Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Day +29 (post-transplant)

We were in at the hospital again this morning. It looks like Chris may have another infection.

Luckily, this time it does not appear to be anything serious. Last night Chris was up all night (and because Chris does not like to be awake alone, I was awake too!) because he was getting pretty intense night sweats and chills. He also felt like he had a full bladder, but didn't have to go the washroom no matter how many times he tried. However, he didn't have a fever and or any scary symptoms such as back pain or trouble breathing. We made it through the night and called the hospital first thing in the morning. Coincidentally, Tuesday is the day Chris would have had to go to hospital if he needed to have two appointments a week (maybe this is a sign). Since today was a "clinic day" for the bone marrow transplant team, Chris was able to get in really quickly today.

The problem du jour? Likely a urinary tract infection. They put Chris on antibiotics for a week. They ran a bunch of tests on him to see if he had a bacterial infection or a viral infection (I didn't even know you could have a viral bladder infection).

We also learned that Chris will need to start coming every Tuesday since he needs to a have a specific blood test done (a CMV) that detects viruses, which not all bone marrow patients require. MS patients that undergo a bone marrow transplant are actually at a higher risk for getting a virus since they only receive specific stem cells (CD34) during their stem cell transplant. You may remember when we talked about the stem cell collection that MS patients normally need twice the amount of stem cells because they are later cleaned to remove the T cells. Okay, I am not the greatest at explaining this because I don't fully understand it. Basically, MS patients are at higher risk for viruses because they don't get all of the stem cells back that regular transplant patients receive.

We did get Chris' blood counts

White blood cells: 3.1 (this was his counts today and last Friday, which means that they remained stable for four days!)

Hemoglobin: 108

Platelets: 36 on Friday and 41 today

They also brought up that Chris may also start another antibiotic (the one that we mentioned in the last post) even though his platelet levels are still not high enough. The risk of him getting another infection is much more important than the risk of lowering his platelets. The reason he is on this specific antibiotic is because even though Chris is not part of the clinic trial, they are keeping all of the MS patients on the same protocol.

Essentially, just when we thought Chris was going to start taking less pills, we had to make another stop at the drug store. However, it was far less traumatic than his last infection, so I will glady make the trip to Shopper's Drug Mart.

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