TEAM RILEY UPDATE: Bone Marrow Harvest

TEAM RILEY UPDATE: Bone Marrow Harvest

January 15, 2017

Hello Everyone!

I don’t even know where to begin. This last week has been a whirlwind and I can hardly believe a new week is about to begin! I can start with saying THANK YOU to EVERYONE who kept us in your thoughts and prayers throughout this last week. They were much needed and definitely felt. This update has been delayed longer than I wanted it to be but it has been hard to process everything and gather all of my thoughts.

Bright and early on Monday morning we were on our way, in the rain and stopped traffic, to UCLA. Just over 2 hours later we arrived, feeling nervous as we walked into the admissions office. Once we finally get to her room, it quickly became a non-stop flow of doctors and nurses. Consent forms, blood draws, IV placements (a few different attempts), vitals. It was a bit overwhelming. It is so hard to sit by while four adults pin down your baby to place a deep IV in her little arm. Riley just proves time and time again how brave she is – this girl is a fighter! I am just so proud of her.

And then that moment comes, after a sleepless day and night, a team of nurses stroll in to wake you up – “it’s time to get ready, they will be here soon to take her down to the OR”. As we make our way down, Riley just takes it all in, the new scenes and people stopping to check her out and give a little smile and a wave. We are just a few feet outside of the OR, I had no idea they were going to ask one of us to gown up and carry her in. What an experience that was – I didn’t know what I was getting myself into by going into that OR. Trying to comfort my scared and crying girl as they begin to push different meds through her IV, watching her starting to get a little more relaxed but fighting it the whole way. Finally the mask is held against her face and she slowly but surely begins to fall asleep. She is out. I am told to give my baby a kiss and am escorted out of the room. I cried at that moment, getting up and walking out of that OR. I am crying right now remembering those moments. They are somewhat of a blur but still all so real. Moments I will never forget and never take for granted. As hard as it was, I am so thankful that I was able to be with her up until she fell asleep.

Once the doctor came to tell us that everything went great (YAY!), she was getting her blood transfusion and would be waking up soon. We could not wait to get back to our girl. We walked so fast down to recovery, I’ve never felt so frantic putting on a mask and gown to get into her recovery room. She was so agitated and just wanted her mama and dada. The minute we were able to hold her she calmed right down and fell asleep. It took her a good 24 hours of on and off sleep to get back to her normal self. She would have bursts of energy but remained a little irritable as the day went on. Overall, she was such a champ! This girl keeps me going!

We learned Wednesday morning that they got about twice the stem cells that they were hoping to get! They took 200mL (just under 7oz) of her bone marrow. The doctor said she had beautiful and healthy bone marrow, just like the rest of her! Praise the Lord.

We were discharged for home on Wednesday. After an eventful car ride (think multiple stops to change diapers and bandages..), we made it home safely. NOW.. we wait. 3-4 weeks until we know if the stem cells pass all of the quality control testing and will be useable for transplant. Although there is no reason to believe that this would not be the case, it is still something that could potentially happen. PLEASE PRAY with us that her stem cells pass ALL of the testing and are cleared for transplant.

Riley’s LIFE DAY is just 33 days away! Don’t forget to purchase your TEAM RILEY OLIVIA SHIRTS!!! The campaign ends in just 3 DAYS!!!

You can click HERE to go to the shirts 🙂

We still have a long road ahead of us. Riley’s next admit on February 12 is fast approaching. This is what our schedule will somewhat look like:

February 12: Admitted to UCLA for pre-op

February 13: PICC line placement in OR & Begin Chemo

February 14: Chemo blood levels will be tested

February 15: Second day of chemo – dose adjusted according to blood levels

February 16: REST

February 17: LIFE DAY!!!

February 18-???: Recovery & monitoring in hospital

We appreciate your continued prayers for a healthy baby girl and protection  from all infections.

Below is a video I put together of some of the highlights from our stay. I hope you enjoy it.




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