Now We're Havin' Fun!

Well, it's official. Adam has been put back on Cyclosporin to calm down his GVHD. It's been a real bummer. Not having to take medicine every 12 hours was so nice, but, it was not meant to least not for now. The good news is, Adam's GVHD has responded very well to the meds and it seems to be calming right down. He is not a fan of taking the medication again, and frankly, neither are we. But while being irritated with having to take the meds, we are also very thankful we have them to take, if that makes any sense.

In the meantime, with the warmer weather, we are starting to have some fun. Our family went on a little field trip to the local Rescue Squad. Russell had a great time and Adam, well, he was just in heaven! There were three Ambulances and one Rescue Truck and they were able to get in the cabs and pretend like they were driving. They also got to see the lights flashing and wear the headphones that the first responders use to communicate. They absolutely loved climbing all over the rescue truck and even got to get in a rescue boat! I'm tellin' ya, just too much fun!

After we got home from our visit, Adam ran around the house, twirling circles on his head with his fingers (lights on the firetruck), humming the siren and yelling as he raced by, "Look at me, Mom. I'm fireman Adam. I got to help somebody..." Thank you, Mr. Dan, for sharing your work with us and for taking the time to help create some fantastic memories for our two little boys. We really appreciate it!

The Results Are In...

...and...Adam's bone marrow is still 100% donor cells! Fantastic news, yes indeed. I was a little nervous, admittedly, given we are are in a high-risk-for-relapse period. It is very reassuring to have those numbers back. His counts look great and he seems to be doing very well in that area.

Unfortunately, the good news is overshadowed by the results of Adam's liver function test. For a little while now, I have been worried that the GVHD (Graft vs. Host Disease) was on it's way back. The blood test confirmed my fears. It appears that the graft (donor cells) is attacking Adam's liver. I don't really know how serious this is, but it's bad enough that Adam has been put back on steroids. We have another follow-up visit in a couple of days at which point they will repeat the tests to see if the steroids are working their magic. In my maternal opinion, I think they are. The redness around his eyes is subsiding and he is feeling much better...not nearly so irritable. I don't really know what the next step will be. I'm sure that information will come with the results of the next blood test.

To be honest, I am a little discouraged by the return of Adam's GVHD. Okay, a lot discouraged. It's just one more reminder that we aren't going to be finished with this for a long time. Given that we've been at this for just shy of two years now, it's really overwhelming to think that we are nowhere near the end––if there even is an "end". However, somehow, I seem to find the energy to get up and leave the pity party I've thrown for myself, just long enough to remember that I don't have to look very far to find that our situation could be worse––in many ways.

So, on that note, for the present, we will focus on the fact that Adam feels good and is happy and is able to play. That's reason enough to simply keep fighting.

Our Six Month Milestone

It's really been six months since transplant. I know, I can't believe it either. I'm not a fan of how time can be so warped. But, here we are. Adam had his six month bone marrow aspirate two days ago. He, like always, managed like a champ.

We had to do an Echocardiogram before the aspirate to check on his heart and make sure there aren't any major issues that may have been caused by the chemotherapy. We don't have the results back yet, but soon, I am told. While he was laying on the table with his little bare chest covered in green goop, he looked up at me and said, "I don't like this hospital." To which I would reply, "I don't like any hospital." When the technician opened the little green bag of wipes to clean off the gel, the smell hit me in the face like a belly flop in a swimming pool. The emotional memories that smell brought back were as vivid as if we had just finished transplant yesterday. I was really glad to leave cardiology. Adam wasn't all that disappointed either.

The restrictions placed on Adam are starting to be lifted. With the completion of the Cyclosporin (anti-rejection medication), he is not in as much danger as he was before. We must still remain cautious for a little while longer, but it's nothing compared to what we had to do when we first came home. We are looking forward to summer and can't wait to introduce Adam to the "swimmin' cool." It will be the first experience he can remember (he's only gone swimming once before) and he is really excited about it. We will also be able to go back to Grandma and Grandpa's farm, which will be great fun! Nothing like checking cows with Grandpa and giving hugs to Grandma. But...for really is one day at a time.