Once the initial paperwork was complete we were ushered back to ambulatory surgery pre-op, where we met Dr. O'Connor, a jovial woman with a great attitude. She was to install the catheter. She told me a lot about the device (a "Phoresis Catheter"). It is a "large" catheter. This was conjuring images in my head of 3/4 inch PVC pipe sticking out of her chest. Those of you that are aware of my ordeals surrounding the sprinkler system in our first house can imagine how this made me feel. (Short story: we installed it ourselves and about half the joints did not end up with PVC cement on them, so I had to replace most of the connectors in the first 2 or three weeks. I dug up that yard so many times I felt like a coal miner.)
Further inquiry revealed that the exposed part consists of two tubes not much larger than a #2 pencil.
The spinal tap was not on the schedule, we expressed this to the staff, and they promised to contact Dr. Graham about that.
Moments later, they announced they were ready for her, and took her back to surgery.
Surgery took about 2 hours. About halfway through Dr. Michael Graham visited us in the waiting room. Another example of God's providence for us--he brought the consent paperwork for the spinal tap out personally for us to sign. Even in the midst of an emergency on the floor he made time to do the tap himself. We should have preliminary results this afternoon.
We also met Ana Villela, who works with Dr. Graham in the pediatric bone marrow clinic (PBMC). She has been scheduling all our appointments here at UMC. Ana is a petite, cheerful Latina, who I think we will be seeing a lot over the next week.
We are scheduled to visit the PBMC in a couple of hours to do the first dose of Nupogen (delivered via the new catheter, it takes between 20 and 45 minutes). They will also instruct us in caring for the catheter and the site surrounding it. We're also going to get an infusion pump because we will need to administer the Nupogen twice a day for the next week.
Abby is awake now recovering from the anesthesia. As usual, she is hungry. Funny how good that makes a parent feel, when your child says "can I eat now?"
We're planning on staying the weekend in Tucson, doing the first stem cell harvest Monday morning at 8:00 AM, and trying to make our neurologist appointment at 2:00 PM in Phoenix.
Thanks for praying.
07:54 PM, 04 Jun 2004 by C. R. Oldham Permalink | Attach Photo