We are home again and all procedures at Duke went so smoothly. We were very impressed with the medical care Ernie received from the doctors and nurses there and are happy that he only had to spend one night in the hospital. The Great Physician is at work!
Thursday morning his port-a-cath was replaced with a Hickman catheter. We were sad to see his "port" go, because it was totally invisible under the skin and it made it so easy to draw blood and receive chemotherapy. The new catheter went in the same place, but has two external lines for giving multiple medications. It will be removed after we come home from the apartment in September sometime, but until then, I have to be "nurse Linda" and take care of it, changing the dressing and flushing the lines.
Port-a-cath under the skin on upper right chest
After recovering for a bit in radiology, Ernie was transported upstairs to the Transplant Unit on the 9th floor. He received fluids and anti-nausea meds, then the high dose chemotherapy drug, Cytoxin, was started, finishing up at about 6:30pm. Never did he experience any nausea, he ate a good lunch and dinner, and the drugs made him sleep quite comfortably. Wow, PTL!
We were on our way home by 3:30pm on Friday and are so very grateful for all the prayer support, being fully convinced that is why Ernie did so well. He will rest and stay on anti-nausea meds around the clock here at home for the next 3 days, and we will head to the Cancer Center on Monday for labs. His immunity will be compromised now and we will have to be very cautious about what he is exposed to through the environment and his diet. No more fresh strawberries, cherries, and blueberries...boo! One surprising "no no" is black pepper; it harbors bacteria in the peppercorn.
Many thanks to Jamie, Tara and the Sams, as well as Grandma and Nick, for being there with us during and after the procedures, and to all those who were at home and work praying. We are now a little further down the road to transplant and ask you to continue to pray in the weeks ahead for the specific requests we listed, especially no fever or infection. THANKS SO MUCH!