Lucas had his transplant today! Unlike some of the other procedures that he has had, this one was very enjoyable. Luis and I were here together with Lucas and today the cells that Lucas needs to make him a strong, healthy boy and man were given to him.
The procedure began with some pre-medications. This included Benadryl, which really wiped him out. As you can see above, he was sleeping through the procedure. Lindsay, a wonderful nurse, was the transplantor.
Lucas’ transplant was a Cord Blood Transplant. When the donor is cord blood the recipient will never know who the donor is. Lucas’ cord blood unit was stored here in the Carolinas Cord Blood Bank (at Duke) and we know that the donor was a girl and that she has the same blood type as Lucas (which is not always the case). After this baby girl was born her mother allowed the umbilical cord blood to be collected from the umbilical cord and placenta. This blood is rich in blood-forming cells. The donated cord blood was tested, frozen, and stored. Today, that blood was prepared and administered to Lucas via his central line. Tonight there are two people who are responsible for helping Lucas and they have no idea. I pray that the good karma of the world will bring them a great gift!
The infusion took a little over 30 minutes and created a smell that was somewhat comparable to sweet/cream corn. Lucas slept for a good part of the day. He had no reactions and tolerated the infusion well. He spent the rest of the day playing and even got out of bed to go to the playroom and for a ride on a little car. Uncle Ed and Lisa came to visit after Daddy went home to be with Liam and Lucas really was happy to see them.
Today is a beginning. We have a lot coming up! First, the effects of the chemotherapies are taking hold. Lucas is very nauseous, not eating well and he is growing weaker. He will lose his hair in the next couple of days. For some time he will be very vulnerable to infection. He will experience mucositis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mucositis) (we are praying for a mild case) and then after engraftment swelling and major changes as the new cells multiply in his body so quickly. Thankfully we will be here, supported by the care of experts. They will support all aspects of his health, feeding him when he will not eat and keeping a close eye on how he is progressing.
Today we are thankful for so much. Words cannot begin to express how we feel. Thank you to Lisa and Uncle Ed for being here with us for this. Thank you to our family and friends for supporting us today from wherever you are. Finally, thank you to all of our new friends at Reddit, Future (as announced today – sooner or later) Uncle Dave ;), and UNCLE Backpackwayne, none of this would be possible without you! <3