The past few weeks have been busy, with lots of back and forths from the hospital to check blood counts. Physically, Sophie has been feeling good with a lot of energy and a great appetite. We’ve been able to take a number of fun day trips, including trips to museums, a pool, and even a day at the beach.
However, the last round of chemo in conjunction with 4 weeks of daily radiation has resulted in her body being unable to recover her blood counts on its own. We’ve had frequent hospital visits to monitor both her counts and receive transfusions, but the team decided that further intervention was needed.
A few months ago, Sophie underwent a procedure to collect her stem cells for this very reason. The thinking was that if her body was unable to recover on its own, giving her back her own stem cells would give her body a much needed boost to help it recover from all of the treatments she has received so far.
Today, Sophie received an “Autologous Stem Cell Transplant”. The procedure itself is done almost exactly like an out outpatient transfusion, but with a few additional doctors and nurses on board. Basically, the stem cells that were collected had been previously frozen by MSK for this very purpose. This morning, Sophie’s cells were brought from the storing facility to the pediatric floor, and they were thawed out in front of us and then and administered through her port. We then spent most of the day in the hospital being monitored, and will be going home for the night with a fluid backpack, which will be de-accessed from her port tomorrow.
The effects on her blood counts may take a few days to a couple of weeks to see results, as it takes the cells a bit of time to “stick” and help the bone marrow regenerate. We will be monitoring her counts very closely for the next few weeks to ensure that all her counts are increasing. The hope is that by doing this transplant, Sophie’s body will be ready for her big surgery, which is currently (tentatively) scheduled for Monday July 2nd. We will keep everyone posted as we have more updates leading up to the surgery itself.