Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Day O (again)...the cells are in!
Today was the big day...the last link in the chain. Transplant #2 Tuesday!
But it ended up being a big day for more reasons than just that that one. So far in his room today, Rowan has had a shunt series of xrays, an eeg, and abdominal ultrasound, had another central line placed in his groin, tons of labs and blood sugar checks, suctioning, changes to his vent settings, platelets twice, and red blood cells, etc. Sometimes, two procedures were going on at the same time. Add that to all of the regular iv meds and infusions he had going on and it amounted to one very crazy day, with dozens of people in and out all day long, bells ringing left and right, orders being changed frequently, and critical lab results being called again and again.
Then, two of his lovely Cancer Care Unit Nurses brought Brian's cells down to PICU to infuse them into Rowan over 4 hours.
As if going through a second transplant wasn't excitement enough, they also decided that Rowan needs to start dialysis. He is extremely fluid overloaded, his electrolytes are all over the place, and he is now acidotic. It's a scary place to be, terrifying to think of his little body dealing with everything he is currently, and us beginning the transplant today...but that is indeed where we are. He will be getting hooked up to the dialysis machine within the next 30 minutes.
There was a lot to take in today, but you know what...we made it to day zero! There were times I wasn't sure we would...but we did. And at 5:10 pm Pacific time zone, Rowan's new stem cells finished entering into his body. They came from his Daddy, and we are hoping and praying they will circulate through his vessels, take root in his bones and start multiplying like crazy.
Thank you Bri, for monitoring the transplant for us down here in PICU, and thank you for being the one who was watching Rowan closely enough on Sunday to know that he needed to be transferred to PICU immediately. We thank God for your intuition and for taking action, and are so happy you could share this day with us as well.
Another person we were so thankful for today was our PICU bedside nurse from today.
God truly placed him here with us today. At one point this morning, when Brian was gone getting more lab work done, follow-up to his apheresis yesterday, I got a bit emotional here in the room after the doctors started explaining to me that Rowan needed dialysis. Our nurse was charting out in the hall, noticed I was upset, came in the room, closed the door and the curtain for privacy and asked if he could help, and was I doing ok? We chatted for a bit and he really helped calm me down. Then he told me, "I worked all week. Today was my day off. They called me at 5 am and asked if I could come work overtime. I think God wanted me here with you all today." Can you imagine the sense of peace that gave me? He didn't just take care of Rowan today, he also was there for Brian and I.
Rowan also had several other visitors from the Cancer Care Unit upstairs. The PT/OTs brought me a green tea and a hug, several groups of nurses from his old floor stopped down to check on him, and encourage us, with a card or a hug, and the housekeeper from upstairs even came to check on us, with tears in her eyes. It really helped on such a difficult day, knowing how many people have cared for him and grown to love him in the past 3 months here.
The highlight of the day came at one point when Brian, myself, our PICU nurse, and the BMT nurse all came around Rowan's bed and prayed together, with the EEG tech bowing his head at the foot of the bed as well. It was a beautiful, emotional moment, and we felt like we were all in the right place today...exactly where we were supposed to be.
Rowan has a huge hill to climb as he not only gets through this transplant, but as he also now tackles all of these serious health issues on top of it, including dialysis. We continue to remain faithful that God has all of us where he wants us, and that he is not done with Rowan yet. These new cells made it into Rowan's body today for a reason. We cannot wait to hear Rowan, awake, alert, praising God for saving his life.
As his life verse reminds us:
"Let me live, that I may praise you!"
We are tucking him in now, and as they hook him up to dialysis, we thank God for another day...we thank him for another Day zero.