Saturday, March 31, 2012

A New Immune System for Mel

Sorry to keep you all hanging. It has been a busy weekend!! Melanie made it through her two days of radiation and her transplant. YAY! Here are some pictures of her radiation adventures.

There was a lot of waiting involved!

Getting her new central line.

This is how Melanie had to stand for 20 min. while getting the radiation. Fun!

Ringing the bell to signal that she is done with her radiation! She was super happy that it was not as bad as last time, and that they were able to give her the meds she needed.

The stem cells have arrived. It's hard to believe that they came from so far away. In a year, we can find out just how far that was.

This time they looked like strawberry puree. It looks more red in the picture. There are 6.4 million cells in this bag. Melanie had to be pre-medicated for a few things before they gave her the cells. First, her and the donor were not RH compatible, so she had to have a medicine for that. Last time she had a few little problems (nausea and redness), so they gave her some Adavan and Benedryl for that. She was drugged!

I picked Kim up from the airport and we made it just in time for the transplant. It was a small group this time. Just Melanie, Mom, Kim, and I. That was good, because the room she was in was super small. We left the balloons and birthday supplies for another day.

Tony was the nurse helping her. He has worked with her a lot over the years. He is so funny and kind. We love Tony!

We were all giving a little chant as the cells made their way into Melanie's body. Her third birthday is March 30th at 3:27 pm. Melanie was nervous for this procedure. As the cells started going in, she started acting a little freaked out like last time. She kept saying that she felt weird and didn't like the way she was feeling. Tony explained that it does have a warm feeling as the cells go in. It joked that it was Melanie's body warmly welcoming the new cells. It probably didn't help that she had all those drugs in her and just had radiation. She was a bit nauseous as well.

It took 45 min. to empty the bag. We are so grateful once again for the wonderful man that donated these cells. We are keeping our fingers crossed that these little guys do the job. After the cells were all drained, she started to relax a bit. I think the drugs finally kicked in and she was able to sleep. We had to stay for about an hour and have her vitals checked every 20 min. Tony gave the OK, and Melanie was cleared to leave the hospital with a brand spanking new immune system.

If only we could get her to wake up now. She was drugged!

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