Rory Gardiner's Webpage

05, Oct, 2009

Monday 5th October 2009


It is quiet in Rory's ward room as we wait for his stem cells to arrive for his transplant.  Rory is asleep, he is worn out from five nights of interrupted sleep, the chemo, and the regular vomiting (which continues).  The Nurse has given him an anti-histamine to minimise any reaction to the preservative in his stem cells.  The anti-histamine causes sleepiness which he is unable to overcome. 

We continue to use Pamol, Tramadol, the medi-teddy (hot pack), and massage to minimise Rory's pain and distress.  Yesterday afternoon it was his tummy, and this morning he woke with sore legs.  He couldn't keep the pain medication down for long this morning.  The Doctors reduced his iv fluids after lunch yesterday so he has been complaining about being thirsty.  It is good to see him actually drinking chilled water.  We are persevering with his milkshake, which is now up to 50ml/hr and is running for about 20 hours per day.  He has lost 200grams over the past few days. 

The Doctors did their rounds this morning and were happy for his stem cell transplant to go ahead.  His stem cells are pumped in through his Hickman line over 10-15 minutes.  It makes him feel quite sick.  The Doctors have increased his iv fluids prior to the transplant.  The results of this mornings blood test show Rory's platelets have dropped to 22, so he will receive a platelet transfusion tomorrow morning.  Hopefully he will be able to be discharged to the RM Apartment some time tomorrow.  Rory's white blood count has dropped to 1.19 and his Neutrophils are at 1.04.  He will be neutropenic (without immunity to disease or infection) by tomorrow morning. 

Sean and Sam spent last night at the RM Apartment and were shocked at the temperature when they stepped out of the door this morning to walk across to Starship.  For Rory and I on the ward the weather outside is nebulous and irrelevant as the condition inside the ward never change - warm, dry, and bright.  We have observed some interesting sights on our brief soires outside over the past few days; the re-opening of Grafton Bridge by John Banks, the filming of a tv commercial in the atrium at Starship, ducklings in the Domain (both brown and yellow), and homeless people sleeping in bus shelters and doorways.  Yesterday Sam saw a teenage boy sleeping on a cardboard box in a bus shelter.  He asked me why he was there.  I explained to him not everyone is as lucky as he and Rory, and have plenty of people who love and care for them, a roof over their heads, good food, and material things such as clothing, books and toys.