Stem Cell Transplant – Day 41

Captain Attitude returns!

Quite a dramatic and busy day today – good news on the engraftment of the new stem cells as the numbers keep going upwards in a very positive way.

Our big challenges at the moment are fluids and food; Kip is experiencing abdominal pain along with diarrhoea which is a side effect of the radiation and chemotherapy he had five weeks ago. While there are medications available to slightly reduce the symptoms, it’s not going to fix overnight and we just have to wait for his body to repair itself over the coming weeks and months.

The big problem is that, because it hurts when he has food, he doesn’t want to eat anything or even drink anything other than a few sips of milk or juice a day.

This means he has to get all of his fluids through the NG tube up his nose; this is normally a bit of a challenge because if you push stuff through it too quickly he finds it really uncomfortable, his stomach gets overwhelmed and he’s then sick – expelling all that fluid and calories I’ve just spent ages trying to get into him, so we’re back to square one AND really unhappy…

Today all that was added to when a midday vomiting brought up his NG tube; I had to quickly flick it out of his nose, unplug the feed pump and get the whole thing unstuck from his face – while he was still vomiting and for good measure having a poo at the same time. See if anyone ever says men can’t multitask again, I’ll slap them in the face. And I’ll be sure to be doing two other things at the same time.

We had an hour or so without any lines or tubes or drips attached today, and that’s why you can see Kip smiling and gurning in the picture above. It was a very different experience when we had to get a new NG tube inserted. If you think the Covid swab is bad…

All that and for good measure there was a catastrophic bout of poo and snot at 10:30 at night and the wonderful nurse looking after us had to help tidy up. Then it was just a matter of getting his night time medications up his nose, write this blog and now I’m off to bed.

It’s Changeover Day tomorrow, and I could really do with a couple hours sitting in a cafe, browsing in a bookshop, maybe even a bit of retail therapy. Instead, I’ll, erm, go home.

Still, there’s good progress today. Every day that passes in here is another day closer to getting home.


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