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