Monday, Grace had pre-transplant bone marrow aspiration and bone biopsy. That's kind of boring. The interesting surgery came right after that procedure.

Fertility preservation is something I had vaguely heard of. I know it's rather personal, but so is all this health information. We won't be sharing her future decisions (she can decide that for herself) but I think
the idea is so interesting that I wanted to share.

There's a very good chance that the chemo will damage Grace's ovaries. The damage can range from mild (she gets cycles but has early menopause) to severe (complete non-function, including no cycles, no fertility.) Modern technology has advanced such that, if they preserve an ovary before the chemo treatment, it has a very good chance of being functional in the future. That is, they can replace a slice of her ovary into her body at an appropriate time and it will be able to produce the necessary hormones for healthy cycles. Each slice lasts up to eight years, and then they can put in another slice. Ovarian tissue is like liver tissue, where a part of it does the same job as the whole.

(This also gives her the option of having her own babies. This decision will be complicated for her because of the NF1, but we wanted to give her the opportunity to choose.)

So they carefully extracted one ovary (laparoscopically through her bellybutton!) and it is now frozen, stored in liquid nitrogen, and waiting for her to need it.

Everything went well, and she came out of the anesthesia much more easily than she did on Friday. She did have some breathing trouble, likely because her throat was still sore from the previous intubation, and they gave her albuterol, which required a two-hour watch period. Nathaniel was not allowed in the recovery room, so he and Jon went to the zoo while they waited. (He had asked to come so that he could explore the Dana Farber resource room and get more beads for his Beads For Sibs bracelet.)

Posted by Heather Daley on January 24, 2024, 12:41 pm | Read 1062 times
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Praise God all went well!!

So amazing what they can do!

Posted by Alissa on January 24, 2024, 1:44 pm
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