Persy made it through the second cycle’s nadir without infections or complications. Each chemo cycle is 21 days. The first two cycles have infusions on the first five days and a low point in Persy’s immune system (nadir) between days 9 and 11. We’re reaching the end of the nadir now and Persy hasn’t had any fevers above 101, which is the point where a fever becomes an emergency. He is feeling pretty good.
As his immune system recovers, his doctors are choosing this time to harvest stem cells that will be used in two bone marrow transplants later in the treatment. Persy’s transplants will be autologous, meaning he is his own donor. The type of transplant Persy is receiving is a bit different. While it does involve completely ablating his bone marrow, it essentially allows the doctors to give Persy what would otherwise be a lethal dose of chemo, then save him with an infusion of his own stem cells.
Persy will be admitted to the hospital tonight so that he can undergo blood transfusions in prepraration for surgery tomorrow. Tomorrow’s surgery will be in the installation of an apheresis catheter (large port) that will be used to harvest the stem cells.
The harvest itself is similar to dialysis in that a large portion of his blood stream will be re-routed through a machine. That machine separates a particular kind of stem cell from the blood. This process will require Persy to lie still for two days, which won’t be easy for a child his age.
After the harvest is complete, his apheresis catheter can be removed and he can go home.
Let Us Pray
Dear heavenly father, we come to you in prayer through your son, our savior, Jesus Christ. There are so many distractions during the holiday season. It would be so easy to get completely wrapped up in what Christmas isn’t really about. The meaning of Christmas is the celebration of the birth of our savior. Celebration of the greatest gift a loving God could give us isn’t something we should reserve for a single day of the year. We celebrate and worship you with every day and every breath.
As we go back to the hospital we pray that you keep us on the path you desire for us. We ask that you guide Persy’s doctors and surgeons. We ask that you strengthen and fortify Persy’s body as he undergoes the harvest. We ask that you oversee the harvest so that it is a successful intervention against his cancer. We ask that you give Persy comfort and peace in the face of pain and discomfort that must be impossible for a two-year-old to understand.
Give us faith and peace in this difficult time. Above all, lead us in your ways and in your heart. Help us worship and glorify you. Amen.