Can you believe it's been 90 days since Brad's transplant? I can. It has been a long 90 days. None of those days have felt like they "flew by"as we had hoped. In fact, it has felt like the exact opposite. The last three months have been so unbearably slow. Before the transplant, there was this build up, anticipation and ultimately fear of the unknown. Then, Brad got his new cells and it's as if time began to crawl...
I feel like I should have something uniquely profound to share about the last 90 days, but after lots of thought, I realized I just don't. I could share the intimate details of the mouth sores again or that vomiting still happens occasionally or that Brad now has noticeable tremors in his hands or about the moments of loneliness I felt through it all...and maybe one day I will break all of the details down as I am sure they could be helpful to someone else preparing for a stem cell transplant, but today is just not that day. What I can confirm is that the last 90 days have definitely been the toughest of our cancer journey thus far, but in it's own unique way. Before the transplant, all of his treatment had a built-in break and a schedule to follow: 5 days of chemotherapy and then a break, 18 treatments of radiation and then a break. In the post transplant world, there have been no breaks and the only schedule we have is a regular doctor's visit. Aside from that, even 90 days out, some days he feels almost normal and other days he spends 80% of it in bed exhausted or battling a stomach ache and no appetite. We just never truly know what to expect and that is hard.
Someone asked me the other day, "so, after day +90 ya'll are totally done?" Unfortunately, the answer is no. We are definitely closer and past what we have been told is the most difficult, scariest parts of the transplant roadmap, but now Brad has to begin another series of tests, shots and continue his many medications. He will be getting another bone marrow biopsy and PET/CT scan in the next 2 weeks. He will also begin receiving the first round of his childhood vaccines this week. But, the good news is that he should also be released to be home alone and cleared to drive soon which in my opinion is HUGE.
All in all, today feels a bit like a victory. We had no clue what the journey between day 0 and day +90 would look like, but we knew that if we could make it to this day we would have overcome some of the toughest parts of this journey. We knew that today, day +90, was a milestone for us, a goal to work towards. We made it - together - and I am so incredibly proud of him. Today signifies independence for him, progress towards his recovery and whole heck of a lot of team work.
Prayer requests: that strength continues to make its way back for Brad. Of course, that sickness stays far, far away and that all his scans continue to be clear of any traces of cancer.
We love you all and are thankful for the way you have loved and supported us through the last 90 days.
Brad and Natalie
His doctor approved us to drive to the beach. It was the perfect little getaway.