Monday, May 21, 2018

Stem Cell Transplant Day

Today was Caroline's Stem Cell Transplant!  She received her own stem cells that were originally collected from her stem cell harvest back on January 30th.  The actual "transplant" process was rather quick and painless.  The frozen stem cells were brought to the room in dry ice, thawed in warm water, and then slowly injected into Caroline's central line.  The entire process took less than 30 minutes.

The purpose of the stem cell transplant is to help rescue Caroline's immune system (called ANC/neutrofils) from the high-dose chemo she received last week.  If she didn't have this transplant, her immune system would not be able to recover.  She received 4 million cells per Kg (approximately 70 MILLION cells); the target dose was 2 million per Kg, so we hope that her recovery may be expedited with the additional potency.   It's expected to take a couple weeks for her ANC to increase to a safe level to be discharged, which is why we're on the extended hospital stay. Caroline will start receiving daily shots of Neupogen, beginning tomorrow, which will also help her begin to recover from the effects of high-dose chemo. 

This very challenging high-dose chemo and stem cell transplant process will be repeated again this summer (probably early July). 

Caroline has had the worst 3 days of her life this past Saturday through today, and the worst is yet to come.  So far, she has experienced the following side effects from the high-dose chemo: extreme nausea and emesis, belly pain, throat pain, insomnia, mucositis through her entire GI tract, bloody stool, loss of appetite, not drinking, and not talking (because her throat hurts).  This has been the hardest stretch on our family by far; it is absolutely torturous to watch, and we all feel very helpless.  Please pray for her comfort, and that she is able to rebound from this quickly.

Thank you all for the continued support.  We are very grateful for all the prayers, meals, help with Andrew, gifts, donations, visits...just everything! 

The Lantz Family
#carolinestrong
#ftgf

Child Life Services does an excellent job of not only prepping kids for what to expect during the transplant, but also celebrating the actual day!  They arrived this morning with a bag of new toys for Caroline to play with, since she isn't allowed in the playroom during this stay, and they made this awesome sign that matches her "rainbow theme..." we LOVE Vanderbilt!

Stem cells arriving on dry ice!

Bag of stem cells prior to thawing...

Stem cells thawed and in syringe, ready for injection.

 
Dr. Kaviany injecting the stem cells - she's amazing!

 Daddy love!

So many hookups...

Really not feeling well this round.

13 comments:

  1. Supporting in prayer and love Caroline and family's spirit and indomitable will to beat this scourge. 💕

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  2. Hope you feel better soon Sweet Caroline!
    Sending lots of love and prayers.

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  3. Praying for you all. Look forward to seeing you feel better soon, sweet Caroline.

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  4. Praying for you all and especially for that sweet little girl of yours. God has her in His mighty hands. Love from the whole Whisner family.

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  5. Sending you much love and good energy beautiful girl. 😽

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  6. Matthew and Stephanie CampbellMay 21, 2018 at 6:25 PM

    Sending our love and prayers.

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  7. We pray for you every day and so many others you don't even know are lifting you up. God is working. Caroline you teach us what it means to be without fear and take heart. Keep fighting the good fight. Love to you❤️

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  8. How wonderful that Child Life Services made the poster and gave Caroline special toys during this time. Hopefully she will feel up to enjoying them shortly! Thanks for sharing how the procedure goes. I actually thought it was done through the spinal column. Continued Prayers! Hopefully the horrible side effects will decrease by the day! God Bless!

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  9. I'm sure God Is there hekping her throw all the Pain. As a father break my heart see her suffer, but i'm sure this Will be a bad memory for her in the future and will recover to grhow well AND beautiful as she Is. Your corage Is unbelive AND teach us to never give UP. Always in our prays.

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  10. Sending lots of prayers for precious Caroline. God give her strength.

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  11. Elisabeth OBryanMay 24, 2018 at 8:46 AM

    I've been praying for you, Caroline! I wear your bracelet every day. <3

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