Relapse Journey

Day Zero: Bone Marrow Transplant

Written 3rd August, 2017:

Team Bella Update Thu 3/8/17: Day 0=infusion/BMT date, Pre-B, ALL, Standard Relapse, Transplant Rm 201

Today felt like an exceptionally long day. We waited ….& waited until finally, the stem cells harvested from me (the previous day) arrived from RMH into transplant at 6.15pm. The BMT unit at RMH needed to wash the cells by removing some of the T-cells which cause GVHD (graft versus host disease) before infusing them into Bella. We need some GVHD because it apparently has an anti-leukemic affect. In addition, if there is too much GVHD, her body will reject my donor cells & engraftment will not be successful.

Bella is happily doing her drawing whilst our nurse watches over her during infusion of the stem cells. You can see the “HAPPY RE-BIRTHDAY” sign in the background, representing what the BMT means

Infusion took 1hr. The process is exactly like a blood/platelet infusion. Bella does not require any form of SURGERY to have a bone marrow transplant. The donor’s stem cells are simply infused into Bella’s bloodstream & that will eventually result in engraftment. 😉

Stem cells are a light reddish colour. It looked like water melon juice (funnily enough, that’s Bella’s favourite smoothie!)

The infusion of stem cells into Bella’s blood stream went well. She did not have a reaction. We are the same blood group B+.

However, by 9pm, her temperature rose steadily. By 2am (last night) she had been febrile for a couple hours when I awoke to her screaming.

She said, “Mummy, my leg & tummy hurts!”

She thew up all night, remained febrile all night with mainly regionalised leg pain all the way down her right leg, abdominal pain & a terrible headache to boot.😦

I called for a doctor to review her. I asked if this was normal reaction/response following infusion overnight, she said yes. But each patient is different.

My stem cells were migrating to her long bones (so they are doing the right thing!) They are very mobile I am told! So these side-effects are simply the norm.

Today we will have both platelets & Hb transfusions so a BIG shout-out to ALL of the blood donors out there! Thank you! 💛 💛 💛

The freight train hasn’t hit just yet. I am bracing for that. But I also know that we will be somewhat prepared, to fight another day. 💪💪

Thank you for having Bella in your thoughts & prayers. 😍😍😍

Team Bella : Never give up! 👊 💪

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