Today started like most days in Children's. The nurse coming in, doing the rounds, taking vital signs. Jacob - tolerating it but hanging on to just a bit more sleep. Dad on the fold down couch -tolerating it but hanging on to a bit more sleep. Then remembering...
Today is the day that just might save Jacob's life. Yesterday a young man, somewhere in the country woke up and drove to a bone marrow donor clinic. In that clinic he filled out forms, was asked if he had anything to drink or to eat in the last 12 hours, he was given one of those lovely hospital gowns and then asked to count backwards...10, 9, 8, 7, 6... out. The docs inserted a needle into his pelvis and perhaps his femur to extract healthy bone marrow - what Jacob needs so desperately.
While our young man was recovering, the marrow was processed by doctors, lab techs and others to get it into the form Jacob needs - T cells. This morning, as our young man was popping a tylenol to take the edge off the pain in his hip and catching up on the lack of coffee the day before a Fedex truck arrived at Childrens with a small insulated box - probably at about the time Jacob and I realized the nurse was not going to let us sleep any more.
As I sit here, Jacob eats breakfeast, and is giggling as he watches Tim Hawkins videos on youtube. He makes a passing remark about how his stomach hurts this am - the last chemo round is catching up to him. This is the day. The day we thought we would not make it to and the day we hoped for a hope. It's here. In about 5 minutes they will bring some of the IV meds to prep for the transplant. In about an hour they will bring in the most precious gift we have ever recieved second only to the gift Jesus gave us.
I have no idea how it will feel to watch this. I have no idea. I'll write again after. Right now I'm catching up on my coffee like our young man is. Maybe popping an advil to take the edge off of what the hospital couch does to my back and asking the High King to bless the man who gave of himself and Jacob giggling under the covers.
Not my prayer but His plan...he's soverign and good, we're His and He's ours.
Bone Marrow Biopsy. THE indicator of winning or loosing the fight. A week ago Jacob went in for a biopsy. The last one was clear - no leukemia blasts - some funky cells, but no leukemia. That wait was long - but the wait between last Monday and the following Thursday was really long. During that wait a parent thinks "was the last time a fluke?" and "is it safe to hope?" Notice - not "is it ok to hope?" Because you want to with every fiber in your being - but rather..."is it safe? ...do I dare?"
During the waiting of last week we had appointments every day in Denver with Jacob. It's called "the workup" for transplant. It's exhaustive(ing). They check everything and then do what is needed to get him ready for transplant. The last meeting was a 3 hour consult with a passionate transplant doc that takes cancer personally. In the meeting we got the news...
He's clear. No blasts. No Leukemia. Some cells with "dented heads" pre leukemic to be sure (Myelodysplastic Syndromes or MDS) but not Leukemia. It was probably the cause of Jacobs AML M7 Leukemia but it's not leukemia. Do you know what this means?
Transplant. A chance for this boy to live. We went from discussing hospice to....hope. He has a match -not just any match but an 8 out of 8 factors match. A generous 20something taking 3 days of his life and giving it to my son. Exhale. Let it settle in. Dare I say...disbelief? Breathe.
A flower called hope bloomed in my heart. A slow welling up of praise and thankfulness to my Jesus. Someone told me " ...celebrate it's like a touch down!" Kind of. To me it was more like that 4th quarter 1st down on the last drive of the game to give you a shot at winning by 1 point. Know what? He could win. He could really beat this thing. I'll take this form of hope. It is the rawest, probably the most hopeful hope I have ever really felt. This has taught me to hope -again.
I love how Jesus knows just when to act. It is ok to hope - again. So the way ahead. The work up is complete. Admission on 20 October. Straight into the chemo that marks the end of a big part of Jacob's genetic code and marks the beginning of what to me is as close to a re-birth as one can have physically. He gets the 'gift' from our 20 something on the 30th. Did you know Jacob will take on the blood type of his donor? He will have to get all of his inoculations all over again. In alot of ways...reborn.
He will get a new start - a new start because someone gave of themselves. Sounds...familiar... I hope you can see the allegory that I do. Jesus bled...he saved us all. He rose again...and so did we. Rebirth. Life. I am now inhaling...one of the sweetest fragrances ever....hope. If you think your life needs a 'transplant', Jesus is the donor you are looking for.
Glory, Honor, Strength and Power be to Him! The High King and Lover of ...us.
By the way... Jacob has been home for the last three weeks. Here's a picture of how it's going...Weston Pass 2 weeks ago...one family 2 4X4s and alot of fun..
From Left to Right: Naomi, Bella the dog, Lorrie, Marshall,
Rosie the dog, Hannah, Joshua, Jacob and Noah