Monday, April 21, 2008

We are in the hospital!

Hello everyone! James checked into the hospital on Wednesday, April 16th to begin the transplant process. Getting admitted took some time, but by late afternoon we were settled into the room and unpacking. The room has two beds and James is the only patient, so Stacey is able to stay with him through the whole process. Crystal had several pictures of Robert blown up and we have hung them up all around the room, making things feel a bit more homey.

Robert’s first birthday was on the 16th. We had a party for him on April 15th so that Daddy and Robert could celebrate together. Lots of friends showed up and we had a great time. Robert ate his cake using a fork (he was very excited about being allowed to use the same utensils as the rest of us), and showed a fair amount of interest in unwrapping presents, although he didn’t make through all of them that night. Everyone had a great time.

James has finished four days of initial chemotherapy and has begun a more intense form of chemotherapy today, April 21. He will be on this chemo for two days and then have two days off of all chemo prior to his transplant. His transplant is scheduled for April 25th, sometime in the evening. They will be harvesting from the donor in the morning, flying it in to OHSU, and then the stem cells will undergo some tests prior to transplant.

In medical terms the days prior to transplant are counted down as negative days, days after the transplant are counted up as positive days and transplant day is “Day 0”. Today is day -4, (four days prior to transplant). They say that days +4 thru +14 (4-14 days after transplant) are the most difficult and dangerous. James’ counts will be very low during this time and we will be waiting for the new stem cells to engraft into the marrow and begin to create new blood. This will also be the time that the negative side-effects from the chemotherapy will be most acute. In addition, serious forms of Graft vs. Host Disease (GVHD) can begin to occur. Please send James your love and positive thoughts during these days to help him through the tough time. More comments on the blog will be a great way of letting him know you are thinking about him.

We will post a new entry when the new stem cells have begun to engraft so that everyone knows when James has jumped over the first hurdle successfully. Thank you everyone for you support and love during the last few months.

James and Stacey


Crystal said...

I'm so proud to be your sister-in-law james. We love you and are thinking of you all the time. "badadaga...grrunt" - that is robert saying "i love you, daddy". xoxo

Anonymous said...

Dear James, I am grateful for all updates and I will be hanging in there with you all the way. The special days are marked. What a joy to see Robert's birthday photos. What a great kid!!!!
Much love to you, Stacey and Robert


Anonymous said...

It's been awhile but know that you are in our thoughts and have been since we last spoke with you. We've been tracking your progress through the blog and are so happy things are hopefully starting to change for the better. Maybe a BBQ this summer to catch up on the last 10 years? (yikes!)
Christy and Abe

Anonymous said...

Today's the big day. I'll be sending you some protective good vibes. Be strong, James.
---Bill McDonald

Anonymous said...

Yes, this is the day. Me. too.
Love, Grandma

Raine said...

Hi James & Stacey,
Robert is so big- and beautiful, or i guess i should say handsome! what a adorable child! thanks for sharing the photos. we are really thinking of you, James, and knowing all of this will go perfectly. although it must be really scarey, i imagine it is also good news that the day for the transplant is here and that you can start moving forward, however slowly, healing and putting this farther and farther behind you. We love you!

Anonymous said...

I am thinking of you tonight and sending lots of positive thoughts for a successful transplant. I'm hoping to see your little...or should I say big boy this weekend. Your receiving this bone marrow donation is probably the best birthday present he could get. I've got a few other things for him as well. Love to you, Stacey and Robert from