The past few days have been some of the toughest but at the same time, the bottom line has been the best. Jack was admitted to M.D. Anderson’s hospital on Sunday with a high-grade fever and zero immunity. The next few days were some of the most miserable ones you could ever imagine.; we both averaged 1-2 hours of sleep in any 24-hour period. Jack suffered from a terrible virus and I suffered from bone-deadening exhaustion. Today (Friday), after receiving10 units of blood/platelets and a continuous IV with an assortment of antibiotics, Jack is on the mend. The hallucinations are mostly gone, the fever is gone, white blood cells have miraculously begun to appear, and though he has stubbed his toe a dozen times this week, he has successfully managed to avoid any of the worser maladies one encounters when crossing a minefield. He still has many challenges ahead: the drugs they have had to give him this week have caused enormous fluid retention – he has difficulty lifting his legs. He still has a terrible cough (but the white blood cells will begin to knock that down) and needs oxygen. He is immune-compromised and always will be, to some extent. And we know that while the stem cell transplant only temporarily arrests the cancer, Jack is now in remission. We are realistic about his disease; when the time comes, there are other treatment options set aside for the future. Praise God – life is good!
The oncologist hopes to release Jack on Monday. The first order of business will be for him to work on regaining his strength. He still needs to keep on growing new, cancer-free white blood cells. He needs to understand and begin to live within new limits. He cannot be around people with colds or other illnesses; he cannot be in crowds; he cannot eat fresh fruits/veggies; he cannot do yard work; he cannot be in the sun without protective wear; and he must continue to be tested in the future. All of those limits are very manageable! We will post another update soon, but in the meantime, suffice it to say that every single day we give thanks to God and to each of you who have helped Jack on this journey. Praise God – life is good; your friendship and love continue to sustain us.
Jack and Sue