Log in or Register to participate in these discussions

stem-cell transfusion

stem-cell transfusion

Posted by Sara B. on Jul 1, 2020 12:39 am

My name is Sara. I’m Sammy’s older sister. My brother (33 years old) have a very rare skin cancer and he was going through chemo for 6 months. The last part of treatment was 4 days of chemo and 2 days of 10min radiation before stem-cell transfusion. He has been in ICU since the transfusion.
He was improving very slowly and we were able to talk to him until I got a call from the hospital at 6am on Monday saying his gum started to bleed caused by his last chemo. He end up losing too much blood. Because of that his blood pressure dropped. He started having trouble breathing and he lost pulses for few seconds. They performed CPR and he end up being intubated. They give him blood transfusion and his blood pressure is back to normal. They ordered him platelets and it helped reduce the bleeding.

I spoke to his doctor today and he said:
His kidneys still not fully functioning. He is peeing but not much and there’s blood in his pee. He believes his kidneys are tired because of all the harsh medication he was on. The dialysis will continue 3h every 2 days until his kidneys fully recover. It could take few weeks or few months for the recovery.

In regards to his breathing, since the intubation, when they reduced the sedation yesterday he was breathing very heavily on his own. Today when they reduce the sedation he was breathing much calmer. Which is an improvement.

They believe there was a brain injury because of the breathing problem and loss of pulse. He is not waking up when the sedation is reduced. Yesterday they reduced the sedation but he wasn't responsive at all and started to breath heavily. Today when they reduce the sedation he open his eye but they rolled back and he breathe calmer but he still didn't wake up. His CT scan came back normal. There was some disturbance in his EEG results. He is scheduled for MRI after Canada day. They are running testes to figure out why he is not waking up!

I asked him for worst case scenario and he said he goes to coma or severe damage to his brain. He told me it's very premature to think about that.
He is young and his body needs time to recover. We should have a better understanding by this time next week.

His nurse tells me, if you are religious, pray for him.

Last few days has been hell for my family 😔
I am a mess... we can’t visit him... since June 20th I called the hospital 64 times... I’m trying to stay strong for my parents but I’m having a very hard time dealing with this 😔

Did any of you experienced this nightmare?

Re: stem-cell transfusion

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Jul 2, 2020 7:02 am

Yes, Sara B.‍ , I have experienced something like this, and only within the last few weeks. I am SO SORRY you have to go through this. My own memories are actually making it hard for me to type right now, and I cannot see my screen - it’s all blurry.

I want to thank you for letting us know how he’s doing, and empathize with you that they won’t let you see him. They called me in to see my Dad the day after he lost consciousness, after he’d been in hospital for 3 weeks, and that will probably be one of the biggest reasons I have to curse this pandemic.

I found that if you can persuade yourself to only call the hospital 1 or 2 times a day, it makes it easier for the nursing staff to focus on Sammy’s care. I kept detailed notes (but that’s what I do) about Dad’s condition, so I had them to refer back to when conversing with the doctors, and it gave me a place to write questions for future phone calls so I didn’t have to call multiple times.

I encourage you to pay attention to your breathing, too, and recommend deep, long ones. 

I’ll hold Sammy in my heart, as I’m sure you are doing, and keep healing thoughts flowing your way.
“When the root is deep, there is no reason to fear the wind.” - Japanese saying

Re: stem-cell transfusion

Posted by Lacey_adminCCS on Jul 2, 2020 7:54 am

Sara B.

I'm sorry to hear about your dear brother. 

Everything your family has been through would be stressful under normal circumstances. I'm sorry that you can't be there in person to see him and talk to his medical team. 

He is where he needs to be. He has his youth and a family that loves him pulling for him. 

Your family is in my thoughts during this difficult time as you wait for answers. 

This is a safe place to share how you are feeling. Here for you.