Yesterday was the last day of chemotherapy for the first transplant procedure. He was told to suck on ice and Popsicles the entire time to minimize the blood flow to the mouth. This should reduce the amount of mouth sores caused by the chemo. He followed the instructions – his lips are stained red and he doesn’t want to eat popsicles again for a long time. Sarah and Jennie took turns staying with him yesterday and ran to the nearby Smiths for frozen treats and food cravings. They are feeding him through his IV so it doesn’t matter if he eats or not, if he can keep down his food, etc. The last couple of days he hasn’t had any nausea and has actually been craving foods. Yesterday he wanted Froot Loops! Jennie ran to smiths and bought him some. He has been eating bowls of Froot Loops ever since. Rather than food services just bring you meals, he orders room service from a large menu of cafeteria items whenever he is hungry. This is a huge improvement in hospital service. He can get mashed potatoes, juice, whatever he is in the mood for. Sunday night he ordered cheese pizza, mashed potatoes, watermelon and pumpkin pie! He said it was all delish!
I thought I would post a few pictures of his tree of medicines from the last couple of days. He takes so many medications each day it is really hard to keep track of it all. The creamy white bag is his food, the dark red bag is a blood transfusion (he had 2 pints yesterday), the dark yellow/orange is a bag of platelets, and the rest are antibiotics, fluids, something to counteract the acid created when lots of cells die at once and I’m not sure what else right now.
Saturday Allison Ricks and her boyfriend Joel stopped by. Joel is a professional balloon artist. How fun is that! Can you see the t-rex and red bear in the back ground. They keep Stephen company.
Another great idea the hospital has is a message board. Family and friends can leave messages for patients on a board in the hall. When the patients go on their walks they check to see if there are any messages left for them. Cute things like ‘We love you grandma!’ are left with a little artwork. One of our favorites was ‘Stay classy Gramps!’ We want to meet that guy. Jeff bought a blue marker just for himself. So anytime Stephen see’s messages in blue, he knows they are from Jeff. King Julian and little Carter left Stephen a message yesterday.
Last night was a rough night for Stephen. Starting about 1 am he had terrible sweats. About every 45 minutes he would suddenly soak his clothes and bedding with a cold sweat. One time I took a picture right after we took the bedding off the bed. Can you tell where he was laying on the mattress? Crazy! Now he feels just fabulous and has eaten breakfast, second breakfast, and is playing xbox. It is crazy how quickly he changes from sick to feeling pretty well.
Today is considered day negative one. Tomorrow is day 0 and he will receive his stem cells and begin counting forward from there. I’ll post an update tomorrow on how it went.