Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam
Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam

Friday, January 09, 2004

Cycle 1, Day 0: Bone Marrow Transplant Day

Steven, after a pretty good day yesterday, received his bone marrow back today.

He started out great, then started getting nauseated. He threw up, then cried for about an hour, he's sick of being sick. Considering the horrendous bout of stomach flu he got right before we left San Diego, he's had quite a bit of that in the last 3 weeks.

The bone marrow arrived around 11 am. A nurse brought it in in a stainless steel canister containing liquid nitrogen.

Next to the canister was a warm water bath. The bone marrow was stored frozen in the liquid nitrogen in little plastic bags, which they removed and thawed one at a time.

His bone marrow was in three bags. Each was removed, thawed, and injected into his central line by a nurse. Each bag took about 10 minutes to infuse.

Steven was hooked up to an EKG, blood pressure cuff, and oxygen saturation monitor during the procedure and for 6 hours afterward. The bone marrow is preserved with DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide), an industrial solvent with a pungent odor. The DMSO has a very specific and pungent odor.

Steven couldn't smell it, neither could Doug, but I could smell it the minute they brought it off the elevator before they got to our room. It took about half an hour to infuse all the bone marrow, then the nurses left. Steven's urine was red after the infusion, this is normal for a day or so we were told.

Steven did pretty well, some nausea and headache, not nearly as well as yesterday, but still pretty good. The smell of the solvent made it difficult for me to be in the room, but as the day wears on, it is getting less pungent. It's about 8 pm now and I can still smell it, I believe it's being expelled through his pores, they say it takes about a day for the body to process all of it.

So, tomorrow we go back to Target House. He's going to be coming home with IV fluids, since he still hasn't eaten since Sunday night, they are hoping he won't need them after Sunday.

The great thing about Steven is that once he starts feeling well, his attitude is awesome.

Praying for a good weekend for him, and no more trips back to the hospital...

- Kathleen

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