About Me

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Bakersfield, CA, United States
Hans was a busy, happy, sweet and fearless three year old when he was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma. He fought his disease like a "gladiator" for nearly 6 years. Hans was an animal lover to his core. He was 'guarded' at home by his three cats, Black, Orange and Cotton. He also had his Golden Retriever, Honey, to keep him company. Hans enjoyed swimming, biking, gardening, grilling (he had his very own grill!), horseback riding, playing video games, building Legos, and flipping between Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and Animal Planet. Hans loved all members of his family and he was a loyal friend. He had to go through a lot of treatment in his life. But Hans powered through it. His attitude was let's get this done! His motivation was always to get back home, to his family, pets, favorite foods and pool.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Harvest Day 2

We are sitting here waiting to get hooked up for Day 2 of the Harvest. We had a good night's sleep in LA at Aimee's B&B, woke up and drove in early, actually arrived before the clinic opened its doors. Ha! That was a first for me. I'm usually 'fashionably' late.

I have no idea how many cells they collected yesterday. Our nurse through the process yesterday, Brian, has been doing this for a good chunk of his career. He's never done a child's second harvest. He was actually surprised. He didn't think they did harvests after radiation. I told him we've had three separate courses of radiation. Our onc is keeping our expectations in check. She has explained that even though the little bags are filling up, it really doesn't mean anything until they count it. I think they are hoping to just round out the half bag we have on hand for one full rescue. But, of course, I'm hoping we do better than that!

My friend Vicki asked me how long stem cell harvest takes. The short answer... we are planning for three twelve hour days, starting yesterday. BUT, the long answer...
First, you've got to have a disease burden that warrants a pretty high dose round of chemotherapy. We got that round inpatient for 5 days starting Oct. 18th, had a week off at home, had a week inpatient for the neutropenic fevers that tend to follow high dose chemotherapy. At that point, we started to try to harvest, then we came back over two consecutive weeks until his counts were just right. Hans has put up with daily injections of GCSF since the end of October. It would be a long haul even if we didn't have a 100 mile one-way commute to our hospital!!!

The amazing thing?? This boy! I was bracing myself for his trauma surrounding the shots to spill over to the rest of this process. But nope. He is handling it like a pro. It almost breaks my heart that he's such a good patient. Hans woke up from surgery yesterday to not one but two bandages. Dr. Stein tried to put the pheresis line in his right leg but it was a no-go. So, he got patched up on the right, and the line went in the left. The line is at the top of his left thigh. It limits mobility and causes Hans to walk slowly. He hasn't complained about it once. He only repeatedly asked how long he has to have it in. He did so well yesterday. He was pretty much trapped in the bed and he didn't shed one tear. I actually finally had to ask him, "How do you do it, Hans? How do you handle all this?" He just said "I don't know." He just keeps asking what he is to expect over the next couple of days, and most importantly, when we get to go home!

Thank you Tanja, for hooking Hans up with Lego:) Sounds like he is "sponsored", at least for November anyway!!! I love it.


Anonymous said...

Oh wow, your picture reminds me of when Patrick had his stem cell harvest. I am praying for all to go well!!
Love, Claire

Anonymous said...

What a guy! Bravo for your bravery, Hans!!!

May the procedures pass by quickly and soon find you at home!

Love and hugs,
Aunt Susy

Charon said...

Way to go Hans!! What a brave and strong guy you have on your hands. Brings back tough memories but also such love and pride in how these kiddos do what they need to do!

Much love to you all,

Anonymous said...

Hans carries his burden with such grace. I meditate on that, when I get fussy with matters that by comparison are simply trifling. My love to you all - Erin

Anonymous said...

We are thinking and praying for you here in Japan. You are so brave Hans I will look for a Japanese Lego while Im here.

Love Pat K

Anonymous said...

All I can say is, you are more than welcome. Keep going strong and keep the faith! All our love from the Woodlands!