Now here's what the next few weeks will look like:
- Today is day -7 and we work up to day 0 which is the day of the transplant and will be considered her re-birthday. This is because the chemo will utterly destroy her bone marrow and immune system. If she was not to receive her own stem cells back, this process would kill her. But, thankfully, she will be rescued with her stem cells and she will regrow brand new bone marrow to build a new immune system like that of a newborn baby (hence the rebirth).
- On days -7 to -1 she will receive an anti-seizure medication to prevent the seizures that can be a side effect from the high dose chemo.
- Starting sometime in the early hours of tomorrow morning she will begin her infusion of the first high dose chemo, Busulfan. This will be for 4 days to day -3.
- On day -2 she will continue her anti-seizure medication but will get a break from chemo
- On day -1 she will receive the second high dose chemo drug, Melphalan.
- On day 0 she will get her stem cells! This will take a grand total of 15 life saving minutes, so probably quite anti-climactic!
- From here she will receive her daily GCSF injection to help boost her blood counts and we begin the waiting game. It will take several weeks for her counts to recover and it may be very grueling.
- The week after chemo will probably be the roughest due to the painful side effects from these drugs, so please pray for as little side effects as possible!!
- In addition to the usual side effects like fever, low blood counts, mouth sores and the like; ther is a a laundry list of potential temporary and permanent risks that include: 5% chance of a fatality, Veno-occlusive disease of the liver (most serious), bladder irritation/bleeding, kidney damage, other organ damage, decrease in fertility, a risk of developing another cancer and much more.
These risks are not common but do occur, so we must be vigilant in her care and in prayer! In addition, we will be kept in isolation with limited/no visitors to prevent any infection or complications that could be life threatening, so this may be a long couple of weeks with a 2 year old!
Despite our fears and anxieties about this reality we are facing, we hold fast to the truth that we have a Mighty Father who holds our little Hazelnut in the palm of His hand. We know He will comfort is, protect us, sustain us, love us and guide us. And as is its says is Hebrews 4:14-16 (a verse that has come across my path many times this last week) "Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Please pray for miracles to happen so His glory may shine and that we rely on Him for his grace in our time of need! Here is a picture of Hazel with Dr Tran for her last health check before being admitted: