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

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Cycle 1, Day +18: Catching Our Breath

We are catching our breath this week, a reprieve of sorts. Steven will be admitted to the hospital on Superbowl Sunday in preparation for the next bone marrow transplant. This week, so far it's good.

His stem cell harvest on Saturday yielded enough cells for the next three chemo cycles. This means no more IV's in his groin and no more pheresis. With any luck it will also mean no more pokes, although if he gets a fever during his next cycle they will have to draw blood from his arm as well as from his line to verify that he doesn't have an infection in his line.

Removing the IV catheter in his groin was terrible. They gave him a sedative that was supposed to (1) calm him down and (2) cause him to forget what they did. Neither of those things happened, he remembers with great detail and clarity the experience of having the stitches removed and the catheter pulled out. The self-hypnosis stuff helps a little during less traumatic events (like removing adhesives), but when it comes to the big stuff, he is still filled with terror and panic.

So, this week he's feeling well, eating normally, and engaging in some of the activities that previously he either wasn't there for or wasn't feeling well enough to take advantage of. Target House has activities for kids almost every night, arts and crafts, movie night, a game room with a pool table, and other things that are great for kids (and grownups too). Last night Steven and Sean painted watercolors and watched a movie. Doug took a break and played pool.

We're thinking tentatively of driving to Nashville for a short weekend trip, leaving Friday and returning Sunday. It's about a 4-hour drive, I think we're all feeling like a change of scenery, but can't go too far, if Steven were to get a fever or anything like that, we'd have to drive back. If it doesn't work out, we'll try to enjoy Memphis over the weekend, go to the zoo and the Children's Museum.

It's so great to have him feeling well.

- Kathleen

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