Transplant Day – Check!

It’s been a challenge for them to find the right balance of pain medicines so that Scott’s comfortable but not too loopy.  He’s seeing and hearing things and that’s kept him up at night.  He’s been providing us all with a good deal of entertainment.  At one point the room was flooding with water and I needed to run and get some towels, or better yet the time it was filling with worms.  He got after the cleaning lady for walking through all the cobwebs in the room and not taking care of them.  They are trying yet another regiment tonight and our hope is to ward off the boogie man and hopefully he can sleep better.  He hasn’t been able to work on the farm since February but he sure has worked a lot of cattle with Steve in his dreams since then. 

The pain in his body has retreated a little and now his sore throat is a problem.  Also, to be expected; were some temporary (we hope) changes or damage to his taste buds.  Nothing tastes good so he won’t eat.  We’ve ordered and tossed out everything from chocolate pudding to milk shakes, burgers to baked potatoes. Tonight, I put in an emergency call for Kathy’s chocolate chip cookie bars that have kept him going over the past few weeks. 

Left – very careful handling of the frozen stem cells.

Right – when frozen they looked pink. After thawing looked just like thin blood.

The actual transplant took less than an hour and started at 2 p.m.  The cells were brought into the room in a storage container similar to what is used to store semen in when artificially inseminating the cattle.  That conversation kept Scott busy while nurse Emily prepared the work area.  We were told earlier that the hospital requests 2-5 million cells be provided for transplant and our donor provided 4.1 million.  I could be wrong but I think each of the two bags contained 1 million cells frozen at 100 degrees below zero.  The extra cells remain frozen in case they want to give him more down the road.  Once removed from the container they had 15 minutes to infuse them.  The nurse manually pushed them through the line with a syringe rather than a machine.  She explained the potential side effects but he really had no pain or problems at all during the process; she did a great job.  There was a small break in between the two bags to check vitals and follow protocols but it went quickly and efficiently.  The preservatives used to keep the cells causes an odor to be released when pushed through the system.  A number of smells have been reported but the consensus of our group was that the room and Scott’s breath smelled like creamed corn.  Very strange!

The transplant is actually done by a nurse and not the transplant doctor. Very interesting process!

It was probably less than an hour later that he felt up to taking a walk around the “block” with the walker.  Tonight, we are watching the movie Tombstone for the 3rd or 4th time.  We don’t have access to a DVR yet so Yellowstone will have to wait until we get to the next stop.  They anticipate a few more difficult days as his remaining blood cells do battle with the new ones.  He is receiving a multitude of drugs via IV to combat the side-effects of his part of the process.  I anticipate him to get antsy and bored but he probably won’t be up for calls for a few more days.  The internet won’t support the picture frame the kids bought or Facetime calls but we can do that as soon as we find the next resting place. 

We continue to be so grateful for all the texts and messages of prayer and well wishes over the phone and social media.  He’s not out of the woods yet but we have a great team of people here keeping track of his every move and we are very confident that we are in the right place. 

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