Happy Birthday Christi
Between noon and 12:30 PM this afternoon, the wonderful Dr. Maris very slowly pushed four large syringes, containing Christi's own dark red stem cells, back into her body through her mediport. As Dr. Maris told me, they used the least amount possible to restore her life (2 million cells, approx.), but because she's so big now that required two of the bags from Sloan Kettering which were harvested in March of 2003. I told him I appreciated CHOP using the least amount possible as we know of others who used all of theirs with their first transplant and then didn't have any more for other treatment options when they were needed. He told me that he'd get me the final calculations of what remain, but he thinks Christi has two more bags from Sloan-Kettering, two more from Columbus, Ohio and one rescue still frozen out in Los Angeles. ("They're in the bank," he joked- well as well as the ever serious Dr. Maris can attempt a joke, hee hee.) Regardless of what may be in the freezer for future treatment attempts, we need THESE to kick in and work before we can even begin to worry about ever needing to have any other treatments.
Christi said they felt very cold and that they tasted horrible. While talking with her friend, Josh, on the phone she said, "I'm not feeling the best because I got my stem cells back today." That was an understatment. She had a challenging thirty minutes. She vomitted three times and then slept for three hours after the infusion. Thanks for lifting her up in prayer. All is going fine - well, except I forgot about the odd smell that should linger for a few days. Can you say creamed corn? Yuck!
I learned that she will not be discharged until Monday. I thought it was Sunday and I also learned from Dr. Maris earlier today that she can have some weekend passes and she's planning for our family to go to the zoo he told me. Now, however we've been informed by yet another visit by Dr. Maris late this afternoon that red blood cells have been detected in her urine. This can happen as a result of the preservative used with the stem cells, or it could be her own cells breaking down. Regardless, constant hydration must continue until it stops. If it continues tomorrow, she'll not be allowed to have a six hour pass. Keep your fingers crossed we make it to the zoo to see the new tiger exhibit. I've only been here a day and I'm anxious to get out already; I can only imagine how Shayne feels after being in here since Sunday not to mention Christi-dragging this IV pole along!
Shayla Humor: The nurse just started dripping Christi's GCSF through her IV. (She'll get her neulasta on Monday, but this needs to happen as a result of the stem cells infusion to help get those cells to start working.) As the nurse was leaving she asked if we needed anything. Shayla responded without missing a beat, "A puppy and a yogurt parfait thingy without the yogurt in it." That amazing nurse is checking in it - a fruit cup that is!
Christi Humor: Although not feeling very well today, Christi is still able to play a game with the nurses to earn imaginary points. When they finish taking her temperature she pushes the button on the throw away part aiming it at the nurses trying to hit them and making them duck and giggle! What fine, talented and good natured nurses working here at CHOP- and dodging Christi's shots. Thankfully, she's not very talented in the aiming department and they're lightweight plastic!