The transplant begins

May 16th, 2007 - 7:09pm by Mom
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The liquid rubies have been infused (amidst Irish jokes courtesy of Dr. Flynn) and should now be making their way along Kevin's artery channels to set up housekeeping in the shell--shocked bone marrow. The actual transplant went very well; Kevin managed to stay awake throughout the infusion, despite all of the sedatives they gave him. He is in blissful slumber now, but is awakened every 15 minutes for vitals until this evening, then every hour until tomorrow morning. During the transplant infusion, Kevin noticed a distinctive odd taste in his mouth and developed a dry mouth and cough and an elevated temperature--all expected side effects from the preservative. Jamie, I can now relate to the room odor you described which you experienced after Nic's transplant 10 years ago. There really isn't any way to describe it--doesn't really fit into any odiferous category. We were told it will get stronger for the next day or so since it is coming from Kevin's exhalations--from the preservative that was infused with the stem cells and now is being breathed out through his lungs. We will definitely try the dryer sheets--thanks for the advice!!

Kevin's cell counts still haven't bottomed out. His WBC was 700 today, Platelets were 63, and Hemoglobin was 10. They are expected to bottom out in 2-3 days. Kevin is already experiencing mouth discomfort and sore throat. This will get worse before it gets better. They did start the Neupogen IV infusion already today and will this continue every day until Kevin goes home--to his build immune system back up. Kevin will be at ground zero for 10-14 days until his new stem cells engraft and start proliferating and become productive. According to Kevin's nurse and oncologist, it isn't a matter of IF he will get an infection, but rather a question of WHEN. It seems it is inevitable. It is something they are expecting and will treat aggressively when it occurs with labs and x-rays to pinpoint the source and then aggressive treatment. I really hope those dang Shingles don't come back! They have been treating Kevin with Actlovair, an anti-virus medication, as a preventative since his admit--so we'll see if those defenses are sufficient to keep the evil buggers at bay!