I know we have said how important it is to be flexible and that schedules are simply a suggestion, never concrete, but man is it tough when things change without even the slightest bit of notice. This week I used my protective mom voice with the poor girl in the admitting office. She got an ear full - poor lady. I apologized after. I know it's not her fault, but woof, there is no question Moffitt could use some HCA efficiency sprinkled throughout this place. (The nurses are phenomenal though!)
Needless to say, Arm B is underway. We are on #2 of 4 and as a quick reminder this is they one where we stay in the hospital until Brad fully passes the methotrexate through his system. This is also where I make him drink enough water that his eyeballs nearly start to float.
Brad just looked over at me from his hospital bed and said "just doing what we do." It's Friday night. We're supposed to be out on the town, eating at a new restaurant, exploring our fun new city, but instead we're watching a silly TV show in a hospital room. I am working on throwing the phrase 'supposed to be' out of my vocabulary. When I get caught up in the way I thought it was 'supposed to be' I get angry, frustrated, sad, you name it - I feel it, but we just don't have time for that. Yes, let's be honest, those feelings are real and normal, but not welcome. This phase is temporary and we're just considering it to be a whole bunch of bonding time and an ever growing love for each other in a new setting (& if nothing else it's helping the two of us better understand and appreciate the industry we work in).
Anyway - back to the main subject: Brad's treatment.
I had previously mentioned the consideration of a Stem Cell Transplant. I mentioned that it was a possibility and we were in the fact - finding phase. Well, that possibility is now a reality. Brad will be having a Stem Cell Transplant once he has completed all of his chemotherapy treatments. We aren't 100% sure when this will take place, but we anticipate it to be in the August / September timeframe, but still a little bit of a TBD. As I said before, they will test Austin first to see if he is a match. There is a 25% chance he'll be a match.
A little bit about the transplant: Brad will be in the hospital approximately 30 days for the transplant. He gets prep - chemotherapy prior to the infusion, the infusion lasts an hour and then we wait to see what his body does. The clinical team considers this like a new "birthday" for the patient. They are literally getting rid of his bad cells and replacing them with the new donor cells. They told us that if we were to swab his cheek and send it to Ancestry.com the results could come back showing that he is 2 people: him and his donor. Hard to comprehend, but nonetheless, WILD to think about.
Here is another shameless plug to encourage you to register become a donor. Now that this a reality, you really could be a match for Brad. I registered with Be The Match. I know many of you have have followed through and signed up, but if you haven't - this message is for you!
After 30 days in the hospital, we will have to live within 10 minutes (without traffic) of the hospital for 90-120 days, which means we won't get to live in our house during this time. He will have to have 24/7 care and take immunosuppressants too. It's all super overwhelming to think about on the broader timeline, but manageable one day at a time.
What's next: you already heard, but we are in the hospital right now finishing his 2nd Arm B.
Prayer request: that Brad would handle this next round of treatment as he has the 3 treatments prior - like a champ. That the side effects will be minimal and he remains strong and steady. Please pray that Austin is a match for the transplant. What a blessing that would be!
I forgot to mention, we got the results of Brad's most recent PET scan back last week which confirmed yet again that there is currently no active cancer in his tumor. The tumor had also shrunk by half once again!
"Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:12-13
Lots of love for all of you!