Tuesday, February 8, 2005

Stem cell harvest successful - Meeting with dr LaQuaglia (surgeon)

Saturday we went to the Statue of Liberty. Dylan has wanted to see this site since he came to America because he has seen it in a lot of movies. He really enjoyed himself and he loved the boat ride to get to Liberty Island. The view of the city is fantastic from there. We spent the night at our Aussie friend’s house and Dylan played with their son, Thomas all evening. On Sunday we caught a mole in their rubbish bin. What a cute little creature! On Sunday night we returned to Ronald McDonald House and took a quick trip to Time Square to visit “Toys R Us” for one last time before surgery. Dylan wanted to get a special soft toy to take with him for hospital. He ended up getting a white tiger and it only cost $10. I still can’t get over how cheap the toys are her, even with the conversion to Australian dollars.
Monday at 7:30am Dylan has his stem cell harvest. It was a very easy procedure and Dylan slept through the whole thing. They accessed his hickman lines and hooked him up to a big machine that puts blood back in one line and took blood from the other. The blood then spins around the machine and separates the stem cells from the blood. Dylan needs to collect 7 million cells and after 3 hours on the machine, he made it to 3 million, which is a great effort. Today (Tuesday) Dylan and I went to hospital at 8:30am to see Dr La Quaglia. Dylan a pre bloods done and a full examination, but we ran out of time to see the doctor before his next stem cell harvest at 11am (which is where Dylan is now). We will see Dr LaQuaglia after his harvest at about 4pm. The examining doctor showed me the button device that will replace Dylan’s gastric peg (feeding tube) It looks like a great little device that will be much easier to care for and much more comfortable for Dylan. They have told me so far that Dylan will be admitted at 6:30am and that he is 2nd on the list for surgery. I must go now because I have 2 types of antibiotics that I have to give Dylan in preparation for the surgery and also another medication for his bowels. I have limited internet access at the moment, so I will try my best to update when I can and I apologize to those who I have not been able to reply emails to at the moment. I have heaps more to say, but I will have to leave it for another time. Bye for now.

Met with Dr LaQuaglia at 5pm. He explained to me that Dylan's surgery is a very serious procedure and that it in involves many major arteries and blood vessels (which I already knew) He told me that there is a possibility that he could loose Dylan on the operating table as with all serious surgeries. He is estimating approx 10 hours operating time. The left adrenal gland will be all tumor so that will be removed. Dr L said that he will try to save his left kidney as it is healthy and he will need it to assist him with future chemo therapies. Dr L did not feel that removing the left kidney would be of any benefit nor would it pose any higher risk of Neuroblastoma returning in his abdomen. Dylan will have a tube inserted into his chest for draining for a few days and also will be on a breathing machine for about 48 hours. He will also have an epidural for pain relief that can be topped up as needed. I am nervous but I know he is in the care of the best surgeon in the world, so what will be will be. Without it Dylan will die, and I believe that the risk of the surgery far out ways the Neuroblastoma growing inside his abdomen.