Sunday, May 24, 2009

Round 2 Chemo Complete!

The past week has been very eventful for Doan. Where to begin....

Last Friday, the 15th, Brandon returned to the Huntsman Cancer Center to have his second round of chemo. This round of chemo was really different from the last dose. Rather than 4 days of 24 hour chemo, he had a 20 minute drip on Friday and then again on Monday. That was it! During the drip, we packed his mouth with ice because the chemo he was receiving can cause mouth sores. By keeping your mouth as cold as possible, you can prevent the sores. Bobbi was in charge of giving him the ice, and he lovingly referred to her as the "Ice Nazi."

On Tuesday, he had his 1st bone marrow transplant. It took about an hour and a half and went well. It was interesting in that Doan had a nice, aroma of creamed corn all around him for a couple days! Apparently the preservative they use for the stem cells has a strong odor. We were grateful it was creamed corn though because the nurses said that with some people it smells like tomato soup or garlic! Katie deserves a gold medal for continuing to spend the night in the hospital room despite the smell. That's true love!

Since the transplant Brandon has been feeling okay. He takes anti-nausea medication to help with his stomach cramping and nausea which are both common side-effects of chemo. As of yesterday (Saturday) he reached a neutropenic state which essentially means he doesn't have an immune system which has made him pale and pretty weak. Neutrophil is a type of white blood cell that makes up 50-70% of circulating white blood cells and serves as the primary defense against infection and disease. So, the chemo has wiped those cells out. In a healthy person, this would be bad, but in Brandon, this is a good sign because it shows that the chemo is successfully killing the rapidly dividing cells in his body which is what the cancer cells are as well.

Over the next week or two, we expect Brandon to start feeling better as the stem cells he was given in the transplant engraft and start rebuilding his system. He says his spirits are still high, and he can't wait to get out of the hospital again. We're praying that he will be able to keep food down so that he can get those calories to start gaining back some weight and strength. Doan is definitely a fighter though and gets up each day to do his walking exercises and the other things his physical therapist recommended. We continue to admire his grit and determination as well as his perpetual optimism.

We continue to be so grateful and impressed with the love and support from everyone. With the help of the Lord and all of you we're getting through this, one day at a time.


ym said...

Dear Brandon and Family,

I'm so glad to hear progress is being made! I check your blog almost every day--and I know a lot of others do too. Laurel and Katie, I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your helpful (and loving) explanations of Brandon's treatment. It feels good to be informed.

Brandon, your name comes up often at Westminster; a lot of people are routing for you. I admire your spunk! Hang in there, take care, get better...

Melissa Koerner

Robin said...

Brandon, Katie and Family, what an amazing family you all are! You are so blessed to have each other with the unique talents that knit you together(ice nazi) and with such possitive, bright outlooks! We are with you every step of the way.Wishing you comforting thoughts all day and night!

Allison said...

I need to come and see you guys! I miss you. We pray for you every day. Love you.
Allison Meakin

NRomney said...


I just heard about your diagnosis. It's tough to see difficult things happen to such a good person as you, but I know that with your faith, strength of character, and determination you'll whip this thing. Our faith and prayers are with you.

- Nate Romney

Molly said...

Hang in there guys. I am so sorry that you have to go through all of this. Brandon, you and your family are definitely in our prayers. I am not sure what I can help with besides my prayers... but if you think of anything, you just let me know:)

Stay strong.

I will never forget the time you went on the tree swing on the St. Gov't trip and swung really far out and than right back into the tree. I think I might have a picture!

Molly Claflin Jones