Once the cells were thawed, he handed the bag over to our nurse, who hung them from the IV pole, and they slowly made their way down the tube into Jackson. It only took about 10 minutes for all of the cells to get to Jackson.
Now we wait for them to start growing (the doctors call that "engraftment"). Before his new cells grow, however, the old cells have to die completely.
Here's a very simple explanation of Jackson's Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT). Jackson's current bone marrow is cancer free, so in theory, he doesn't technically NEED a BMT. However, the research shows that AT/RT is a very stubborn tumor, and doesn't respond to more gentle chemo drugs. So, they hit the tumor with super harsh chemo, to kill every quick growing type of cell (the tumor as well as hair, and other things). Because the chemo is so harsh, it also kills quick growing cells like stem cells. Once stem cells grow up, they turn into bone marrow, and because the chemo will kill all quick growing cells, Jackson's bone marrow is now non-existent. To help Jackson have bone marrow again, they did what they call Stem Cell Rescue or a BMT for Jackson. They gave him new bone marrow or stem cells, and now we wait for the stem cells to turn into marrow. When that happens, his counts will come up (engraftment) and we get to come home.
Because Jackson's tumor is so stubborn, we will do this three times, and hope that the process has destroyed the cancer that is in Jackson's head- and that he can again be cancer free.