Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Stem Cell Transplant

     Hazel and I just got settled in our new home for the next 4-6 weeks in the Transplant Unit here at CHLA. Saying goodbye this morning was so rough and there have been many tears shed these last few days by each and every one of us. Please pray for God to sustain our little family during this time of struggle and separation. We are all on edge and just want this all to be over. But we will take one day at a time and the Lord will get us through this just like He did with the 6 grueling rounds of Chemo and several hospital stays.
     Now here's what the next few weeks will look like:

- Today is day -7 and we work up to day 0 which is the day of the transplant and will be considered her re-birthday. This is because the chemo will utterly destroy her bone marrow and immune system. If she was not to receive her own stem cells back, this process would kill her. But, thankfully, she will be rescued with her stem cells and she will regrow brand new bone marrow to build a new immune system like that of a newborn baby (hence the rebirth).
- On days -7 to -1 she will receive an anti-seizure medication to prevent the seizures that can be a side effect from the high dose chemo.
- Starting sometime in the early hours of tomorrow morning she will begin her infusion of the first high dose chemo, Busulfan. This will be for 4 days to day -3.
- On day -2 she will continue her anti-seizure medication but will get a break from chemo
- On day -1 she will receive the second high dose chemo drug, Melphalan.
- On day 0 she will get her stem cells! This will take a grand total of 15 life saving minutes, so probably quite anti-climactic!
- From here she will receive her daily GCSF injection to help boost her blood counts and we begin the waiting game. It will take several weeks for her counts to recover and it may be very grueling.
- The week after chemo will probably be the roughest due to the painful side effects from these drugs, so please pray for as little side effects as possible!!
- In addition to the usual side effects like fever, low blood counts, mouth sores and the like; ther is a a laundry list of potential temporary and permanent risks that include: 5% chance of a fatality, Veno-occlusive disease of the liver (most serious), bladder irritation/bleeding, kidney damage, other organ damage, decrease in fertility, a risk of developing another cancer and much more.
     These risks are not common but do occur, so we must be vigilant in her care and in prayer! In addition, we will be kept in isolation with limited/no visitors to prevent any infection or complications that could be life threatening, so this may be a long couple of weeks with a 2 year old!
     Despite our fears and anxieties about this reality we are facing, we hold fast to the truth that we have a Mighty Father who holds our little Hazelnut in the palm of His hand. We know He will comfort is, protect us, sustain us, love us and guide us. And as is its says is Hebrews 4:14-16 (a verse that has come across my path many times this last week) "Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Please pray for miracles to happen so His glory may shine and that we rely on Him for his grace in our time of need! Here is a picture of Hazel with Dr Tran for her last health check before being admitted:


  1. Praying for a great outcome for sweet, smiling Hazel and her loving family! (I'm glad to see that silly face with the doctor too)

  2. Will continue to pray for Hazelnut through her treatments, as well as for your family, for the strength and comfort you all need through this difficult time. God is there with you all as you go through this tough time.

  3. Praying you feel God's presence in a mighty way, that side effects are minimal and that the best outcome possible is realized!

  4. Praying for your precious princess.

  5. you will get through this, we made it just fine <3

  6. Sweet Darling have so many people who love you and are praying for you.
    To Darling Hazel's Mommy (and family) we are praying for your continued strength as you go through this next set of hurdles which, thanks to will JUMP over.

    Praying for a miraculous and full restoration and recovery for Hazel.

    May the Lord hold you and guide you as He infuses His strength at your moments of weakness...with God we are strong irrespective of the circumstances.

    I admire your fortitude and beautiful spirit (mommy) and I admire your tenacity and courage gorgeous litte darling Hazelnut.

    Blessings, Hugs, Peace and Love
    In His precious name~

    God Be with you all~


  7. Finding the strength must be the hardest part to not let Hazelnut know your worries. She is an angel and god will see her thru and some day all this will just be in the past. All our love and prayers, the Abramson's and Susie Fein

  8. Praying for little Hazel.

  9. Praying for sweet Hazel. Wish I had some Hazel gear before the Curesearch walk in LA coming up. Do you think I could get some stuff in time? It's October 13

  10. Praying for little Princess Hazel and the WHOLE family! Mommy, you are doing such a great job! And Hazel is just a s beautiful as ever, she has such a great personality. This will be over soon and she will be healthy. GOD BLESS and you are ALL in my prayers!

  11. Prayers, thoughts, love are with you always. My Family prays for your Family. I just adore lil Hazelnut, so absolutely adorable! If I could get away with it, I'd have Hazel's hair-do!!! xoxoxoxo

  12. I was truly blessed by meeting this amazing little girl when her aunt brought her to visit us at work. She is contantly in my thoughts and prayers. Sending many prayers to St. Jude for precious Hazel, thoughts and strength to this amazing little angel Hazel and your entire family.
    Lauren my the lord continue to give you the strength and comfort.
    The Prayer to St Jude
    O most holy apostle, Saint Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the Church honoureth and invoketh thee universally, as the patron of hopeless cases, and of things almost despaired of.

    Pray for me, who am so miserable. Make use, I implore thee, of that particular privilege accorded to thee, to bring visible and speedy help where help was almost despaired of.

    Come to mine assistance in this great need, that I may receive the consolation and succor of Heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings, particularly with precious baby Hazel during this time and that I may praise God with thee and all the elect throughout eternity.

    I promise thee, O blessed Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favour, to always honour thee as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to thee.



  13. We are with you in our hearts and spirit, good luck little one!

  14. Praying for you that God will sustain you and your family! Your faith in the Lord is inspiring!

  15. We are walking this path right next to you

  16. The Lord will carry your little girl and your entire family during this trying times. Hold fast to his promises and he will see you through. Psalm 91. I am praying for Hazel and your family.

  17. I found your blog via a few links I wouldn't normally follow. Hazel looks like one tough cookie. Her silliness and bravery are obvious from the pictures, and I plan to bookmark you guys. Can't wait to hear that she's slapped cancer right in the face. :) Hazel, you're a rock star.

  18. This story just touched my heart.
    Dear hazel,
    Keep your head up. And keep smiling on. Youve got this (: just have faith lil one. You have so many people rooting for you to beat this. We all have hope♥

  19. God bless! I hope everything is going great my boyfriend was just diagnosed with brain cancer and we were thinking about having a cell transplant done We have done a lot of research! And it seems to have amazing results!!!! I'll be praying for little Hazel!!!!