Today I received two injections of Vidaza in my belly and 5 injections of childhood vaccines in my arms. Boy am I sore. Mary Pat reminded me that babies who get their childhood vaccines are usually colicky after their shots. If that’s the case, I might have to wake her tonight with hours of inconsolable crying.
One of the problems with a stem cell transplant is that the patient loses all of his or her immunity to diseases. The stem cells from your donor do not carry any immunity. For that reason, a stem cell transplant recipient has the immune system of an unvaccinated baby. That means we are susceptible to polio, mumps, measles, chicken pox, etc… However, because our immune systems are kept suppressed by anti-rejection drugs like tacrolimus, we can’t start to get our childhood shots until at least 6 months after the transplant. For me, it was 9 months post transplant. We can’t receive live virus vaccines like measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines for about 24 months after the transplant.
This is month 9 of my 12 month clinical trial of Vidaza chemotherapy. So far there are no signs of a relapse. I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.