The surgery Cash had yesterday was very similar to the Hickman surgery a few weeks ago, the only change being the port/catheter they were installing was in his leg. We went into the pre-op meeting at 2:00 with the expectation the surgery would start at 3:15 and Cash would be in recovery at 3:45. Sounds easy, right?
At 4:00 the nurses came in and did a blood test just to make sure he had enough platelets for his blood to clot and around 4:30 we got the results and they were positive. So I took Cash to the operating room so they could put him to sleep - it was nice with the Hickman, they just put some propofol in the line and he fell asleep within seconds.
Then the waiting game started...at 6:15 I went to the nurses station and asked if I could get an update on the 30 minute procedure. I was told the doctor was just finishing and would be out soon. Around 7:00 he came out and updated Wendi, Jeremy, and I - because he's such a small kid, his veins are not that large and they were having trouble getting the line to work properly and were trying again. They did finish that around 8:00 but then he was bleeding (similar to the Hickman surgery) and they had to keep putting pressure on the spot so the blood would clot and he's stop bleeding.
I think it was around 9:40 when Wendi went back there in the post-op and a few minutes later we took him to our room. We were glad he was done with the day when we were notified he needed more blood drawn and they had to poke him again...:-( "He has four lines sticking out of his chest and leg, couldn't you use one of them?" I thought to myself (and Jeremy). He did great though and settled down and went to sleep around midnight.
This surgery was very similar to the Hickman surgery and we've come to expect challenges along the way. I was thankful the doctor didn't call it a day at 6:00 and say, "Well I've got dinner plans tonight so see ya later!" (The doctor was excellent by the way, all of them have been here at Children's.) We've continued to put our trust in God as He is the great physician and directs those that Cash has been in the care of these past three surgeries.
Today at 8:00 they are ready to start the process of harvesting his good stem cells. Yesterday afternoon Dr. Leary stopped by the waiting room and told us that by taking his good stem cells now (the ones that haven't been polluted by rounds and rounds of chemo) and giving them back in later chemo stages, they will significantly reduce the time in between treatments. Without the stem cells, it could take weeks for his blood counts to recover in between chemo rounds - with the stem cells being put back into his body, they can keep the treatments around 3 weeks apart.
The process today can take between 2 and 8 hours, depending on how good his counts are. We're praying it's on the shorter side so we can go home and get some rest, but it's not in our hands (...however that doesn't mean I can't pray for it)...Sorry this post was so long, it is only 5:30ish and we've not had much sleep...Thank you for your prayers!