Thursday, May 28, 2009

Day +5 Update

Today is Day +5, i.e., 5 days after the stem cell transplant. Isabella continues to feel the effects of the chemotherapy. In addition to the nausea and lack of appetite, she is also suffering from mucositis. Mucositis is a common side effect of thiotepa where the mucous membranes along the digestive tract become inflamed or ulcerated and slough off. Isabella has been spitting out and vomiting the mucous on a regular basis and it looks pretty nasty. In most cases, the pain caused by the mucositis gets so bad that the patient is given morphine and Isabella is no different.

The good news is that we are halfway through the worst week. The mucositis should clear up within a couple days and her blood counts should start rising which will help her to start feeling better. On Day 11 (which will be Wednesday, June 3), the stem cells that were transplanted on Day 0 should have worked their way to Isabella's bone marrow and should be cranking out new blood cells. After that, they say that the blood counts come up very quickly, after which we would be able to go home.

But until then, we remain in isolation. We've played a lot of Uno and watched a lot of movies and TV. Isabella has also drawn a bunch of pictures that we put up on her wall with a bunch of other inspiring works of art. Since Isabella really hasn't had the strength to walk or move, being in isolation hasn't been has bad as we thought it would be.

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