Rory Gardiner's Webpage

23, Apr, 2009

23 April 2009

Rory and I have had an up and down day.  Last night they informed us Rory's surgery to put a portacath (semi-permanent iv) in his chest would go ahead.  This will be used to harvest his stem cells, for chemotherapy, to administer drugs, and take blood.  But at 8.30am this morning they informed us it was off.  Rory's blood culture from yesterday afternoon had tested positive for bacteria.  We need to wait a couple of days to find out more.  The doctors are unwilling to put in the portacath when there is a risk it could become infected.  Sean was in between Dargaville and Auckland when he got the news so turned around and went home to work another couple of days. 

I met with Stephen the Oncologist and he said they are going to proceed with the stem cell harvest as planned.  Rory will get hormone injections for four days in a row starting on Sunday to stimulate stem cell production in the bone marrow.  Next Wednesday he will likely have a temporary line put in to allow for the harvest.  The harvest will be done on Thursday and possibly again on Friday if they don't get enough.  Rory's blood is pumped out of the line through a machine which harvests his stem cells and then it is returned to him.  If they don't get enough cells they can also, under anaesthetic, use needles to draw it from the bone marrow in the bones on his hips.   The temporary line will then be removed so he can go home 'line free'.  The portacatch would be put in prior to chemo.   

I have yet to see Mr Law to discuss how we will proceed with the temperatures and possibility of infection, and the risk of hydocephalus (fluid on the brain).  We are still taking blood cultures every time Rory's temperature hits 38.5 degrees (midnight last night).  He had a temperature this afternoon but only got to 38.4 so he avoided a prick. 

We have kept ourselves busy today.  We managed a trip into Newmarket for a spot of shopping and lunch, and Rory had a physio session with Rachel and Rebecca.  They played computer games, soccer, and Rory rode the bike around Starship and over to Auckland Hospital.  We may be able to borrow the bike for the weekend and ride around RM House!  A parcel arrived from the Millers so Rory was kept entertained reading the latest kids mag and the cards (thanks Denise, Lewis and Cole). 

Rory is also becoming useful as a patient for students and doctors in training.  He gets great delight in being examined by them and trying to trick them as to a diagnosis!!