Sunday, March 24, 2013

Post transplant (Day +2)

I apologize to those not on Facebook who may have been awaiting an update. The transplant went well overall, minus the allergic reaction Tom had.  He received 8 million cells (the max you can receive) and his donor produced enough to have an additional 8 million frozen and on reserve should they ever be needed again.  That's actually quite remarkable! Not everyone's donor can produce enough to receive 8 million at transplant (as they always save some too or try to) and then have the maximum transplant amount on reserve too!!!

So the transplant was only about five minutes. They hung the bag of cells and just let them free fall into his trifusion.  Tom began to turn really red in the face and one of the nurses said he looked like he'd just drank a bottle of tequila.  His head started to really pound and his heart rate went up to 170!!! After the cells were done infusing his hr came down to about 150 and he was super hot, so hot that you could feel the heat rising off of his skin!  Everyone was stood around watching and then Tom said, "how long do we have to do this for?" to which the doctor said, "well its done" and took that as his cue to leave.

Long story short, we quickly realized that toms entire body had turned very red and was swelling, his heart rate still not coming back down to normal, and his head pounding.  The nurse said it didn't look like hives, but then again there was no way for it to look patchy and raises when his entire body was swollen and covered red and he couldn't stop shaking.  The doctor came back in and said it was in fact an allergic traction and put him on some IV Benadryl and cortisol.  After a few hours his skin cleared up, the shakes continued intermittently for awhile longer, and his feet and fingers were the last to return to normal color and unswell.

He woke up yesterday feeling much more sprite! Was able to go on a few walks, started eating again, but not much.  He was so sick the days leading into transplant from the chemo that his stomach is still a bit fragile.   He has found that he's now exhausted his available choices with the hospital food to the point that now its a "mental" thing and anything arriving in that blue covered dish now makes him physically sick after a couple bites.  Chefs Laura and Helen to the rescue, he will be going back to all food being prepared by us.  Before some of you smart Alec's say it... Our cooking IS most definitely better than the hospital's!  On a bright note, he felt so good yesterday he said he wanted to check himself out of here and go home, don't worry we didn't let him.

On a more dim note, he's expected to feel crummy around day six.  His counts are already starting to go down and apparently day six-ten is where the vast majority of people spike fevers, get infections, are sick in all sorts of ways, get mouth and throat sores and general loss of appetite. So let's keep those prayers going that for once he ends up in the small favor that don't get sick :)  but know that if he does, it's unfortunately normal and expected.

We have had some company from Tom's brothers over the weekend :)


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