Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Stem-cells back in

The door shut yesterday at 6pm and the nurses started hydrating Pads ready for his stem-cell infusion at 11am this morning. It was nice to have a few more hours of non-isolation yesterday meaning that the play therapist could spend some time with him.
We should have known to read between the lines when all the nurses were saying that this stem-cell therapy is, 'a bit of an anti-climax.' Pads' pre-meds included hydrocortisone, paracetamol, and piriton, and, anticipating any adverse reaction, an array of drugs were to hand, such as Adrenaline. The senior nurse was on tenterhooks as, watched by the entire ward's medical staff, she delved her hands protected by huge gloves into a casket of liquid nitrogen, retrieving the harvested frozen stem-cells, frozen so hard that the bags can rupture without sufficient care. The cells must be infused within 30 minutes or they are useless. Because they're quite viscose, this has been known to confuse the infusion pump. Thankfully, nothing went wrong, which is just as well. Ally asked the consultant whether stem-cell therapy is always required with the chemo Pads had last week. The slightly chilling reply was that it is vital as the dose was lethal. It's not called a 'stem-cell rescue' for nothing!
In himself, Pads varies between able to do not very much and hardly able to even consider doing anything. But he's patient, recognising that this is another day of progress, or at least that another day has passed.

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