Saturday with Rory, Sean and JT. Which is funny since none of these friends had ever met each other. The game was a ton of fun even though we lost.

On Sunday, part time SGRE guide and long time friend Markus stopped by. We went to Cowboys and Aliens (which is sweet, Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig are amazing!) sometimes this seems like a movie review more than a cancer blog.

I also took my roommates out for a really nice dinner at Pago. They won’t take any money so I can at least buy them some dinners.

On Monday I had a meeting with a needle and about a pint of blood. I could not believe how much blood they took from me. The BMT clinic is running tons of tests to make sure I don’t have any hidden issues that might be fatal when I have no immune system.

This was a busy day socially. I meet up with Jon Fuller for lunch and he gave me 30 Gigabytes of video from highwater this year. Since I have 4 weeks of hanging out in the hospital might as well edit a video for the fall company party.

Arlo's Bday Afterward I meet up with Janie. She took me out to her house to feed the goats. One of the little bastards rammed me in the knee (Yes I’m ok, but not a goat fan now). We also caught dinner at what she called the best Asian place in SLC “Pho.” It was not bad even if it was on the Westside.

My father also made it up to help pack and move me into the hospital. On Tuesday we meet with the PA. Who went over the last details and explained the last tests and what to except for the future BMT. The most interesting part of this was that I will smell like cream corn for a couple of day after the stems cells are placed back in my body. So he suggested not having ladies come by during that period. (Aug 11-15 in case you wanted to know) I think this is hilarious and gross. I guess it could be worse like dog shit. Or in my case sage (I hate the smell of sage….and for all my dessert friends that are going to give me shit for that, I’m just being honest.) But really after 6 days of intense chemo am I really going to care? I think all smells will be bad.

Later I meet up with Ariel ,(who’s brother Kalen needs to come visit) for coffee and some great stories. I also met up with Kate, a friend from Fort Collins for lunch. Tons of people are in town for the outdoor retailer show and my hospital visits are going to be great for the first little while.

All these meet ups are why I’m so stoked about my cancer journey so far. (I might have written that last time also)

My Mom made it in on Wednesday. We had our big meeting with the doc about all the details and what to expect. We also went and picked out my room. Yes I was a little pushy trying the get the best one out there. Since I have seen three rooms I wanted a big one with a view and that is what I got. Yep overlooks the temple (and Downtown SLC) in case you want to come visit.

For my last time out I went to my new favorite coffee shop “Coffee Noir.” which is also where I wrote most of my updates. I then took out Dave and Trina Terrion, Megan and Dash along with dad and mom to dinner. We went to a really nice restaurant called Niche right down the street.

After dinner I finished packing up in the basement. This was really hard and emotional for me. I think I cried the whole time. Luckily I only had a couple of bags to pack. It was also very difficult to say bye to Dash and Meg. I did hold it together but just barely.

Ok so I know you are all waiting for this part: MY new location. for 4 weeks or so……Drum roll…..

E803, LDS Hospital, 8th ave and C street, SLC UT, 84143.

I wrote most of this before going into the hospital. Now that I’m here I’ll let you know how my day has gone.

I woke up at 6am and probably got about 4 hours of sleep. Yep I’ll admit it I was super nervous. (that and I’m addicted to an Avengers cartoon on Netflix, I just keep watching.)

I made it to the hospital at 7. We hung out for about an hour and then they put in my new line. I was rather loopy afterward. So those that received weird texts from me from around 9am to 11am or so today, that is my excuse.

I was moved to my new room around 11:30. I moved all the room around to have my best setup. It looks like norad in here. 2 computers, digital photo frame, 2 tvs, an xbox, Ipad, Ipod. I’m not going to be bored from lack of technology.

I have started a whole new regiment of antibiotics. Very powerful ones. They also have me on 8 or so pills from anti-shingles pills to a multi vitamin. They also are recording every thing in and out. Including #2’s (yes they are measuring and analysis it) Something along the lines of me opening the door and yelling “You have to come check this one out!” comes to mind.

Zach and Katie stopped by to say hi on their way back to Moab. They are excited to come back just to smell the cream corn phase. Classic

I will get the first line of chemo around 5pm. The first set of chemo is called Carmustine. It is a hard chemo on people that don’t drink alcohol. Ha I knew my college years were good for something.

The next 4 days of chemo are all the same with two types of chemo. The first is Etoposide which I had with the ICE. The second is Cytarabine.

The last day’s chemo is Melphalan.

Then a day of rest.

Then the stem cells are returned through what sounds like a fondue machine. They heat up the cells before returning them through my lines.

Then cream corn phase. I just can’t get over that. It has something to do with the liquid it’s stored in.

I’m supposed to be rather functional for the first week or so. Then crash and slowly recover. But I can have visitors at anytime.

Some other medical details/stuff.

  • They almost guarantee I will have to have a blood transfusion.
  • I will most likely be there for a total of 4 weeks.
  • Then 2 weeks in SLC with 24 hour home care. (which will be done by a rotation of friends and family)
  • Then 4-6 weeks off in which I might be in Moab!
  • Then they want me to do the 2nd BMT which is actually different chemo and FULL BODY radiation. (something I’m really not stoked about.)
  • This would be 2 times a day of radiation for three days and then 3 days of chemo and then the stem cell replacement.

This whole thing would have me back in Moab around the end of November. But still very weak for a long time.

There is my update. I don’t know when I will get a chance to write again. I will try and update facebook. But if I get to sick the updates might be really rare.


Arlo's Cancer Story

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