Saturday, July 25, 2009

On the THIRD day of stem cell harvest

We are just about to complete the third day of harvesting stem-cells. Luke's bone marrow was just not ready to give us enough cells so the doctors decided to keep us overnight to try again on Friday. They said sometimes a patients bone marrow just doesn't release as many cells as others, but they do have other options, including continuing aphresis or going in and aspirating the cells out of the bone marrow. Well, Friday's treatment produced a ton more stem-cells but it still was not quite as much as they wanted so we decided to try one more time. Regardless of the the results we will go home confident we have plenty of those precious little stem-cells. Luke is doing fine...he will be really glad to get home to his siblings and his own bed and so will Dad and Mom. The femoral line they put in his groin will soon come out and we will be on our way home..Yippee.. By the way, Luke was once again a star patient and the placement of the line went beautifully.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Stem-Cell Harvest Tomorrow

Fever is gone, blood cultures are clear. Luke's ANC is up to 675 today! We get to go home after he is done with his last round of antibiotics,another shot, and one more platelet transfusion. I will never again underestimate the importance of giving blood. I had never realized how much Cancer kids need, not to mention all the other illnesses people need blood transfusions for, wow.

We are off to San Francisco at about 4am. Luke will have a femoral line put in for the harvest at about 7am, please pray he is able to relax and allow the placement of the line to go smoothly. A child life specialist told me she has heard that it's not fun at all. She also reminded us to bring things he can do laying down. I guess he will have to lie flat for 4-5 hours, or maybe longer if they need to do a second day of harvest. Let me know if you think of anything creative he can do to pass the time.

God is with us every moment, He amazes me everyday.

Monday, July 20, 2009

In the hospital with a fever

Luke's ANC was at zero on Friday, Dr.Yim said "have your bags packed and be ready to go to the hospital if Lukas has any fevers or pain". Well...Sunday evening at dinner he was acting pretty tired and said he was dizzy and his tummy hurt. He had a fever of 101, then I checked again with another thermometer and it was 102. By the time we checked in at the hospital his fever was down to 99.9, praise God, but it continued to hang-on around or below 101. They drew up blood cultures and started him on antibiotics. When you don't have white blood cells to fight for you the situation can get bad fast. Luke's CBC came back at about 9pm and he needed a platelet and hemoglobin transfusion. I found it interesting to learn when they separate blood the platelets are yellow! It took one hour to transfuse the platelets and four hours for the hemoglobin. Luke is grabbing my arm now trying to get to the computer to play games, he's feeling great and his fever is gone. Now we sit and wait for the blood cultures. His stem-cell harvest will have to be postponed until his counts have recovered. One good thing to come from this, at least from my perspective...the nurse gave Luke his shot last night...not Mommy...phew.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


We received a box in the mail today, boxes in the mail are usually something to get excited about, but not this time. Inside the box was ice cold syringes...needles, filled with a medication called Nupogeon or also called G-CSF. It will help encourage the release of Luke's stem-cells for collection on Tuesday. He will have one shot every evening, given by Mom and Dad. The stem-cells will be harvested at the University of San Francisco Children's Hospital. It works a lot like Dialysis. His blood will be circulated through a machine that collects his stem-cells, or parent-cells and then returned to his body over the course of a few hours. Unfortunately they will not be able to utilize his broviac for this procedure because of the blood volume passing through the tubes is too great, so Luke will have to have a larger line put in his groin area prior to the procedure. Please pray for strength for Luke this week, he's in for a lot of pokes, poor baby.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Luke slept till almost 9:30 this morning. I was a little worried he was going to wake up feeling wiped out, but no, he is feeling just fine. He is happy with his new Lego's Auntie Kim and Sam brought him. He said "pirate's are trying to steel rubies and a guy got stabbed and his legs were chopped off!" Cancer is no fun, but we are doing our best to have fun anyway. I think the next time the insurance lady calls I'm gonna have to let it go to voicemail, she got me all stressed out about record keeping and money this morning. Just two of the things I don't want to think about right now... I would rather play pirates with my boy.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

5 days of Chemo

Yesterday Luke had a C.T. scan and a full body bone scan, he had to lie completely still for 45 min. Mike and I sat and watched in amazement. I'm not sure I could have done what he did. The tech. said he was the best patient he'd ever had. We finally got to get him something to eat at 2pm then we headed up to the 6th floor to start 5 days of chemo. Another million questions to go over with Dr.Hsu and a few hours of pre-hydration and Luke's chemo finally started at 9:30pm. He was sound asleep. He woke up this morning feeling great, ate scrambled eggs and a few Cheerios. P.S. Luke's bone marrow is healthy! GOD is GOOD !!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

More Chemo, Stem-Cell Transplant, and Radiation

Mike, Luke and I went to the clinic yesterday afternoon for a post surgery check-up and to review the pathology report. Now that the entire tumor has been examined the classification changed from what we previously thought was favorable histology, to un-favorable histology. This means Luke is going to need some high doses of chemotherapy to make absolutely sure there aren't anymore neuroblastoma cells in his body. With high dose chemo they will send us to San Francisco to have Luke's stem-cells harvested, then after chemo they replace his stem-cells to help him recover from the treatment. This will be followed by radiation treatment in Sacramento, to ensure all those bad guys are gone. He will then have to take pills for six months. This was disappointing news, we feel, emotionally, very much the same as we did when he was first diagnosed. Tomorrow they will give Luke a bone marrow aspiration and Thursday he will have another C.T. scan and bone scan to make sure all are still cancer free.
Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the Earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, have mercy on my Lukas and heal him. -Erica