I'd be lying if I told you this past week had been a piece of cake. We knew it would be hard. Brad had prepared for it to be hard, but we were uncertain what that would actually look like.
We are 6 days post transplant and every day has been a challenge in its own way.
The first day following the transplant he had an allergic reaction on his face and head - a rash that was red, swollen and radiating heat. He is on a lot of different medications so it was almost impossible to narrow it down to what might have caused this. He was prescribed a cream that I began applying twice a day, morning and night. Since then, it has progressively gotten better except it has now moved to his shoulders so now we apply cream to that area too.
Day +1 he started developing mouth sores. These mouth sores, or mucositis, are a primary side effect of the chemotherapy and radiation. Think large ulcers in his mouth that can also make their way down the throat and esophagus.
As we are now on Day +6, these mouth sores have progressively gotten worse for Brad. In the beginning, the pain was managed by some periodic pain meds, but, as the sores continued to worsen, he is now on a pain pump where he can control when he gets pain medication by a button at his bedside. The sores make both eating and drinking nearly impossible. He hasn't really had any solid food this last week. He is living on ice cream and protein shakes, but even those present their own set of challenges.
If these mouth sores were gone, Brad would be feeling okay. Not good, but okay. In addition to the mouth sores, he has had periodic nausea and extreme fatigue.
We have spent most of our days with the lights off and in silence because talking also hurts Brad's mouth. We have walked at least a few laps every day around the unit since his transplant. As for me, I spend the weekdays working and the evenings working out in the room, running up and down the stairs for an extra sweat, or my latest hobby, painting.
Ultimately, this week has been especially hard for Brad as the pain he is experiencing is like none before. From my seat, although I don't feel the physical pain, emotionally it's terrible to see the person you love most hurt so bad. Its hard to see the pain in his eyes, hear of the discomfort he is feeling and ultimately, be of so little relief to him. There is only so much I can do to help and I don't share this for any sort of pity as I know there as so many people experiencing a similar situation, but I share to allow for prayers to be specific, for the Lord to hear a lot of whispers with the same request.
Prayer request: I have been begging the Lord to help heal these mouth sores, for some relief and comfort to reign down on Brad and just ask that you might do the same. We also have prayed that his counts would begin to recover because the sooner they do the sooner his mouth and rash can heal and we can leave the hospital.
As we start week 3 in the hospital, I will continue to post a quick, regular update on the main page of the blog and more detailed updates as we continue up this mountain. We know this is a means to an end, but right now that end feels really far and kinda blurry. Regardless, our faith is steadfast and we are thankful for the support and love we continue to receive.
Lots of love,