Just a quick post to let everyone know our calendar has been moved up by 3 days! They got all 8 million healthy cells in just one day of aphresis! Ernie did need one unit of blood and some lasix to help get rid of all the fluid they gave him, but otherwise he handled the process with no problem. I corrected the dates on the sidebar so that it accurately reflects the schedule for next week. We will head to another "clearance appointment" on Monday where they will do an EKG, take another chest x-ray and do blood work to be sure everything looks good to go. If the "all clear" is given, we will move in to our assigned apartment sometime after 3:30! By the pictures and virtual tour, the complex looks very nice and is located right off 15-501. It is a 2 bedroom on the first floor and will be our home for 2-3 weeks.
Ernie will be on a strict regimen of following food safety guidelines for a neutropenic diet, which is for people with weakened immune systems as evidenced by low white blood cell counts. It helps reduce the risk of food-borne illness caused by bacteria. Take out food and/or dining out is a no no for now...so are fresh flowers and visitors :(.
Tuesday morning we head back to the Transplant Clinic for Ernie's 2nd high dose chemo, Melphalan. This is what they call the BIG GUN...strong stuff that will take all Ernie's numbers down to zero in preparation for infusing his healthy stem cells on Wednesday morning. The actual infusion takes about 20 minutes and can cause serious mouth and throat sores. One thing that can help reduce or prevent this is keeping ice in your mouth, which thrills Ernie...he loves to chew on ice!
As you can imagine, there are a number of things we would ask you to pray for Ernie:
1. That he will not develop mouth or throat sores.
2. That the medication would once again control any nausea so he would not get sick to his stomach.
3. That he will remain strong and mobile enough for me to transport him back and forth to the clinic every day.
4. That he would not develop any infection or fever.
5. That his blood would rebuild itself quickly (engraftment) and for his overall protection from any complications.
6. That we would remain faithful, positive and full of hope for the future...witnesses to God's healing power.
Jeremiah 29:11 - For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Tomorrow I will post some pictures of how we plan to entertain ourselves for 3 weeks...stay tuned!