- 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)
- loss of appetite (she hasn't eaten since Thursday, and is getting all nutrition through an IV)
- severe abdominal pain
- leg pain
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:
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
Full-service bed ride to 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!