I (heart) Nerds

Yes, that's right. I ♥ nerds!

I love their brains, I love their capacity for learning and I especially love that they are working at St. Jude.  To hear doctors speak, to watch researchers in action, to see this Apheresis machine in action brings on cold chills:


  

Dr. W rolls words like Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor off her tounge with effortless grace and actually understand what it means!  G-CSF is the medicine that we have been giving Lucy for the past 4 days.  Erik gives her the shot each night and I try to keep her distracted.  She will have many of these shots throughout the next 4 months.  The G shots help her body recover white blood cells and stimulates the producing of her disease fighting cells in her body.  It also forces her body to produce a lot of stem cells which we are harvesting today.

The machine above is being used for a periphera blood stem cell donation from Lucy.  Lucy received a central line through her groin this morning that will be in place for today's procedure.  She will lay flat for roughly 5 hours this afternoon as blood is taken from her body, processed and then returned through the central line in her chest.  I am clearly over simplifying the process because the whole idea of this procedure blows my mind.  Lucy's blood will run through this machine into a huge centrigfuge that will seperate her stem cells from the other particles in her blood.  How in the world this machine knows how to do this is all in part to some very smart individuals who were gifted with a love for science and a desire to help people.  I ♥ nerds!!

She is doing well so far.  She was very happy to receive her sleepy medicine this morning:


The ultimate goal today would be to collect enough stem cells for all 4 courses of Chemotherapy (Lucy receives her own cells back at the each of each course of Chemo).  Due to the stress that Radiation placed on her bone marrow, it is highly unlikely that will happen.  We were just told, however, that she looks to be on target to harvest enough for at least the first treatment.  This means she will have to do this again next month, but at least we don't have to stay in-patient tonight with her leg being held in place all night. 

Lucy continues to grow stronger each and every day and her personality is really starting to come back strong.  I am so grateful for each good day we have.  God continues to bless us with so much hope. We are reminded daily how blessed we really are.

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I would like to mention one thing that happened yesterday that has rocked our world quite a bit.  After meeting with her new clinic, we were told that the doctors had decided we lived too far away to be home during her recovery period after chemotherapy.  As you can imagine this came as a HUGE shock.  our minds are still reeling as we try to figure out how to make this all work.  So what this means is...Lucy will be in-patient for 5 days for Chemo and Stem Cell Transplant.  Then, we will have to go to either the Target House, Ronald McDonald House or Grizzlies House.  We are not sure of our placement yet.  We will be there until her counts bottom out and then recover to an acceptable limit.  Our hope would be to be home roughly 5-7 days a month.

For someone local, this was a big decision for the docs to make.  We just barely cross the threshold of mileage limitation to stay home.  30 miles is the limit.  The reason being that if Lu spikes a fever we have to be able to get access to high-dose antibiotics withint an hour.  I am just sick over this new development.  Without a doubt, whatever is in the best interest of Lucy is all that is important.  The rest of life will work itself out.  I just was blind-sided yesterday.  Had I known that we were going to relocate for 4 months, I would have been doing some planning and packing during our 5 week break.  I've got a LOT to do before Sunday!

I will probably not be posting very much before we go in for treatment on Sunday.  I have a lot to get done and will be soaking up all the time I can with my kiddos!  Thank you for your continued prayers for Lucy and our family. 




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