T+0: Transplant Day

This is why people don't do live, running, blog updates about bone marrow transplant day.
Ethan's new cells.
Just this little bit of blood
is all it takes.

It's boring.

12:15 Ethan falls asleep for his afternoon nap

1:00  Nurses come into the room with a bag of blood and some pre-meds

1:10  Ethan receives benadryl IV and is woken up a little bit to take some oral tylenol

1:11 Ethan goes back to sleep

1:25 Ethan begins receiving blood cells intravenously

1:30  Ethan continues to sleep

1:32  Ethan rolls over.  The assembled masses hold their breath.

1:33  Ethan snores.

Tuckered out little bear getting his cells.
1:40  Infusion of new cells is complete.  Nurses unhook that IV line.  Transplant of new cells complete.  Ethan continues to sleep.

Ethan received stored umbilical cord blood.  Cord blood has a high percentage of hematopoietic stem cells. I'm not going to try to explain the science of it all except to say that hematopietic stem cells can do make many different kinds of cells and they can replicate themselves, too.  The hope is that they will settle in the space cleared out when the chemotherapy and radiation killed off Ethan's native bone marrow, and that they will go forth and multiply.

Because of medical confidentiality, we likely will never know anything about the family who donated their child's umbilical cord blood, except that their child was born on 4/16/08.  After one year, we can send a thank you note to the national bone marrow registry. But due to complications stemming from medical privacy issues, they may not be able to forward it to the parents. So the parents may never know that their decision helped give a child a second (or third) chance at life. We are incredibly thankful to the families who donated both Ethan's first cord and this one.  They are the most generous of souls going out of their way to donate this precious gift with the small hope that it might one day help a child and family in need.

Whoever you are and where ever you may be, thank you.

Caleb didn't find the process very
interesting.  But he was happy
to get out of school and play
with Ethan's toys for a while.
Transplant day is perhaps the beginning of both hope for the future and of the real battle.For me, the more concrete  milestones will be watching his white blood cells come back up signifying that he can start healing again; the start and peak of enfraftment; getting released from the hospital and reaching day T+100 which generally signifies the end of the danger zone.  But for now, I will happily take this hope together with the faith that Ethan is strong enough and that the doctor's are smart enough for all the rest.

Until recently, Ethan's energy has been very good.  Since his radiation treatment yesterday, though, he's been noticeably more tired.  I'm including some pictures and video, below, from physical therapy sessions earlier in the week.  As you can see, he's having a lot of fun.  By contrast, when the speech therapist arrived today, he was just wiped out, and the session quickly turned into a full melt down.

Well, I should wrap this up now and go wake him up--or there's going to be hell to pay when I try to get him to go to sleep tonight.



In recovery yesterday after his radiation treatment. 

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Kelly Waddell said…
Transplant Day does seem a bit anti-climatic, doesn't it?! You have all of this buildup for the big day, and then they bring in this little bag and run it through, and it's over. Just seens like there should be so much more!

Anyway, GROW CELLS GROW!!! Praying that he fully engrafts, and is back home where he belongs soon. (And love the video.)
Grow cells GROW!!! Happy cell-abration day Ethan!
The Pacls said…
Haha, our transplant day blog is only a paragraph! Happy third birthday Ethan! GROW CELLS GROW!
~ The Pacl Family
What a cool toy! It's so good to see him moving about and having fun whilst he had the energy. You made transplant day sound so much more interesting, and now we wait. Lots of love to you all as always x
Jme said…
What a trooper Ethan is...we are all thinking of you guys as you hurry to wait!
Take care !
The Fowlers Jason, Jamie and Jack MPSII
Erica J. Thiel said…
Happy Transplant Day Ethan - may those cells work hard and your body work even harder to get you back to your sweet, sweet energetic self!

Cheryl Garris (Mom to Andrew MPS II) said…
I think we all need T-shirts that say.....GROW CELLS GROW! :) My heart is singing and smiling. Before long he will have so much energy you will be trying to slow him down again. :)
Anonymous said…
Ethan, you rock!! I am sure the cells grow and love to be with you! Bless you!
Thank you for the continued updates. Please keep them coming when you can afford the time. For (at least) the next 3 months our family and friends will be 'glued' to any postings you make and will be continually praying for Ethan and his family.
I couldn't help but smile and laugh when I read: "1:32 Ethan rolls over. The assembled masses hold their breath."
Its SO true.
And we continue to 'hold our breath' in anticipation and with prayers as we wait to hear that Ethan's 'numbers' are on their way up.
Praying for a quick and complete graft.

I join the chant of many: GROW CELLS GROW!

Sending healing hugs,
Love Mary Anne
Anonymous said…
Wow, what a tough little boy you have! I just found your blog and we'll be checking in to see how Ethan is doing. I hope he does really well and that the new cells keep growing and multiplying!!


Brooke Story