• The catheter is basically a tube implanted into the jugular vein and is used to administer treatments into a patient so that needles are not needed for each injection. It can also be used to draw blood.
• One end is implanted into the jugular vein near the heart.
• The other end is a single tube that comes out through an incision in the chest wall and at the end has several IV ports through which various medicines can be administered to patients in small doses or larger drip bags.
• Both Chemo and the Stem Cell Transplant will take place through these ports. This spares patients having to have needles stuck in them each time they receive a medicine or treatment.
• Even after the transplant has taken place the catheter may be left in for several weeks while her post operative care continues.
Tomorrow (Tuesday) Tami will begin her 6 rounds of chemotherapy to eliminate her sick bone marrow. This will give the new donor stem cells, once she receives them, the ability to take over blood production (red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets) in her body.
A week from tomorrow on Tuesday the 30th Tami is scheduled to receive her stem cell transplant!
Please keep her in your prayers this week. It is quite common for patients to experience a lot of uncomfortable side effects from the chemo, some of which are completely debilitating. Hopefully Tami will be spared the worst of these.
P.S. If you are a patient or donor program and would like to use this illustration on your own website or blog please feel free to do so. You can copy and paste or drag and drop the image to your own desktop. If you need me to email you a copy just let me know by using the contact form on Tami's website.
Posted by Stacie (Tami's cousin)