Monday was a very long day, 7 am to 7 pm. Rachel took the morning shift, and I took the afternoon, but Kevin and Scotty were in the hospital for the whole thing. When we finally got home, Kevin was exhausted and fell asleep pretty much right away. We hooked up his TPN while he was sleeping. He's on 12 hour cycles now, so he doesn't have to wear the backpack with pump and bag all over the hospital.
It was good for Jake not having to spend any time in the hospital, but switching off between Rachel and I didn't work too well. There was lots of confusion at the hospital regarding Kevin's schedule because his morning blood work showed that his neutrophil count was high enough to allow stem cell harvesting. So the rest of the schedule for yesterday and today (Tuesday) was changed. It also didn't help that no one could get hold of me via phone because Sprint service here is near non-existent.
To re-cap Monday, then, the colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) is working. Kevin's neutrophil count jumped up after receiving it. Kevin got a hearing evaluation in the early afternoon and his hearing is still outstanding. Then we went to the medicine room and hooked him up for more G-CSF and a bag of platelets (for blood clotting) because his platelet count was low in the morning. If you ever need to know, a bag of platelets looks like concentrated orange juice. Weird.
Since Scotty spent most of the day in the hospital, he was severely lacking in run-around-like-a-madman time. He made up for it at night by running back and forth between the kitchen and bathroom (a distance of 20 feet) about 200 times. Then another bad thunderstorm moved through Memphis and the whole family fell asleep watching the lightning flash through the bedroom window.
So here we are Tuesday, which has been another long day. We needed to harvest some more stem cells from Kevin because a few weeks back we only banked enough for 3 treatments. That was through his bone marrow. So today they got stem cells from his bloodstream. First thing this morning Kevin got a catheter in his femoral vein (on the right side in his groin). Blood from there went into a centrifuge which spun the blood at high speed so the stem cells could be separated. The blood--sans stem cells--was then sent back into his body through the central line in his chest. This lasted from noon until 4 pm. He was only sedated when the femoral line was put in this morning. Since then he's been watching movie after movie and playing his Nintendo DS.
Rachel donated platelets today at the same time Kevin was hooked up for stem cells with the thinking that she would replenish the bank with the platelets he used yesterday. But now we just found out that Kevin needs another 3/4 unit of platelets today. We just got back the results of his latest blood test and his platelet count is not as high as desired, even after getting a unit yesterday. So right now I'm typing this in the medicine room where we are waiting for a platelet match. Then that partial unit will be infused through his central line. Looks like we might be here until 9 pm ... even later than yesterday! I'm totally worn out because I woke up at 3 am this morning and couldn't get back to sleep. But it looks like tomorrow it will be my turn to give platelets.
Rachel just took home Scotty and Jake (or "Super Poligrip" as I like to call him because it is almost impossible to get him to release an object once he has a hold of it -- including hair, noses, and ears). They'll get some food and a bath before returning in their PJs.
And tomorrow? Well, we have to be back at the hospital at 8 am.