Friday, Dec. 18 was a busy day beginning at 8:30 a.m. for blood draws and ending after 4p.m. Roy said they drew 10 vials of blood and he was hoping he had some left. After the blood draws, we saw the leukemia doctor who went over the results of his bone marrow biopsy a few days before. His blasts (amount of immature red cells) was at 1%, which is good, but the biopsy also showed there were still signs of the disease, but the doctor was very pleased and agreed with the SCT doctor that we needed to go ahead with the transplant. Roy then had a chest x-ray, saw the infusion team about his port, went to a meeting that told us what to expect with the transplant, and I think we had a couple of others but can't remember right now. Monday, the 21st, Roy has to be at the hospital at 6:50 to begin another long day, not as many appointments, but each will take longer. He begins with a CT scan of the head/neck area, then he will go have the port he has now removed and they will insert a cath. It needs to be larger than the one he has now as the bone marrow is larger than the blood and platletes he gets. The doctor said the bone marrow is sticky and would clog up the line so it has to be larger to let everything flow like it should. Then we visit with a social worker in the SCT department. At some place and time this week, we have to go to a class for me to learn how to flush and keep the line flowing clear when he gets to come home.
The class we had Friday afternoon said that Roy will have at least 3 days of really, really strong chemo and it could be a day or two more - it will just depend I suppose on how he reacts and his counts. But the first day of chemo is a -7 day and they count down to "0" and that is the transplant day and then they start counting +1 on up. He has to stay in the hospital until his WBC is between 1.5 and 2 and this will probably be about 28 days. After that he gets to come back home (RV) but will go in for blood work about every day and we have to stay in Houston at least another 100 days, it could be more, it will all depend on how he is doing.
The SCT doctor said they will be doing a bone marrow transplant and not a stem cell, which is from the blood. The doctor said there is not as much rejection with the bone marrow as with the stem cell. This will be harder on Tommy but hope he doesn't mind.
Dr. Siurea, the SCT doctor, told us the other day that Roy would have a bone marrow biopsy done on the 24th, but it is not on the schedule so I am sure they will be adding it on. Roy checks his schedule 3-4 times a day as they can add things all the time. It sure makes it nice that we don't have to wait around at the hospital for them to make all the appointments but can come on back to the RV and check the computer.