Thursday, August 20, 2009
I took Tanner to the Apheresis Clinic this morning and they collected some of his stem cells. The nurse there was very nice and she kept telling Tanner that he reminded her of her son. You could tell that she was very touched by him and she was extremely kind.
The alarm on the machine kept going off and they would have to constantly come back in and rearrange his lines to try and keep the blood moving through the catheters. It would go out of his body and through the machine and then would be run through the"warmer" and then back into his body through the other catheter - minus his stem cells.
We were told that they attempt to collect 20 million cells per patient so that they have extra frozen if the patient ever needs to come back over the years. She said that the amount that could be collected per session varied per patient but they could usually gather the required number of cells over two to three visits. When they called this afternoon to tell us how many stem cells they collected from Tanner she said it was 23.2 million cells. I told her that they had already collected enough from him in one sitting but she said that we needed to come back tomorrow for another session anyway. They explained that because Tanner is so young and has such a long life ahead of him, they want to collect as many stem cells as possible just in case he needs them in the future.
We will go for another stem cell collection first thing in the morning and then Tanner will have a PET scan at 2:30 and then another growth factor shot in the afternoon. It will be a full day.
Because of the PET scan, Tanner had to eat a healthy, low carb meal tonight so I made roasted chicken, broccoli, and green beans. After midnight he can't have anything but water so I'm sure he will be really hungry by the time the PET is over tomorrow.
The nurse said that they will notify Dr. Barlogie tomorrow that Tanner is through collecting and that we should hear from him soon regarding what our next step will be. I'm sure that he will want to wait on the results of the PET scan and MRI before he sees Tanner again but I'm really interested in what the next phase of Tanner's treatment will be. If I have it correct, the next step is usually more chemotherapy - and the PA told Tim and Janet that his next round of chemo is going to be a lot more rough on him than the first session was. But really, at this point I'm just conjecturing about what comes next; we will have to wait and see what the doctor's office has to say.
Tanner is hoping that they are going to give him a break of at least a couple of days so that we can go home but the PA said that she thinks Dr. Barlogie is going to want to forge ahead without pause because Tanner is handling the treatment so well. I guess the more aggressively they treat this, the sooner Tanner will be well.
He told me today that he wanted the family to get together more often like we use to - so everyone get ready for when Tanner comes home. He wants to see his family!