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

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Cycle 2, Day 0

Cycle 2, Day -2

This is day zero, the day that Steven got his stem cells back. Today went better than his previous infusion of bone marrow, maybe because last time he received six bags of bone marrow and this time, because it was stem cells, he received only two bags. Stem cells occupy 1/3 the volume that bone marrow does, so this means less volume of infused blood products and less of the DMSO solvent they use to preserve the marrow.

Maybe because of the lesser volume of solvent, or because I'm getting used to it, the smell didn't seem as bad to me this time either. Fortunately Steven seems to be immune to the smell, but it just about knocks me flat.

He didn't get to have a bunch of visitors, because on the day they infuse stem cells, they also have to keep him hooked up to an EKG all day. Some children have reactions to the stem cells or the solvent, and he is closely monitored. Despite this his spirits seemed to be better than the day before.

The Child Life staff brought him some wood carvings to paint, and he made valentines for his nurses. Everything went smoothly, and he felt pretty well throughout the day, although before bed he was having problems with nausea and more diarrhea. This is much better than last time where he was vomiting blood after the infusion.

He would have gone home this evening, except that they are waiting for the final results of the blood culture from Wednesday. He ran a fever for a day and he is getting IV antibiotics right now. They want to see exactly what sort of bacteria they cultured in his blood to make sure it is OK to send him home and treat it with oral antibiotics.

The most worrisome thing about going home right now is that Sean is sick and Doug is also coming down with whatever it is, probably a virus. Sean was better today and we sent him to school, but Doug is just starting with it, and Steven basically won't have any immune system at all in about two days, so we'll have to be super careful.

- Kathleen

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