Thursday, July 12, 2012

More about Transplant

Elena will be admitted for her bone marrow transplant (BMT) in four days.  We wanted to share a little more about BMT with you. We also have a specific prayer request list to share.

Most importantly, we are already praying:
  • that the BMT would be effective in defeating leukemia once and for all and bring complete healing to Elena
  • that Elena would be protected from the possible long-term side effects of this treatment that would be harmful to her
The first request sums up why we are doing this form of treatment in the first place and what we hope to be the ultimate outcome.

When Elena gets to BMT, we will begin to refer to days by number of the day on the transplant timeline. The days before transplant are a part of the preparative or conditioning regimen. For Elena, there will be nine days before transplant. These days before transplant will be referred to as Days -9 through -1.

The day of transplant is called Day “0″.Then, we count up through Day +100.

During Elena's preparative regimen, she will receive both chemo and radiation. This is to kill any cancer cells in Elena's body and also to help prepare Elena's body to receive the new, healthy blood stem cells. Both the chemo and radiation will destroy Elena's own bone marrow cells so that they will not fight off or reject the new, healthy cells. By killing these cells, there will also be more room in the bone for the new cells.

At this time, Elena will receive two chemo drugs, the new "mobilizing" drug and a drug to protect her bladder all via her central line.  She will also receive total body irradiation (TBI) on Days -8 through -5. For four days, twice a day, Elena will be taken from Egleston over to Emory's Winship Cancer Institute.  Each session will last about 30 minutes, 15 minutes of radiation to the front of her body and 15 minutes to the back of her body.

The conditioning regimen will be very hard on Elena's mind and body. Possible problems may include: nausea, vomiting, mucositis, headaches, sunburn (radiation), jaw pain, dry mouth, and low blood counts.  Other more serious problems may include: veno-occlusive disease (VOD) of the liver, hemorrhagic cystitis of the bladder, and graft-versus-host disease (GVHD).

The road feels overwhelming. We hope that by sharing all of the details with you, you will have a better understanding of what lies ahead and will help us carry this burden.

Please pray for us to keep our focus on God moment by moment, day by day.
The Barr Family has reminded us that - He is faithful, He knows what we need before we ask, and He is able to do more than we can ask or imagine. We ask Him to direct our steps every day.

Below you will find a very specific prayer request list.

Our friends, the Barr's, wrote this list for their daughter and have graciously said that we can post it for both Elena and Sarah.
You can follow Sarah's journey through relapse and her stem cell transplant at:

During transplant, please pray that ultimately, God will allow this treatment to be effective in beating Elena’s cancer! 
Specific things we ask you to join us in praying for are:
  • That God will protect Elena from the potential long-term side effects she could face from treatment. (such as damage to the brain, heart, liver, bladder, kidneys, thyroid and other glands, and eyes (cataracts), risk of other secondary cancers, and more) 
  • That Elena will not develop any complications that will lead to time in ICU or other problems (such as VOD or pneumonia).
  • That Elena won’t be allergic to anything she is given
  • That God will help Elena deal with having to stay on the BMT hall and not being outside for 4-6 weeks  
  • That God will help all of us deal with the time apart well, and that it will pass quickly
  • That God will keep us from getting sick during this time
  • That God will use us to share His love with others we meet on the hall and in the hospital, to encourage them and/or to point them to the source of our hope – Jesus
  • That God will protect Olivia during this time
  • That God will help Elena need as few transfusions as possible and let her counts rebound as quickly as they can
  • That God will guide all our nurses and doctors to take great care of Elena
  • That God will help us get the rest we need throughout this time
Thank you for reading this very long post!

Thank you Lord for placing the Barr family in our lives.

Thank you for praying!

In Him,
The Tates

1 comment:

  1. I read these last few posts as it is storming outside, which goes right along with how I feel. I must admit that it angers me that Elena and all of you must go through this. Even though I have my rough days, I would gladly take on more to prevent her any pain or fear. Please let her know that she is at the very top of my prayers, even above Rory & Aiden, as she goes down this path. If there is any little thing I can do, please let me know.

    Psalms 91 still holds fast. vs 1"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. vs 7 "A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you."

    Blessings and joy shine down on this family as they enjoy the days prior to the procedure. I love and admire you all.

    In His Love,
    Pattie Maloney