Trials and tribulations of a patient in search of a bone marrow transplant

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

All Packed up With Nowhere to Go

At the moment, I'm sitting at the hospital with Steve, who is of course lying in his less than comfortable hospital bed. They were supposed to release Steve today for a few days of home care, with a real bed and possibly a sit in the garden to listen to the birds. I came early to pack him up and take him home, which he has been wanting do do for quite a while. I did a sweep of the room and began shoving into bags the flotsom and jetsom of accumulated trivia. It is amazing that when you enter with one small case, then wait a month, a little of this and a little of that brought to the hospital a bit at a time adds up to a lot of stuff.

The nurse came in to say that they didn't like Steve's liver numbers again and wanted to do another sonogram around 4PM. Well OK, so we are ready but will wait a bit. Then at 3:30 they said the doctor wanted to do a lung function test, which they couldn't do until tomorrow. And they won't let him leave the hospital without it. So here we sit.

The transplant team wants the caregivers, Lisa and I, to take a short but intense course on the transplant process and caregiving necessities. Tomorrow seems like the day, so perhaps we can combine it with taking Steve home if all goes well. Surely hope so.

Steve's color looks better, although hie is still quite nauseated. I will have to insist on his walking a bit before I leave today. We have a short few days, about a week, to try to rehabilitate him a tad before coming back in on May 2.

The transplant coordinator gave us a calendar today, sort of a countdown. So May 2 they will prep him to start the next chemo round on May 3, then when they are finished with that, the transplant (stem cell transfusion) will happen on May 9. And they said that they can't let anything stop this or they lose all the dates. The donor will be started on growth hormones five days before the draw, shortly after Steve starts his next chemo round. Evidently unrelated donor transplants take precedence before all others...autologous and related...since once the countdown starts, it can't be changed.

We are all ready for this next phase to begin.


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