It's finally here! Dad is having his transplant right now! Just thought I'd post a few pictures of what's going on!
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
Well Nathan is all done giving his stem cells so I thought I would post a few pictures of the process that he went through this morning. Enjoy! :) Elisabeth
As for Lance he had a rough night, up most of it with face and jaw pain and then a bad headache. There was talk for awhile of a CAT scan but the doctor decided that it is a side effect from the one chemo... Not a common one but then again when has Lance ever been common! He did learn a hard lesson in telling the nurse when he has a little pain before it turns into A LOT of pain....... The hockey player in him just doesn't relate to that to well..... He has been sleeping most of the day so far today which is exactly what he needs! They have some pretty good pain meds. up here (once you tell them you hurt!).
Thanks to everyone for your continued love and prayers! God is good!-----Penny
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
(Be sure and check out the next post Nicole and I were doing them at the same time)
This is just a quick update about Nathan -- I know many have asked how he is doing so we wanted to let you know. Just as a disclaimer by Nathan, his complaints pale in comparison of the long road his Dad has to conquer and so with that in mind he shrugs off any sort of discomfort. Nathan started his shots 3 days ago on Thanksgiving morning. We were blessed to have the guidance and assistance of a wonderful couple who have have taken this same journey -- Matt and Sam (oops, forgot their last name, sorry guys!!). Matt was a donor about 5 years ago to his brother so he was able to share some of his personal experience with Nathan. Sam has also been fortunate enough for us, to have vast experience as a Physician's Assisant. They were SO kind to make a stop off at our house before going on about their Thanksgiving plans that day -- they even made it a point to stay in the area for the holidays knowing that Nathan would be taking his shots. (Interesting tidbit: Matt started his shots on Easter Sunday and Nathan on Thanksgiving!) We realized how helpful they were when Sam knew what to do when we got air into the needle syringe, she is such a pro and we are such amateurs! SO very thankful for their help on Thanksgiving!
Nathan has been feeling VERY sore, although he won't admit it to anyone else, it is more pain than he thought there would have been, but ABSOLUTELY WORTH IT IN EVERY WAY!!! Much of his soreness and achiness has been in his skull, jaw and hip bones (we are guessing these are the largest producers of stem sells maybe) and hopefully with all of the pain he is experiencing, it will be a sign that he will donate the largest amount of stem cells they have ever seen (okay so we are a little competetive :) in everything!) lol! Only two more days and then it's donation day and the first day on Lance's new life with Nathan's stem cells, Nathan's new blood type and Nathan's allergies that Lance never had before (yes, a possible side effect!) We all can't wait, what an exciting transformation!! God is GOOD!! Take care everyone and hope to see some of you tomorrow in Iowa City to celebrate little Hayden's 2nd birthday! Yea!!
Friday, November 26, 2010
Meet are new friend Imani , She is an African Refuge who works in the Foodservice at University of Iowa Hospitals. She has had a hard story but you'd never know it her face lights up a room. Last night she came into our room and asked if she could pray for me and that her whole Church is. She then same some Hymns for us in French and Swaheli, God brings many special people into our lives.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Hello everyone! Just wanted to post a couple pictures of what dad did today!
There is a story behind this note. My mom wouldn't kiss my dad because she was afraid of giving him any germs. Now my dad wasn't going to take this so of course he went to the top! He got a doctor to actually write a prescription that says ,"Patient should get a kiss from his wife as needed!" Typical dad! Needless to say he got his kiss! :)
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Bone marrow is the home to special cells called hemopoietic (blood-forming) stem cells, which work continuously to make new blood cells. Normally , a small fraction of these stem cells leave the bone marrow and circulate the bloodstream. If they filter the donor's blood, (which in our case is going to be our oldest son Nathan!! All three of our boys were perfect matches for Lance ,a huge miracle!!) they can collect his stem cells for transplant. By giving Nathan several injections of a medication before the collection, they can increase the number of stem cells in the circulation by 50 to 100 fold. They use this method 90% of the time now, rather than having to do surgery on Nathan and go in and take the stem cells from his bone marrow. It is easier on the donor! Although Nathan was very willing (as were all the boys) to do which ever one the doctors wanted for Lance. Thank You Guys!!
Lance will be admitted to the hospital on Nov. 23, if everything stays on schedule. He will get a PICC line again, and start chemotherapy, It is very high dose and will be for 6 days, they give him a one day break and then the next day is transplant day --Nov.30th! The transplant is given as a transfusion, similar to a blood transfusion. This day is considered Day 0. A neat side note is that the stem cells know that they belong in the bone marrow so find their way there, the doctor says they call it homing. Isn't it amazing the way God created our bodies!
It takes about 2-3 weeks after the transplant to begin making the normal bone marrow and blood cells that you need. "Engraftment" is when the donor's cells grow, and become normal functioning blood cells in Lance. During this time, they will watch Lance carefully for infection and other complications. He will get antibiotics and other drugs to help prevent and treat side effects and infections. He will receive blood and platelets transfusions. And most need IV nutrition for awhile. They tell us that the average hospital stay is 4-6 weeks although some do go home in 3-4. They also tell us that pretty much everyone ends up back in the hospital a time or two over the next few months. He will be taking lots of medicines for months to help him fight infections while his new immune system gets stronger..
There is risk of damage from the Chemo, then there is the risk of infection and probably one of the biggest risk is Graft vs. Host disease. This is where they want Lance's new immune system to fight and get rid of any cancer that might be left and to take over and give Lance a new immune system but they don't want it to get out of control and attack his body. I won't go into all the possible risk, the list is overwhelming, BUT this is also a chance for a cure! And the drugs are not working so it is a chance for life! They tell us that people don't even talk about Normal life again till at least a year out from transplant...... Lance is praying that he will beat those odds and he wants to get back to work as soon as possilble, doctors tell us that a few go back part time 4-6 months out from transplant... but most take longer... Praying to beat those odds too!
Please also pray for protection for Lance during all the chemo, transplant and after. Protection from organ damage, infections and the graft vs. host disease.
We are so thankful to our family and friends for all your love and support this past year. We are so thankful for all the prayers.... People we have never even seen are praying for us all over the world! Thank you!
Thursday, November 4, 2010
On Wednesday this coming week I will go in for an echocardiogram to make sure my Heart is in good condition and then we will attend a class for a couple of hours that will better explain the transplant procedure. Nathan will go down for Blood work and a physical soon.
I feel a sense of relief that we have a plan and am looking forward to getting better, I am very comfortable with the direction we are going and feel at peace that whatever the outcome is, it is in Gods hands and where else would I want to be.
Thanks for Praying