Wednesday, June 1, 2011

...adventures continue

Good Morning from Indy!

I know I didn't post a lot last night, but I thought it would be nice to at least make sure you knew about the photos and that Kurtis' stem cells have been put back in :)

Yesterday was really interesting.  In order to fully understand what was going on yesterday, here is a quick rundown of the process:
-Kurtis gets shots of a drug that causes his bone marrow to create cells
-He gets the shots for five days in a row
-Next, it is "harvest" day where they hook up a machine to his catheter (it is placed near his port and allows them to take blood out/put chemo in/put cells in, etc...he didn't have this until this trip to Indy)
-During the "harvest" they remove stem cells in blood - take them out - and then put the blood back in
-Next, Kurtis gets "blasted" with chemo.  The chemo is high-dose so it causes his bone marrow to quite functioning well or at all
-After they let the chemo "sink in" a little bit (two days or so), Kurtis gets some of his cells back. 
-The cells run around in his body creating the cells that he needs.  He won't feel better right away, but will be feeling better soon when the cells grow into what his body needs.

So, yesterday, stem cell infusion time was 11 am.  They team of two arrived at about 10:50 with a large cart and a cylinder on a dolly.  They did some prep - cleaned the cart - hooked up some stuff to Kurtis, etc.  At 11, the woman (let's call her Maroon since I don't know her name and that is what color scrubs she was wearing) opened up the cylinder and pulled out a small rectangular silver box from the dry ice storage on the inside.  While doing this, she was wearing blue gloves that were basically as big as my legs.  If you check out our photos, you can see the stem cells in the bag that they were stored in.  There was a bath contraption to warm them up and we waited somewhat patiently not really knowing how long it would take.  Once the cells were warmed up, they were connected using clear "hospital tube" to a big plunger (if you were getting an injection with that thing, I imagine that the needle would be bigger than anything you'd ever want in your arm).  Once the cells were all hooked up, the plunger sucked them out of the bag, Green (the man) then flipped the blue switch and began to push the cells into Kurtis.  This process takes about 25 minutes overall and there are two bags.  Once the cells are in the plunger, it isn't immediately pushed really fast, but rather slowly moved from the plunger into Kurtis.  He did an excellent job - some people get really sick it sounds like and he didn't seem to have anything.  Oddly enough, when the cells go back in, they often taste weird - like garlic.  In order to combat that, Kurits ate Jolly Ranchers.  I've posted pictures so you can see some of the steps of this process if you'd like :)  It is a pretty neat therapy and even though Kurtis isn't feeling great right now at all, it is making him better, and we're thankful for that!

When we came "home" yesterday, Chauncey had hurt his nose.  Normally, he does a great job in his crate, but I think he got completely freaked out.  His nose had a big scrape from trying to get out of his crate.  I'm not sure what caused him to have a freak out, but I wouldn't be surprised if it had something to do with the people who are next door to us.  There is a fair amount of yelling, and they've got some dogs that bark all the time (Chauncey doesn't bark much at all).  Fortunately, there is a dog daycare called "Camp BowWow" that is super close to our hotel.  I went over there yesterday and filled out an application.  Today is his "test run" for Camp BowWow and for us.  He'll go and they will make sure that he gets along with other dogs and stuff before they take him on as a "camper".  I think he was really excited when we got there... he was sniffing around like the little maniac that he is, jumping up and "dancing" for no reason, among other things.  When the worker (camp counselor?) took him back, he was a little confused as to why I wasn't going, but I hope that doesn't inhibit him from having a good time.

We were in a thunderstorm warning last night - and from what I can tell (I do tend to sleep through things...) we didn't get anything from it.  The humidity is down today to a much more survivable 43%...we'll see if that lasts all day or not...and the sky is actually out.  Out here, the buildings are air conditioned so heavily that I am wearing a sweatshirt inside and practically die before I can get it off when I step outside.  Every minute longer that we're here makes me grateful for Colorado and the dry weather.

Kurtis is doing well today. He said this morning that he feels like he's been "hit by a truck" which he basically has...but it seems like his nausea is under control and he doesn't have a fever, nor is he in massive amounts of pain.  Over the course of the next few hours, he'll get "fluids" that include an antibiotic, etc.  Currently he is sleeping and seems like he's actually getting some rest, so that's positive :)

I'm not sure that I have much else more to report as of now.  Hope everyone is well and I'll write more later :)



  1. Tell Kurtis we love him and hope he gets better soon!

  2. I'm glad the humidity is down some today. :) It is still cloudy here, but it is supposed to get hot today. We miss you guys but are glad to hear things are going pretty well. All of our love!!