Monthly Archives: January 2012

Notes on a Pillow

***As of 3 pm (1/31/12), Reece has a chest infection that was revealed on a CT scan.  He will be having a bronchoscopy at 7:30 am to determine what type of infection it is.  Please pray that Reece is able to recover quickly from the infection(this could last for weeks or even months) and that his body responds well to treatment.  Also pray that he continues to breathe well enough to give him adequate amounts of oxygen.***

It feels a little strange to not report on the details of how things are going.  Realistically, other than this latest infection, there hasn’t been much to report.  We are in the “pit” of transplant.  The things we are seeing, including this latest infection, are par for the course.  I have never seen Reece look, act, and interact the way he does, which clearly is a reflection of how he feels.  His body is working so incredibly hard to make his new blood.  We are at day +8, amazingly, and it will be likely not for another 10 days before we see any counts come in.  Of course, I am praying this happens every day, because this is no way for him to live his life.  It goes without saying that it is incredibly hard to watch and I am sure for Reece, even harder to live through.

The doctors still report that Reece is doing as expected.  He has been battling fevers for the last 48 hours, so they feel it is due to the chest infection.  They have been adjusting his medications to try to get him as comfortable as possible.  Yesterday, they felt the morphine he was on was too sedating, which was impacting his breathing and oxygen levels.  Additionally, it was making him itchy and the hoped by changing his narcotic that he would perk up, feel less itchy, and have less nausea.  The itching went away this morning, but his stomach is still upset.  Of course, his hair is still falling out, so that creates some itching as well.  He refuses to shave it off.  You can tell his hair has thinned out, although he doesn’t have any bald spots yet.  If you run your hand through his hair, it is like petting a cat that sheds really badly.  I didn’t know what to expect with the hair loss, but it is very bizarre.  The whole thing is a bizarre dream that I can not wake up from.  You know that feeling you have when you are having a bad dream and you groggily awaken just enough to realize you are only dreaming?  This situation is the reverse of that.  Relief comes in watching movies, reading books, and falling asleep.

Yesterday’s post was an interesting one for me.  It was the easiest post I have written to date–it took me probably 10 minutes at the most to write it and publish it.  The reason I mention this is not to pat myself on the back; on the contrary, it is to point out how much I can improve on many, many areas in my life.  After I posted it, I kept thinking of more things I could add to it.  Perhaps there will be a Round #2 in the future.  I confess that the reason I even posted it was that I didn’t feel like writing a regular post and I had some things swirling in my mind that I have not been able to shake since this whole thing has transpired.  There are two circumstances that I know I am beating myself up about and I know there is nothing I can do to change them.  They may not seem like much to anyone else, but for some reason, my brain continues to trip over them, causing the wounds in my mind to reopen.  And do they ever sting!  I have always been what I call a “ruminater” of sorts.  I struggle to let things go, despite my best efforts.  The way I coped with this as a kid was basically confessing whatever was bothering me to my mom.  But instead of doing it face-to-face, I would write her little notes, place them on her pillow, and leave until she found them and either addressed them with me or never mentioned them again.  I didn’t grow up Catholic, but I had my own version of “confession” that seemed to work pretty well.  As I have gotten older, I have realized that the only real releasing that needs to happen in life is seeking the Lord and letting Him release me.  Even though I know I am forgiven of sins in my life, it is the forgetting part of the equation that can sometimes haunt me.  So these are my “notes on a pillow” that I am sharing here regarding my inspiration for yesterday’s post and I am hoping that it will allow me to let go.

There are two situations that have been replaying in mind since Reece’s diagnosis last fall.  The first is a soccer game that Reece was playing in last summer.  We always felt that soccer might be a fun activity for Reece to do.  He probably won’t ever be a big kid, but he has a lot of energy and he loves to run, so we thought we should sign him up and get him going down the soccer path.  We first tried soccer with him when he was three and that was a mistake.  He had very little interest in any of it.  Thinking it was a function of age, we signed him up last summer when he was four and thought that being a year older might give him better concentration and enjoyment in actually playing the sport.  We had very good intentions and always said that if he wasn’t having fun doing it, we wouldn’t force it.  I can’t recall if this was the first or second game of the summer–it doesn’t really matter.  We arrived and sure enough, there were several kids decked out head-to-toe in soccer gear.  I expected this and let it roll off my back.  Reece knows the basic concept of the game, so we expected him to join in when the kids swarmed around the ball as they began playing.  Reece, instead of jumping right in, drifted to the back and barely followed the rest of the kids up and down the field.  If the ball was kicked to him, he maybe gave it a slight kick, but not enough to move it away from anyone else and the ball was quickly recovered (usually by one of the David-Beckham-mini-me’s who were usually leading the pack).  Eventually, Reece sat down in the middle of the field, only to get up to run over to us for “water breaks” (which are about five times more frequent than the group water breaks).  I found this so upsetting or embarrassing (not sure which; maybe both) that I decided to take Britta to the play area of the park so that I didn’t have to watch.  I think we went back to one, possibly two more games and then the events of the summer overtook soccer and we made very little effort to go to the rest.  I am pretty certain I never deserve to be able to watch him again, even if he is the next David Beckham in disguise.  The fact that I pushed the game on him when he clearly didn’t care about being there (he said it was “too hot” on the field) thoroughly irritates me.  I will not force him do things like that anymore, just because lots of other people are doing it.  And the thought that I actually felt embarrassed or annoyed at his lack of interest…the memory is painful for me.  I need to develop some thicker skin and gain a little perspective.  It is PRESCHOOL SOCCER, Terri.  Sheesh.

The second reason behind my list yesterday, is a memory of Reece, Britta, and me at the gym sometime last summer.  When I was checking the kids into the YMCA childcare, alerted by one of the staff, I turned around to see Reece holding Britta’s neck with his hands.  They were both standing up and it appeared as though Reece was trying to choke her.  Britta was clearly struggling for air.  In retrospect, Reece was going through a lovey-dovey stage with Britta and I suspect he was trying to hug her, she started to wobble, and he was trying to keep her from falling.  I was so taken off-guard by the whole thing and I felt so protective over Britta that I yelled at Reece.  Part of the yelling was for him to let go and part was out of sheer protective anger.  When I realized Britta was okay, I yanked Reece out to hall (I am pretty certain his feet were barely touching the floor) and scolded him as we were walking.  We walked all the way to the parking lot in this manner to get something from the car–I lectured him the whole way.  Thinking back, I know he didn’t do anything to harm her intentionally.  I can not get the look on his face out of my mind.  I knew he didn’t do it to harm her, but I was so angry and I just let it take over.  I am usually pretty good about staying calm and I certainly don’t ever physically harm my kids, but I should have been reprimanded for how I handled him.  It only taught him to avoid me or, at a minimum, that it is okay to yell at each other.  After we got home, I know I addressed it with him and told him I shouldn’t have gotten so upset.  We always talk through emotional situations in our house; apologize to one another.  Our favorite is to “hug it out” whether it was a heated situation, something frightening we saw on t.v., something we had to do (like any number of things we have experienced in the hospital).  I know Reece recovered from it; I, however, still get teary just thinking about it.  I really, REALLY dropped the ball on it.  And I am paying for it now and in a way, I am glad.  I don’t want to make that mistake twice.

I know all parents have moments of weakness when they lose their cool.  But watching him struggle and suffer and thinking back to the way I have let little things get under my skin–I have a much greater context than I ever had as a parent.  I know the fun things we do together far outweigh any heated or frustrating moments we share.  I still pray that Reece doesn’t remember all the rough edges I have as a parent.  He probably doesn’t even remember that situation; he let it go.  And after I calmed down, I was able to see his true colors in the whole ordeal.  I was able to understand that he wasn’t trying to hurt Britta, he was trying to help her.  I know him, I know his personality, I know how much he loves Britta and how protective he is of her.  Had I not let my immediate protective feelings override the logical explanation, things would have fared much better.  I think that’s my #52–I hope I never again fail to try to understand situations from my child’s perspective or fail to give them the benefit of the doubt.

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51 Things I Hope I Never Do Again

1.) Sign any of my kids up for classes that I think they should enjoy.

2.) Allow anyone, including myself, to interrupt a conversation my child is having with me or others.

3.) Forget there is a bigger purpose in life.

4.) Feel inadequate when I look at our home, cars…material stuff…in comparison to others.  It doesn’t matter.

5.) Fret about small details.

6.) Stare at people.

7.) Be afraid to ask someone how they are doing because of my own insecurities.

8.) Fail to offer my help to someone because the help they need isn’t where I am gifted in serving.

9.) Assume that because of my own challenges, I therefore understand someone else’s.

10.) Forget how awesome a normal, “boring” day is.

11.) Judge anyone’s personal situation and how they choose to cope with it.

12.) Yell at my child.

13.) Forget the big picture.

14.) Say “no” to something my kids want to do because I feel I don’t have the energy to do it.

15.) Feel guilty or worried about what others will think.

16.) Ruminate about people’s opinions of me or my family.

17.) Ruminate about people’s judgment of my faith in God.

18.) Fail to mention my faith in God, where appropriate, out of fear of chastisement, loss of friendship, or judgment in general.

19.) Have anxiety about flying on a plane.

20.) Wish I had the house all to myself.

21.) Actually have the house all to myself.

22.) Work outside of our home in any capacity that doesn’t feel completely satisfying and in line with where I am called to be.

23.) Stop reading books.

24.) Forget what a gift parenting is, even in the most challenging times.

25.) Forget that my kids are really not my own; forget that I will answer not only to them, but to God in how I raise them.

26.) Underestimate the human body.

27.) Underestimate the will to survive.

28.) Underestimate God’s love.

29.) Think I know more about my life than God does.

30.) Over-apologize.

31.) Fight constructive criticism.

32.) Feel self-conscious about acting silly for my kids in public.

33.) Say negative things about my body and self-image, especially around my kids.

34.) Forget how wonderful my husband is and what a great dad he is to my kids.

35.) Question what lies in my path in life; it all means something.

36.) Take life for granted.

37.) Take health for granted.

38.)Forget that listening happens with my ears, not my mouth.

39.) Lose sight of how regular tasks in the home are learning opportunities for my kids when I am doing them.

40.) Forget to live my life in a way that honors my family or in a way that reflects who God made me to be.

41.) Wrestle with forgiveness.

42.) Expect perfection from myself and others.

43.) Have a need to come back to the U of MN, other than in a student capacity.

44.) Watch “The Real World”.

45.) Feel homesick.

46.) Waste my time comparing anything of mine to anything of anyone else’s.

47.) Pin my child down to take medicine.

48.) Wish for more “alone time”.

49.) Make any parenting decisions based on what other people are doing.

50.) Speak on behalf of someone unless legally obligated to or specifically requested by that person.

51.) Watch my child suffer.

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It’s All Catching Up

It’s been a slow decline in energy for Reece this week.  Every day it has become less and less.  Everything, as predicted, began to catch up with him yesterday.  To respect both parents’ wishes, on this post and until Reece’s counts come back in, I am not going to get into as many details.  It’s hard enough to walk through this and what we are witnessing begins to feel very, very private.  And, truth be told, regurgitating details isn’t where I care to keep my focus.  What I can say is that the doctors and nurses continue to remark that he is handling it all very well.  In fact, the nurses were just commenting tonight at how tolerant and easy-going he has been, despite all he is enduring.  If you know Reece or you have been following along in the blog, you can imagine him as acting pretty normal as far as how he feels and looks, up until yesterday afternoon.  He has physically begun to change over the last 36 hours.  He’s having very classic symptoms for where he is at in the transplant.  His mouth is swollen, he’s retaining some water, he’s losing some hair, he sleeps a lot.  He is still as cute as ever and says some very cute things to us.  He’s not talking to us much, but at nighttime, he must be having some strange morphine dreams that lead to funny and endearing comments.

We’ve had one non-family visitor and Reece really enjoyed it.  On Thursday, one of his bible study teachers came to see him and brought him some treats, including a poster that says “Jesus Loves Reece”.  Each child and teacher in his class made a heart for him that is on the poster.  It is adorable!  I told him he has the biggest Valentine card I have ever seen.  He had fun playing with his special visitor.  I am glad he had that experience, because he hasn’t been physically up for much after that time.  Additionally, he hasn’t really wanted anyone to come up and see him.  He doesn’t talk much about kids or other people.  He has said things to hint that it makes him feel bad when he thinks of them; I am sure he is feeling sad about not seeing his pals.  He is normally a very social kid and this is such a big change for him.  If you think about how miserable he probably feels, I don’t blame him for not wanting other people around.  I feel the same way after giving birth and that is a happy reason to be in the hospital.  He is also to the point where he doesn’t want us to leave the room for any reason, so we have not had visitors up to the hospital.  That’s okay for me, too.  This is a very strange hospital experience.  I understand that most people are not in the hospital for fun reasons, but here, the need for extreme cleanliness, coupled with his ever-changing needs, his age, the room restrictions, and the need to keep it a private matter in light of his own sensitivities and our own personal feelings, make it almost a relief to keep things within our family–at least until his counts start coming back in.  We have no way to predict when that will be or what it will look like, so I feel like a workhorse with my head down, focusing on little else other than putting one foot in front of the other.  There will be a time and place for visitors in the not so distant future.  It will be welcomed when we get there!

Right now, our immediate prayer needs are (1) Reece’s body starts making its own blood (Realistically, it won’t happen for at least another 10 days or more.), (2) he is comfortable and able to keep his spirits up, and (3) he stays free of infections and side effects.  Thank-you for your continued prayers.

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Is This Normal?

Monday night, Reece went to bed around 11 pm.  His two-hour nap in the afternoon gave him just enough of a boost to keep him laughing and giggling until a late hour.  I fully expected him to sleep in a bit the following morning.  I was so wrong.  At 4 am, he needed to go to the bathroom.  This continued every five minutes for the next hour.  I am not exaggerating; we should have brought the bedding into the bathroom.  And it wasn’t anything graphic–it was just a little bit here and there.  But, I put my best foot forward at 4 am and didn’t question each bathroom run.  After an hour, the bathroom trips began to be spaced out a bit, but Reece was awake enough to not want to fall back asleep.  He had a tummy ache, so they ended up giving him some powerful drugs to help out, including morphine and another anti-nausea medicine that also makes kids drowsy.  Every once in a while, when I am not pregnant, I will take NyQuil for a cold and it will have the reverse effect on me.  It ends in a wakeful night of sleeping.  Reece’s reaction to the cocktail of drugs he was given was my NyQuil experience I described times 100.  Not only did he not fall back asleep, he began engaging the nurse in his jokes from the previous day, singing, talk to himself, talking to me (I was still dozing), laughing at the stars on his ceiling, talking about the balloons in his room, you name it–he covered it.

By 7 am, Reece decided we needed to clean off the playmat, open the gifts we didn’t get to yesterday, and play with hexbugs.  This was no short burst of energy–he played until 10 am on his playmat.  He then took a short break to watch a movie about boats, since boats are our theme of the day.  A volunteer came up at 11 to sit with Reece while I grabbed lunch and they played until 12:30.  Reece played on the mat with me until 2 pm, when I talked him into reading books with me on the bed.  He then wanted to play on the mat again, but I told him he had to watch at least one show.  (I never thought I would see the day when I would negotiate with Reece to have him watch MORE t.v.)  Once the show was over, he was back up and playing on the mat again until Terry arrived after work.  He had a bath before bed and finally nodded off around 7:30 pm.  He is still sleeping at 9 am this morning–he needs it!

The doctors told us a few days back when Reece was watching movies all day that in a few days, that kind of energy level would be a “good” day.  They continue to prepare us for the toughest days that lie ahead of us–probably this week and next week when the cumulative effects of the radiation and chemo combine with the new stem cells to create a harsh effect on his body.  I know it is coming in some form.  Still, I feel a sense of mild satisfaction knowing that while I prepared them that Reece has a high level of energy, they are surprised at his energy.  I asked our night nurse if this was normal for a kid the day after transplant.  She said it was not typical that he would still be playing like he was.  Reece isn’t a typical kid, nor does he have a typical energy level; I knew it would take a lot to get him to wear down.  On the flip side, it will be that much more startling to see him sleep all day and be run down by this.  Considering last weekend when the doctor said that Reece looked “pretty good” and that was the worst I have ever seem him in his entire life, we are in for some shocking changes.  Additionally, while I know he has been pretty resilient to the extreme changes his body has gone through, I am not going to naively assume that it will be any easier on the post-transplant side of things.

Last night, I went home after a 30+ hour stay here and everything sunk in at once.  Each child in our family and his or her particular situation feels heavy to me.  Of course, Reece’s health is the heaviest of all.  However, the feeling of having very little time or control with Britta also causes heartache and the uncertainty of having a third child in a few short months is becoming all too real.  I miss such normal things about life–dinner as a family, sounds in our home, spending a regular day with my kids, running errands with my kids, cooking for everyone.  It’s hard to hear about other families’ normal activities right now; I wish we were doing those things.  I don’t need a new house, a better car, a vacation every year, the latest clothing–I just need our family under one roof.

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Day Zero

Day Zero is what transplant day is called around here and was it EVER a day.  It is a day to be celebrated and they treat it as such, yet it still is full of its own challenges and surprises–some welcomed and others not.

Terry arrived at the hospital early in the morning to hear what the doctors had to say during rounds.  My mom stayed overnight, so she was also around.  Apparently, Reece was nauseous early in the morning, but by the time my dad and I arrived mid-morning, he was pretty energetic.  He was playing on the chair and having a good time.  The doctors reported that Reece looks great and seems to be doing great.

It was a rare day in that we were able to have more than three visitors in the room at a time, which was appreciated.  One of the pastors from our church arrived around lunchtime to talk with us and pray with us as a family.  I think Reece appreciated having a visitor that didn’t want something from him–no blood draws, drugs to administer, dressings to clean–just someone to visit and pray with us.  I thought for sure it would be a tearful experience for me, but I was surprised to find it be a peace-filled time of prayer.  At this point, Reece was acting pretty similar to his normal self.  He was hiding under the blankets and goofing around–so fun to see!  We ate lunch and broke out the joke book that I bought for Reece’s hospital stay.  He was laughing and telling jokes to the nurses; great fun!  Reece’s favorite joke to tell is:

Q) What do you call a doctor with eight legs?

A) A doctopus

After lunch, we were informed that some of the U of MN football players were visiting the kids and wanted to come in and see Reece.  This was coincidentally the same time that they were preparing to begin the transplant and they needed Reece to take some regular Tylenol.  He was protesting and it was unpleasant; even though he knows we take this at home, he was skeptical as to how it would make him feel.  I was a little uncertain as to how the visit would go with the football players and the protesting that was happening, but I am glad they came.  Reece told several jokes to keep the guys entertained and we had our picture taken with them (I’ll try to track it down and post it on here in another day or so).  We were able to get Reece to choke down the Tylenol right before they left and everyone was clapping and cheering for him…he was teary.

However, that soon changed when we began opening some of his Blood Birthday gifts.  He opened a three-pack of Hex Bugs (to go with the first one that he loved to receive from his gal pal Rachel) and he had so much fun with them!  He particularly got a kick out of the ant that goes crazy fast all over the place and he was again back to his old self, squealing with delight.  Whenever this happens, it is a glimpse back into our “normal life” and what a pause of relief it brings to us in the midst of the upheaval we are experiencing.

The nurses brought in both bags of stem cells, gifts and balloons for him to celebrate the day (I guess they allow balloons for this occasion only), and began the transplant process.  The entire process took the length of the movie, “The Land Before Time”, almost to the minute.  Reece watched the movie and the nurse had to stand on a step stool and hold the bags over her head, as high as she could reach, so that the cells would flow better.   I kept staring at the bags thinking, please heal Reece and do nothing more.  Do what you are supposed to do and that is it.  The first cord went pretty smoothly; the second cord made Reece nauseous.  We are told that it is more the preservative that they use with the cords that brings on the nausea.  In fact, the preservative has a distinct odor to it that most people think smells like creamed corn; I think it smells more like canned, stewed tomatoes.  Reece will smell like this for a couple of days and it will gradually wear off.  The nausea subsided shortly after and Reece was exhausted.  Still, he wanted to get down on the mat and play with his new toys.  That lasted for all of a minute before it made him nauseous and he was back in bed.  He drifted off to sleep shortly thereafter and he is still sleeping now.

I am hoping tonight is a quiet and restful night.  He starts some new meds tonight that are designed to prevent side effects from his body fighting off the new blood.  They don’t anticipate that anything will be keeping him up all night, but you never know.

A million thanks for your prayers and words of encouragement!  They truly are felt and appreciated.  We are amazed at how many people (many more than we are even aware of) know of Reece’s story and continue to lift him up.  Our biggest challenge at this point is managing side effects.  One of the most serious side effects is his body fighting off the new blood and all the effects that can produce in his body.  Please continue to lift him up and pray that his body accepts the new blood and completely rids itself of Reece’s old blood.  Also, pray that his body’s acceptance of the new blood is never a concern in the immediate future or for weeks, months, and years to come.  This can be a very serious and life-threatening side effect that can take many forms.  Please pray that his body be restored to its full health, never to be battling this disease or any other side effects from it ever in his life.

 

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Transplant Day Info

We’ve received a fair amount of questions on what exactly transplant day is like.  While I don’t know how everything will go myself, I want to share what I do know in an effort to paint a better picture of the day.  Reece is scheduled to have his transplant in the early afternoon.  Unlike a surgical procedure, the day should be pretty quiet.  The transplant will be similar to a blood transfusion.  He will stay in his room, be awake, and in what we consider his “normal” state and receive the stem cells through his line.  The doctor will likely stop by, but will not be in the room for the entire procedure.  Since Reece is receiving cells from two cords, I believe it will take a little longer–around an hour.  He will receive the cells back to back, versus spreading it out throughout the day.  Other than the possibility of nausea, there is very little that he needs to do to be prepared for tomorrow.  The reason we stay in the hospital for so many weeks post-transplant is that he is extremely susceptible to infections, he’s on many medications that he receives from his line in an effort to keep him comfortable and to prevent side effects, he needs supplemental nutrition, and we need to wait until his blood counts come back up to a safe level for him to leave the hospital.  Obviously, all of these things take time to happen–or not happen–so that is why he needs to be in a controlled, sterile environment.  The transplant itself isn’t the part that takes so long.

Reece knows that he is getting his new blood tomorrow and that it is his “Blood Birthday”.  I explained to him a few weeks ago that he will have two birthdays a year to celebrate for the rest of his life!  He will get presents from us and the hospital staff treats it as a special day–it IS a special day!  Hopefully, he will sleep well tonight and have a good day tomorrow.

Please pray for Reece:

  • That these cords will successfully rid his body of his disease and cure him completely.
  • That his body will accept the stem cells and fight off only any remaining blood–nothing more.
  • That he feels well and recovers quickly.
  • That he has no side effects–none.
  • Anything else that is on your heart.

Please ask for big things for Reece–God can do so much more than we ever ask.  He has already done more than we have asked in this hospital stay.  Thank-you.

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Tough Stuff

Two days ago (Thurs), I had been working on a post about Reece’s last day of radiation–how much energy he had, how much the doctors were surprised at how well he was eating, how he was jumping off the bed in his room when he was disconnected from his lines, and how it at times was hard to tell he was actually preparing to receive a bone marrow transplant.  That all changed yesterday.

Yesterday morning (Fri), Reece began receiving his second round of chemotherapy.  This is a different drug than the first one he received last weekend.  We were warned that this one may be a little tougher to handle, and they weren’t joking.  Reece’s chemo began around 10 am; I arrived at the hospital around 10:30 and found him looking tired, but doing okay.  He was with my mom before this and apparently he had been playing pretty well in bed.  He was more tired than usual and didn’t want to get out of bed, but he was still quite animated.  By 11 am, the nausea had set in and it was difficult to watch.  I think everything caught up with him and the added chemo tipped him over the edge.  After a brutal hour or so, the doctor ordered an additional anti-nausea medication and soon after, he was lying in bed, eating some crackers, and settling in to a day of movies.  Normally, I don’t let my kids watch very much t.v., but under these circumstances, I am told an interest in watching t.v. is actually a good sign.  Apparently, t.v. watching will become an activity that he will likely not even want to do for a while.  If you can call watching t.v. an “activity”, then you can imagine how taxing this process is on the body.  Reece did pretty well the rest of the day.  By 8:30, while Terry and I were out to dinner, he was with my mom requesting Chipotle, if you can believe it.  By 9 pm, he was sleeping.

This morning (Sat), my parents were with him while Terry, Britta, and I spent time together.  By the time I arrived at the hospital mid-day, Reece was watching movies.  He was ebbing and flowing with a sour stomach, but overall things were more under control today.  One challenge to this latest round of chemo is that he is required to go to the bathroom at least every two hours.  This particular drug is powerful and by going to the bathroom, it helps keep the bladder flushing out so the chemo doesn’t settle and cause harmful side effects.  The bathroom requirement will last until around noon tomorrow.  There was a point this afternoon where he was going to the bathroom every 15-20 minutes.   By late in the afternoon, Reece was actually eating saltine crackers and drinking apple juice!  He started supplemental nutrition today, since he lost his appetite yesterday and he will probably be on it for at least the next 6-8 weeks and possibly longer.

By this evening, Terry came over to the hospital and Reece received a bath.  He was reluctant at first, but by the time the nurse gave him some syringes to play with and to squirt water at Daddy, it was as though he was at home in our bathtub!  He was giggling and acting like himself–it was awesome; such joy in such a routine part of any other normal day!  My dad stopped over this evening after I had left to bring fresh blankets from home and apparently Reece was goofing around and acting like himself.

Reece’s last chemo round was today, so he is officially done.  Thank God for that.  I am so glad that radiation and chemo are finished–I hope I never have to witness either again in my life.  Tomorrow is a day of rest (I love that his rest day is on a Sunday!) and he will have his transplant Monday afternoon.  Holy cow, my baby boy is getting new blood in less that two days!

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