Thursday, August 22, 2013

Day -1: No Rest on Rest Day

Today was supposed to be a rest day, meaning that Ezra is done with the chemo and his body is given a day of "rest" from chemo before tomorrow's transplant. No rest for Ezra today with line surgery number five. The surgery went fine, but Ezra is in pain as expected, was very upset about having to get another line and was generally miserable. Pain on top of his discomfort from the chemo. Too much for a little boy to comprehend. Of all the things we deal with, the surgeries are pretty much the worst. Please let this be the last of it. 

Ezra's counts have bottomed out and are where they should be to make room for the new cells. Ezra continues to feel sick, although he does have big chunks of time during the day when he is active and playful. Lately, he is spending his time concocting his own "experiments," using every condiment we can find in the pantry or building "machines" and structures out of straws, medical supplies and lots of duck tape. Always the little scientist-engineer!

Our thoughts today were also focused on Ezra's donor. Somewhere in the country, a very brave and giving young woman was having her stem cells collected today to be given to our baby boy. The method being used for Ezra's transplant is called peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) collection. She will have already had shots for about four days of a drug that stimulates stem cells to move out of the bone marrow and into the blood stream. Today, she had IVs placed in her arms and her blood went through an apheresis machine, which separated out the stem cells, collected them and returned the rest. This takes several hours. We are praying that she experienced minimal discomfort and that the collection went smoothly. While she isn't a perfect match, we are hopeful that she is just the right match for Ezra to provide him with the elusive cure. She is our needle in the haystack. Our hope when we had none. Our hero.

The doctor came by tonight to tell us that the courier caught an early flight and the cells should be at the hospital at some point tonight. A good sign that things went smoothly. The lab here will then process the cells through the machine that T cell depletes. The transplant will likely happen tomorrow afternoon. 

Please think positive thoughts and send prayers that tomorrow's transplant goes smoothly and marks the beginning of Ezra's second chance for a healthy, long life. We will try to update tomorrow.