Thursday, July 4, 2013

What a way to celebrate 4th of July… the start of Ryan’s ATG chemo treatment

It is late on the 4th of July and Ryan was really upset earlier that he couldn't be at home watching fireworks.  He was able to see a few small bursts out the window, but unfortunately, with his neutrophil count being so low, he is confined to his hospital room to avoid infection, so we couldn't go down the hall for a better view.

Tonight is the first of four nights of his antithymocyte globulin (ATG) chemo treatment.  ATG is made from horse serum and is intended to severely suppress the immune system so that his T Cells quit attacking the blood cells that his bone marrow tries to make.  There will likely be side effects similar to  the chemo treatment patients receive for cancer (nausea, vomiting, fatigue, etc.)

Prior to starting the treatment, they gave Ryan IV steroids and Benedryl to help prevent an allergic reaction.  There is a risk that he could go into anaphylaxis, so the nurse stayed in the room for about a half hour to monitor him as the treatment started.  Here is some information regarding immunosuppressive therapy to treat Aplastic Anemia that I found on the American Cancer Society Website:

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