Wednesday, January 8, 2014

January 8--day 7 (last day out)

Today is the last day my mom will be able to eat out, go to the store, generally be in public for the next few months. Tomorrow her counts should drop too low to provide much protection.

Today is the second Neupogen shot. She learned last night that she may not need all 6 or 7 shots. It depends on how her blood work looks on Friday. If the counts are unstable, meaning too many white blood cells, then they'd stop because it could be risky to the patient. That doesn't mean she would get the catheter and apheresis earlier. She'd just get to stay home for a couple of days.

If I didn't mention it before, the catheter or pick line, is direct access to her blood. Last time she had one in her chest for several months. They used it for chemotherapy, apheresis, and any other drip/infusion she had to have. This time they'll put the catheter in her neck. Highly uncomfortable, but only required for apheresis this time.

Yesterday she spoke to a man who had had his catheter in only one day. UCSF was able to collect all the stem cells needed for his transplant in one day. Amazing!

The reason UCSF uses the neck is so that they have access to the jugular vein--the big one. This makes it easier to extract the blood. However, the patient cannot shower while the catheter is in. The patient is highly susceptible to infection, unlike with the catheter in the chest. Considering that the neck catheter is only in for a few days this should be manageable.

Sometime this weekend I'll give my dad a break and drive my mom up to UCSF so that I can see where she will be, meet the nurses, etc. I was so much more involved last time, but then again I didn't have two little girls.

* * *

I am so grateful to all the scientists, medical personnel, doctors, and brilliant people who discovered stem cell transplantation and those who work in the field today. My mom would not be alive today had this not been an option. And she would not have met my two beautiful girls who love their Gammy more than words can say. She's taught them so much as I'm sure they've taught her. So . . . THANK YOU!

1 comment:

Taunya McAbee said...

Thinking positive thoughts for your mother and your family. Thank you for sharing your story.