Monday, July 23, 2018

Rough Weekend / Stem Cell Transplant

We've had a very difficult few days.  The side effects of the high-dose chemo kicked in much quicker this round, compared to the last.  Caroline has been dealing with:
  • high fever
  • diarrhea with blood in stool (result of colitis and mucositis, as determined by an unplanned X-Ray and CT Scan late Sunday night to confirm)
  • colitis
  • musocitis
  • nausea/vomiting
  • loss of appetite (she hasn't eaten since Thursday, and is getting all nutrition through an IV) 
  • severe abdominal pain
  • leg pain
Although the transplant/oncology team warned us that this transplant would be harder than the first, we were not really prepared for how badly it would get, and how quickly...and we haven't even seen the worst of it yet.  Caroline is already on a Dilaudid PCA, which is administering continuous pain medication, as well as countless other medications, scheduled around the clock.  Other than the actual diagnosis, these have been the hardest few days since November 2017, when she began her treatment protocol.  As of today, she officially does not have any white blood cells or ANC/neutrofils (immune system), which is why we expect her condition to worsen over the next 7-14 days, before it should begin to recover from this awful stretch.

Around noon today, Caroline received her 2nd stem cell transplant.  The stem cell transplant helps her body rescue itself from the high-dose chemo.  Without this rescue, she would not be able to recover from the high-dose chemo.  The process itself, as mentioned in the post about the 1st stem cell transplant back in May, is very anti-climactic...the frozen cells are brought to her room and thawed bedside, inserted into a syringe, and slowly pushed through her central line over about 15 minutes.  The process is not painful, but it does smell like creamed corn in the room for a couple days, which is weird.

As always, the hospital staff does an amazing job of explaining every process to Caroline, and is always looking for ways to make her comfortable and happy.  Transplant day is a very big deal around here, so they really do it up!  She got signs, toys, and music therapy during the whole process...it really made her smile, which always makes everything easier to watch.  Words do not do justice to the love and kindness that is shown to Caroline and our family every time we're at Vanderbilt; this place, and more importantly...the people, are truly amazing!

Thank you for your continued prayers, specifically for her comfort during the next week, and our family's emotional state.  This just plain old sucks.

Hanging in there,
The Lantz Family
#carolinestrong
#ftgf  
Rough weekend.

Full-service bed ride to CT Scan. 

CT Scan

Awesome door sign made by Child Life Services volunteers!

Caroline's own stem cells to the rescue!

Actual stem cell transplant.

Daddy and Caroline with one of her favorite gifts in the bag today...a blow-up Unicorn head...LOL!

14 comments:

  1. Praying Continually For Caroline and All Of Your Strength!!!

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  2. Continued Prayers for all. God Bless your sweet family.

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  3. Praying for Caroline!!

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  4. In our prayers all the time. Asking God to relieve her painful side effects and allow her to rest comfortably.

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  5. Praying for Jesus' protection on your sweet and brave lite girl. Prayers for you also as you stand strong. God bless you.

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  6. We will continue in prayer for Caroline that the side affects will go away and for strength for you all. We got your card in the mail and loved the picture of Caroline. Of course it went straight up on our fridge so we can see her every day and keep her in prayer every day. God bless you.

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  7. Our prayers are with Caroline and you all. My goodness, she is so pretty! Our now 16-month old daughter was diagnosed with stage 4 Nb high risk at 14-months old. We are finished round two of chemo in LA. Sorry you’re going through this too.

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  8. Praying that the next week goes as smoothly as possible. The volunteers did an outstanding job with the door signs! God Bless!

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  9. Bless you all!! Jay & I are with you in spirit!!

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  10. Praying for your family and Caroline! We will be at clinic tomorrow so please let me know if you need anything.

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  11. Just read the update, praying for Caroline and family! God, please see them thru this storm!

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  12. Prayers continue to flow, for all of your needs to be met: health, peace, moments of happiness, humor and kindness that add up to get all of you through the (physical and emotional) pain, and mostly an end to the discomfort and a fresh beginning on the other side of cancer. Love and tight, long hugs from me and the boys!

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  13. Sending hope and love to Caroline and her damily for a healthy recovery ❤️

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