Stem Cell Transplant Day

Today has been a very long day. We started our morning by heading to the hospital bright and early.

Not all hero’s wear capes.

Ben got to his appointment for 8 AM and got hooked up to the machine that would filter the stem cells out of his blood and then replace the filtered blood back into his body. He was a champ! He produced over 200 mLs of stem cells and Luke only needed 51 mLs! The last four days he has felt some pain and a little feverish and achy from the Neupogen shots (all best described as flu-like symptoms and discomfort). He felt tired today after everything but already seems to be on the mend.

Luke started out his day with full body radiation at 8:30. After that he got all cleaned up, had his central line dressing changed, and we walked for almost an hour. He didn’t feel the greatest in the afternoon, but some anti-nausea medicine and a little rest helped. He had his second round of full body radiation around 3:00 PM and after we just waited for the finished prepared stem cells to arrive. Around 5:00 they arrived and the process started.

The actual transplant was pretty anticlimactic. They had a small bag with the stem cells hanging and it slowly dripped into Luke’s central line. When we looked closely we could even see the individual stem cells as they traveled through the IV line. It was super cool to see. The whole thing went smoothly. Luke did have some reactions but nothing serious and nothing unexpected. At first Luke just started to get a little pink and flushed, his pulse rate went up slightly and his body temperature was fluctuating. All of this is to be expected. After an hour or so, Luke got dizzy and nauseous while standing up to go to the restroom. His blood pressure dropped, his heart rate increased, and his temperature went up. Again, all expected and manageable side effects. They pumped him full of meds to help with the nausea and help him sleep tonight.

While we aren’t out of the woods yet, and he will likely start to feel worse before he feels better, but it feels good to have this process started so now Luke can begin to heal.

I cannot begin to thank Ben and all the nurses and doctors for all they do to keep my world (aka Lukey) alive and turning.

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