Rory Gardiner's Webpage

30, Apr, 2009

30th April 2009

Every day it amazes me just what medical science can do.  Today Rory had the first harvest of the stem cells from his bone marrow.  He is connected to a machine via two lines in his left femoral artery.  Blood passes out through one line into the machine which selects and collects stem cells of a certain size from Rory's blood, and returns the filtered blood to Rory via the second line.  To keep his blood level constant Rory is supplemented with a blood transfusion.  The whole process took 2.5 hours and Rory was asleep for an hour of it! The stem cells collected are frozen and will be returned to Rory during chemotherapy when his immune system is low.  He will likely have a second harvest tomorrow.  It was like grand central station in his room when the harvest was on; Rory, Sean, myself, Julie the nurse, Anna and Vivian from the NZ blood Service, Nurse Stephanie in and out, plus one of the staff from ID (Infectious Diseases) called in to check on his temperatures, and Katherine the Psychologist to check we were all coping ok.  We also received a surprise visit from Conor and Zacs Auntie Debs who dropped off macaroni cheese for dinner and some yummy museli biscuits for dessert (yum yum). Thanks heaps.

Rory's temperatures are still rising once or twice a day but haven't seemed to get much higher than 37.5 degrees. 

We spent some time with Steph this afternoon catching up on Rory's beads for the last week.  Steph showed us a shunt, explained how it will be inserted, and how they work.  At this stage Rory is scheduled for a shunt operation tomorrow morning at 9am. 

Rory enjoyed a sponge bath today.  He is definitely ticklish in a lot of places he wasn't before!