Abbott gets to poke the Rabbit.
It is so strange to see so much snow outside--haven't had this much in many a year! We had a harrowing drive back from Children's Hospital on Saturday--visibility was very poor and roads not the best. Thankfully there weren't as many cars on the interstate as during the week. Many of the ones that had ventured forth were parked in the ditch (not of their choosing). Dick just went slow and easy and got us home safe and sound. It actually felt good to have an abundance of snow to shovel and plow on Sunday (Dick is looking into starting commitment proceedings for me, I'm sure). I do love fresh white snow and felt very deprived for the past few winters. My collection of snowmen also were feeling quite disheartened since the only snow was inside the house. Their mood has changed from melancholy to jubilant over the weekend. I think they were worried about early retirement for the season.
After much discussion and swaying back and forth, the decision is finally made. The winner for the transplant is Abbott. We had a long discussion with Dr. Bendel on Saturday morning to get her input regarding some differences in the transplant process between the 2 facilities. I highly respect her opinion and trust her judgment explicitly. I She did not try to sway our decision in either direction but answered our questions and gave us assurances about each institution's policies.
The big decisive factor was Abbotts' policy allowing Kevin to come home after the in-patient stay with daily homecare for labs and monitoring and allowing transfusions through CentraCare. It would have been extremely difficult to have to stay in the metro area for 2-4 months after transplant which was a requirement through the University. Kevin would have really been sick of being sequestered in the Ronald McDonald House with daily trips to the University clinic and also difficult for us to manage home and work schedules for that extended period. I really want to thank Ryan and Jen for their offer of help as the caregiver during this period. Even with that, as well as very willing extended family members, everyone has work schedules and also busy home lives with spring and summer outside commitments. Kevin, also, preferred to be home during this period so that his friends could visit him since he won't be able to go out in the community for a period of time after his transplant. Ronald McDonald House is fantastic for younger children to keep them occupied with fun activities, but I doubt they would hold much excitement for Kevin.
The time frame for harvesting of the stem cells has also been changed. It was supposed to happen this next week as soon as the counts were up. However, it is too late for all of the authorizations to be in for the various funding sources since they need a minimum of 10-day notice. So now we are going with plan B and will do the harvesting after chemo round 3 instead of after this round. We will be going to Abbott on March 9th for a PET Scan and to meet with their transplant staff for a greater overview of their program. Then at 1pm we'll go through the tunnel to Children's for a CT Scan of Kevin's chest, neck, abdomen, and pelvis and meet with Dr. Bendel. They also need to make certain that his central line is large enough to accommodate the Apheresis machine for harvesting. If not, that will need to be replaced with the larger one.
Kevin is very fatigued and still nauseous, but starting to feel human again. He is still craving anything cold as he does during and after each cycle of chemo. Popsicles, freeze pops, and oranges are the winners.