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Bone Marrow Transplant Week 1




So we were originally told by our liaison that they would call us around noon since they won't have a room available until after 1 or 2pm on Sunday but to our surprise we got called early Sunday morning to come on down.  Kate and I rushed to get ready and everything loaded.  Luckily we did most of the prep yesterday (Saturday).

We got her settled into her room on the 10th floor in the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit.  The 10th floor is reserved for only Bone Marrow Transplant patients.  They explained the entire floor has a Hepa filtration system but everyone is required to wear a mask except the patients while in their rooms.  As soon as she leaves the room she needs to wear a mask.  She is assigned a very polite and nice nurse named Victoria.  Room is big and has lots of room.  We moved her in and made sure she knows where everything is.

I went and got her some Chicken Nuggets from the only place open here which is Wendy's..  then picked her up an ice cold can of Coke (her favorite).

Headed back home around 6pm since visitors hours are between 8am-6pm

She is allowed two visitors per day (from my understanding)



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Monday 8/16/2021 around 11am they started the nasty, strong chemo called VP-16 which tore kate up.  She began her puking rally about an hour into it and every hour from noon to 6pm she was puking, then again at 9pm and 2am on Tuesday is the last time she puked but now she has the diarrhea which is horrible when you are hooked up to as much as she is.  They warned us that one of the many side effects is getting the runs.


Kate's blood pressure dropped to 75/40 and she developed a fever.  They pulled a culture from her port and found that she has an affection. So they gave her antibiotics and moved her from the 10th floor to the 5th floor where they have an ICU for cancer patients only.  Here they watch her vitals and check on her every 15minutes.

Tuesday 8/17/2021 I'm down here early since I know yesterday was super tough on her.  I brought her another ice cold coke to find out she can't have anything to eat or drink since they are trying to squeeze Kate into IR to get the port in her chest removed which is what is causing the infection.  I was just told in the last 30min (around 10:30am) from Kristin the nurse that the blood culture they just took showed negative so the antibiotics worked on killing the infection but they want the port out anyhow.

The Bone Marrow Transplant doctor (Dr. Uberti) came in to check on Kate and said that we really wants to continue the treatment plan but her blood pressure has to stay up in the healthy numbers without the drugs she is getting now to raise her blood pressure which is hanging in around 102/50 at 11am and thats after they reduced the amount of blood pressure medicine she's getting to increase it.

Also the doc wants her infection gone and is a proponent of removing the port as well.

So many doctors are coming in. Kates platelets are very low so she’ll be getting a platelet transfusion so when they remove the port from her chest it will clot.


8/17/2021@4pm Kate received a bag of platelets and is now heading down to surgery to get the port removed from her chest which they believe to be the cause of her infection.

While getting surgery she’ll be getting another bag of platelets.  Right now they are guessing surgery will be about 30minutes but it’s a guess.


08/17/2021@5pm Kate is back in her room.  Not too bad of a scar



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Back at Karmanos ICU (room 5222) Wednesday 2021/08/18@9:30am

Kate is feeling queasy/light headed but we believe its because she is anxious about her first full body radiation.  Her assigned nurse for today is Ashley which will travel wherever Kate goes.

They are still worried about her blood pressure.  They have confirmed infection is gone now the port is out and they gave her antibiotics.

Her first full body radiation dose is scheduled for 10am and then another does this afternoon.

Expected side effects are:

  • Dry Mouth
  • Sores in Mouth
  • Skin Irritation
  • Nauseous (Zofran and Adovan they use to treat the dizzy/nauseous)


08-18-2021@12pm Kate arrives back at the room after her first treatment of the day. She said they do 11minutes of radiation while she lays on her back and another 11minutes of radiation while she lays on her stomach.

Now she is wiped out.  She doesn’t really have an appetite but she had a lunch size bag of goldfish crackers and I got her a blue Gatorade (her favorite).


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Thursday 2021/08/19

I'm unable to make it down to Detroit until Monday so Kate is already going through withdrawals (but can ya blame her) :)

So she is still getting sick but last night around 11pm they moved her up back up to the 10th floor which she is VERY happy about.  They are trying some different anti-nauseous medicine since what they are giving her isn't working.

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Friday 2021/08/20

Another day of horrible husband duties not being able to get down to her. We had someone at work that needed the day off so we were very very short staffed.  Also had some kid duties I had to do as well as festival duties.

Good news is Kate is done with radiation.

She got the Bone Marrow Transplant at 3pm and last time we did FaceTime she seemed I good spirits.  She said the transplant was very cold which they said the stem cells come fresh (the donor, if local would go to the floor where Kate is and they would take out the stem cells from the donor and immediately insert them into Kate but that’s not what happened) the second more common way is a donor that matches is in another state or too far to come to the hospital so they donate the bone marrow and it gets frozen and shipped to the hospital where they defrost it and insert it into Kate using an IV and from my understanding is it went into Kate pretty quick.

They want her to walk around the protected floor and get the blood flowing. It gives her the best chance of this taking successfully.






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