Just a quick hello for the most recent treatment developments. We returned to hospital this week for a procedure which is called a stem-cell harvest. (Apheresis) Essentially, Gavin is given a drug that forces his bone-marrow to produce so many new stem-cells that they are forced into his bloodstream, and are then collected from there on a type of dialysis machine.
In order to do this procedure he needed a femoral artery line inserted, back in IGT. Some of you may remember that we haven’t always had the best experiences there. This time, I was convinced that things would go better, and spent 15 minutes chatting with the anesthesiologist ahead of time as to how we could minimize the chances of a negative anesthesia reaction. Unfortunately, as soon as the process was over and done with, and we were out of recovery and upstairs on the ward, Gavin went completely ballistic. He’s just incredibly sensitive to these drugs and his reaction is to scream and thrash for half an hour as it works its way out of his system. I have begged every doctor and nurse in the place to help me resolve this issue, as Gavin has many more generals to go through down the road. Let’s just say there is a lot of buck-passing going on. Both my mother and I were reduced to frustrated tears as we had to restrain Gavin in the bed to prevent his line from being displaced. He only calmed down after getting a shot of morphine, and then a bit later resumed behaving like a normal child.
After such a horrendous afternoon, I was pretty happy that he woke up in a cheery mood this morning. He had to stay in bed for the whole day as he was attached to the dialysis machine for 4 hours, but remained in a good mood and allowed himself to be distracted with loads of books, DVDs, finger-painting and playing with stamps.
I had myself almost convinced that we would manage to collect enough cells in the first day of harvesting, but unfortunately we didn’t. Not nearly enough. Which means we have to go back tomorrow for another day of being attached to the machine. It makes me truly empathize with what sufferers of kidney-disease must endure. AND, he still can’t get out of bed at all as his line can’t be compromised and will be removed as soon as the collection is done. I’ve got my work cut out for me tomorrow!
On the bright side, there’s a possibility that we won’t start chemo this week but will have the weekend at home. Maybe, maybe.
I need all our lovely friends and family to pray for us tonight that the collection will be a success tomorrow. Hoping.