We just returned from the hospital for the morning IV antibiotic treatment. We still don't know a lot, but it seems the infection is in one of her central line lumina (tubes - she has two). This is a fairly common condition. They will classify the exact bacteria (probably today) and then decide what, if anything, needs to be done to treat the problem. It is possible they could do one of several things:
Nothing. Jackie has not had any fever at all for the last 48 hours. It is possible the infection has already resolved.
Continue IV antibiotics: If the bacteria is a stubborn or resistant strain they will continue with an IV antibiotic.
Switch to oral antibiotics: If the bacteria is common and easily treated they may switch to oral meds and send us home.
Pull her central line: Since the infection is in one line they may remove the central line entirely. I think there is a strong chance they will do this. It may sound strange but we both hate to see it go. It makes blood tests SOOOOO much easier! No needle sticks by nurses who don't have clue what they are doing.
We had a long talk today with the lady's husband who has had multiple transplants. You may recall her in previous blog posts. She is now on transplant number 3. She is not doing well at all. She is suffering from what I believe to be the beginning stages of multiple organ failures. She is having lung, liver and heart problems all at once. She is day +24 on the existing transplant and day +128 overall. They have been through every problem known to exist. You may recall she is not a CLL patient. She was a multiple myeloma patient with other complications. She received a matched transplant (all three times) from a relative. The relative (sister) was not a good match. They are using a treatment protocol normally reserved for CLL patients. They have no other ideas left. You may recall she came into the transplant process very sick. They could not wait for an unrelated donor transplant. I think talking to the husband helped Jackie realize how good she was actually doing. I think it also helped him to see that even though we had been through the same, long process it is possible to get better and go home.
I am currently headed out to WalMart. When we packed we only expected to stay two days. As you might guess, I need some laundry soap, food, etc. I'm not buying anything that won't last for a 10 hour trip home, however. In other words, I'm not expecting to stay very long in Rochester!!!
Bruce and Jackie
From Rochester, MN