Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bone Marrow Transplant

Okay.  I feel much calmer now, so I am ready to tell you all about our upcoming adventure.

We have known all along since we got Sarah's diagnosis and treatment plan that this high dose of chemo and bone marrow transplant were going to be inevitable.  We were told by the oncologist that Sarah would be in the hospital for about 2 weeks, and after that we would be done, and that she would probably be able to come with us when we went to visit my family in Arizona for Thanksgiving.  So, we were justifiably shocked when the transplant team doctor and nurse met with us and told us Sarah would be in the hospital for not 2 weeks, but 4-6 weeks at best, and that after she comes home, she will be under tight restrictions including no travel, even no public places, for about THREE MONTHS. is what we have to look forward to.  The next week and a half, Sarah will be going in to have tests done, and then we get admitted to the hospital on October 12.  She won't be able to leave her room--AT ALL--for the entire hospital stay.  She is only allowed to have 5 total visitors, and that is pretty much limited to the people who are going to be taking care of her.  It is a special room with a special air filter so that she can't breathe the normal hospital air.  Whenever we go to be with her, we have to put on a clean set of clothes.  Shoes come off at the door.  Any toys need to be wiped down.  There are all sorts of restrictions on food.  All of her clothes need to be washed separately from the rest of the family, and I have to pack each of her outfits in separate plastic bags.  All dirty clothes and towels need to be put outside the door right away.  Everyone who comes in her room will have to wear a mask except us. 

She will be given a very strong cocktail of chemotherapy that will have worse side effects than she has experienced so far.  Hopefully they won't be too bad.  This chemo is supposed to wipe out every stray cancer cell that might be hiding in her body anywhere, and hopefully (big time hopefully) also kill the last tumor in her eye.  Unfortunately it will also wipe out all her bone marrow.  When they are done administering that after a few days, she will get the transplant.  It is actually a stem cell transplant.  They will give her her own cells they harvested early on, and that will make brand new bone marrow.  (And seriously some people do not believe in God...They honestly think nature could evolve something as miraculous as that??  Um...yeah...)  Soon the bone marrow will start making blood cells again, and her counts will start to go back up. 

A couple of days before we go home, our house will need to be cleaned as well as it possibly can.  (This part I am actually looking forward to.  My house is NEVER spotless--all at the same time.  It's a dream of mine, actually.)  Everything, including curtains, walls, floors, all the carpet needs to be steam cleaned, everything that can be, bleached. 

Even after we come home Sarah will still have many restrictions.  Like I mentioned, she won't be allowed to really go anywhere.  We will not be able to share food with her, whatever I make, she has to be served first so none of our germs get mixed in, she will need to have separate baggies of things like chips or cereal.  Things like that.  And these restrictions will go on-----until January.

Soooo, we had no idea.  And I did panic.  Then yesterday, I got out of the house, and I spent time in the grocery store parking lot just praying and spending time with God, listening to some good praise music and praying some more.  Then I prayed as I shopped, just being with God and listening to what He had to say to me.  And peace and acceptance began to fill me up again, and I realized that my little mantra I said so many times a few months ago had stopped being part of my vocabulary. 

Take it one day at a time.

Such a wise little phrase.  Who thought of that?  Oh yeah.  God. 

So today, I got the boys' haircuts done and made a good to-do list, and each day I will check things off of it.  And I will pray and trust God and try not to worry.  And that's my plan.  

 She loves the hospital scale. : )
 We'll do a lot of coloring and drawing pictures and shapes again I'm sure.
She loves this piano.  And yes, she sure did have a lot of hair

I know I've been asking for prayer a lot, but I feel like now we need it more than ever.  We thank you so much for thinking of us and praying us through.  We love you all, even you lurkers who prefer to be silent supporters. : )  

Take therefore no thought for the morrow:  for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.  Matthew 6:34 


  1. Oh, my sweet sweet friend. That is so HUGE. I wish so much I could come help you out...but what I will be able to do is PRAY...and pray hard. God will most definitely give you the grace to get through this. His promises are true.

    Love you!

  2. Holly...Praying for you even as I type this.

    I know it will not be easy; but remember that this is a season of life. At some point, you will look back with mixed feelings, but you will look back...

    Think of the amount of quiet time you are going to have; with God, with many of us are starving for that.

    I will pray and I will help.

  3. Wow. That's a lot. I'm so glad you have the God of the Universe to walk with you through this. We'll be praying that He will give you peace and joy and strength, just like He has so far!

    Thanks for explaining all of the details!

  4. God Bless You Holly- my goodness I had no idea... So many challenges, so many concerns- praise God that he is with you every step of the way.

    The road is long and very challenging- I am praying for you now and will continue to pray for your sweet Sarah and you family.

    Sometimes I can literally feel God picking me up, helping me stand up straight and helping me get through the challenge that lies ahead... I am guessing you are feeling it , too.

    Blessings to you all,