Preparing for transplant
October 16, 2019
Lucas came home after the fourth round of chemo. We spent two and a half weeks together as a family before being admitted back into the hospital for transplant. The boys were typical boys. They fought over toys and attention but they also really enjoyed each other’s company.
Admission to the hospital
On October 6th, Lucas was admitted for transplant. He was to undergo eight days of intense chemo. This chemo would completely kill his bone marrow/immune system. Taking him to the hospital on that Sunday was heart wrenching. Jacob did not want his brother to leave. I did not want to go. We all knew this round would be really tough.
Not only would the chemo be more intense, but the rules on the transplant floor are very strict, and for a good reason. Excluding medical staff, only two adults are allowed in the room at one time. The hospital does not allow anyone on the floor if they are sick, even with a sniffle. Children, twelve and under, are not allowed to visit during cold and flu season. This meant that Jacob could not come see Lucas. John and I would be the only ones staying with him the majority of the time.
The doctor also suggested that I stop working. She explained that the first 100-days post-transplant are the most critical and we need to keep him healthy. Since I work with the public and we are entering flu season, it would be too easy for me to bring a virus home. This was a very difficult decision for me. I love my job, my patients and co-workers. Work has been my escape throughout this whole journey. Thankfully, Barb and Tom have been very understanding and supportive. It is a blessing to work for such wonderful people.
On the day Lucas was admitted for transplant, he also received a medication to prevent seizures, as one of the side effects of this first chemo is seizures. Lucas received the first chemo for four days. The second chemo and another medicine were started on day 5, October 11th. This second set of drugs could cause high fevers, nausea and vomiting. Lucas had a high fever the first night but was fever free for the rest of the time. However, he started losing his appetite.
It has been three days since Lucas has actually ate a meal. The doctors said that this is common. The nurse thinks Lucas has mucositis. It’s a painful inflammation and ulceration of the mucous lining of the digestive tract which will cause him to not want to eat. They can give him medication for pain but nothing else. He has been sleeping a lot over the last few days. When he is awake, he is still pretty happy and playful. It is amazing to see how strong he is. It really does make the small things not matter. Lucas will be receiving the transplant tomorrow, October 17th. We pray that the transplant is successful and cures Lucas of leukemia. He still has a long road to recovery but that light at the end of the tunnel is starting to look a lot brighter.
John and I want to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers and all the support. We have had so much help throughout this whole journey and are blessed to have so many amazing people in our lives.
To be continued….