and Monday will be GO!
Stephen has finished up all the tests, checks, scans and blood work. He has signed all the consent forms that say they are trying to save your life but in the process all these things might happen to you…. Now he is going to golf, relax and wait a couple of days. He is ready to go. He will go into to hospital Monday morning at 9:00 am. Here is the plan for the first Stem Cell transplant:
Monday April 23rd(day -7): BCNU infusion
Tuesday April 24th(day -6):VP 16 infusion and Ara-C infusion
Wednesday April 25th(day -5):VP 16 infusion and Ara-C infusion
Thursday April 26th(day -4):VP 16 infusion and Ara-C infusion
Friday April 27th(day -3):VP 16 infusion and Ara-C infusion
Saturday April 28th(day -2): Melphalan infusion
Sunday April 29th(day -1): Rest (how appropriate)
Monday April 30th(day 0): Infusion of his blood stem cells(Progenitor Cells)
Monday May 1st is considered day 1 of his new life and they count forward from there. The doctors have told him that normally patients are not very sick during the week of chemo therapy. He will receive the infusions in the morning and then spend the day doing what ever he would like (from his hospital room). About day 3 (after receiving the stem cells) is when blood counts hit the lowest point and patients usually get a delayed sickness from the chemo that starts about then too. From this point on you focus on feeling better and getting your blood counts high enough that you can leave the hospital. The entire process usually takes 3-4 weeks. Normally patients receive blood transfusions and other treatments during the recovery period. Every patient will react differently. Just like with the stem cell collection. Normally patients are hardly sick but Stephen was hospitalized for 3 days. During the transplant, the doctor reported that one patient worked from his hospital room every day but 1. Other patients are too ill to even read a book. We will just have to wait and see how he feels.
He can have visitors at any time. The only restriction is — don’t come if you are sick. They suggested that young children do not visit. It would be nice if you could txt one of us before visiting just to make sure he is feeling up to it. You could always txt Stephen or send him email or facebook messages. He also checks the blog and I hope he will feel up to writing on it occasionally.
Somewhere between day 45 to day 60 he will return to the hospital to begin his second stem cell transplant using a combination of total body irradiation and chemo therapy. It will be a little longer and a little more challenging….but we will worry about that later.
I took the above picture of him today. He isn’t looking forward to becoming bald and puffy again. We took a picture so he can remember that he will return to looking like himself again.
Thanks for caring! Love the Griener Family
PS Congrats to Sarah, who is graduating from UVU next Friday!