Tuesday, August 21, 2012

High Dose Chemo with Stem Cell Rescue

This week is cycle 1 of high dose chemotherapy with stem cell rescue/stem cell transplant.  It is going to be tougher on Liam than the first 3 induction cycles of chemo that Liam had. Liam is now “handed over” to the BMT (bone marrow transplant) doctors and nurses for this part of chemo.

This week:
Tuesday – 2 types of chemo
Wednesday – 2 types of chemo
Thursday – “rest day”
Friday - stem cell transplant

Back in May, Liam had the apheresis, where they connected him to a machine and got “4 bags” of stem cells from Liam. On Friday, Liam will be getting “1 bag” of his stem cells back. They have been frozen since May, on Friday they will thaw them in Liam’s room and he’ll get them back through his central line. There is less risk of rejection, because it is Liam’s own stem cells, but there is risk with reaction to the preservative used for freezing.

The chemo will destroy Liam’s bone marrow (to hopefully kill all cancer cells that remain) then his frozen cells are given back to him to start normal cell production. (I have no idea if I am saying this right)

Liam’s blood cell counts will all drop as expected, he will likely need transfusions as he has with his other chemo cycles. He will also get the G-CSF shots, as he did in the first 3 cycles. The C-CSF stimulates the blood cell production to help get his counts up.

After this week, Liam will be kept in the hospital for the recovery phase, they can’t say how long he will be in the hospital for, but Sept 4 might be the soonest Liam gets out. Best case, we get a week at home in between cycles, and the worst case is that we could stay in the hospital for all 3 cycles, which is 3 months.

These are 28 day cycles, but they could be shorter or longer, depending on how Liam does, they move onto the next cycle when the blood counts are back up.


Post a Comment