Sorry it has been so long since we posted! It's amazing how time flies when you're having fun--at home! This morning bright and early (5 a.m.) we loaded up the car and headed back to Primary Children's. It is amazing how much traffic there is on I-15 that time of the day. We were thankful the roads were dry and not snowy--unlike yesterday.
We are on the same unit, different room. Our new hangout is Room 4414. We were thrilled to see that they had found one of the few "long" beds so that Rachel's legs don't hang out the end of the bed! We have the same sweet nurses that we've had the last 4 months, but different doctors. Instead of being under the care of the Oncology team, we are now under the care of the Bone Marrow Transplant team. Rachel is right now having her first of 8 radiation treatments over the next four days. They drive us up to the Huntsman Cancer Institute twice a day through Sunday. Then she beings two days of intense chemo to wipe out her marrow. She then gets one day of rest--Hallelujah!! On Thursday, November 4th, she will receive her bone marrow transplant. It will be very similar to a blood transfusion--she will lie in her bed and a bag of the donor's marrow cells will hang on her IV pole and infuse into her central line over an hour or two. Here at the hospital they call that your new "Birthday" since you are getting a whole new immune system and blood type and new bone marrow.
Following the transplant, all kinds of scary things can happen. Mouth sores are horrific, the risk of infection is really high, and her new marrow can attack her organs since it doesn't recognize them. They will put her on anti-rejection meds to minimize this. As one of her doctors said, "We bring you to the brink of death and then rescue you."
Post transplant she has all kinds of dietary restrictions. She won't be able to have any outside food brought in. Goodbye to Chili's, Pizza Hut etc. So if you want to bake her cookies or other homemade treats, please wait until we are back home again. She can still have candy bars etc. We just hope she has an appetite for anything with all that her body will be experiencing.
I think Rachel is excited and scared at the same time. She has the same disease, different treatment. She is hopeful that after the next few weeks of waiting for the new marrow to engraft into her body, she will be free of leukemia. We are all hoping and praying for that! We appreciate all of your love and support. We have seen so many acts of kindness done in Rachel's behalf. We are the same family, but we have a very different perspective on life and what is most important. Thanks for easing our burdens and sharing this journey with us.