Max will undergo a very high dose of chemo drugs over the first four days of his stay. This chemo is designed to eliminate all of his existing bone marrow to make sure there are no remaining tumor cells. He will be very sick, exhausted, and will be left with no immune system. His bone marrow will be gone and his body will have no way of creating red blood cells, platelets, or white blood cells (they all come from your marrow).
Three days after the chemo he will receive his stemcell tranplant, which will be kind of like a small blood transfusion, except he will be receiving purged (tumor cells removed) stemcells that were harvested from him in December.
The stemcells will "magically" regrow his bone marrow. I say magically because that's how the doctor explained it to us; "...we don't know how stemcells do what they do, but we know they will regrow the marrow."
Max will be in isolation for a period of up to three weeks or longer (pending his recovery based on his blood counts). He will be in the hospital for up to 6 weeks and will be in an isolation mode for up to 100 days at home (no bday parties, no indoor playareas, no Disneyland type trips) until his body fully recovers. (We made a weekend trip to Disneyland March 12 with Max and Hannah's cousins, Alaina and Patrick, and had a lot of fun! see pics below.)
Andy & I have a Transplant Conference on Thursday with Max's oncologist, the transplant coordination nurse and one of the hem/onc social workers. We'll learn more about the drugs, the infusion, risks, etc.
Max & Daddy on the Rocket Ride!
Hannah & Max visit Toontown.
Milk at Powerhouse Park, Del Mar.