Cautiously optimistic. ..

Friday night was an important event for the Senior girls at our high school. Dave and Molly had to be there, and I wanted/needed to be there too. Part of the afternoon was getting ready for the extravaganza -the Senior girls get their hair, nails and make-up done, and they wear fancy formals.  I was torn about leaving Jake. My dad offered to come stay with him, but I knew it would be a long, uncomfortable night for my dad in the hospital. After midnight, I finally resigned that I would make a final decision later that morning, and I could run home and help Molly get ready,  but miss the event if needed. I slept in the hospital again in Jake’s room. He didn’t feel well. The chemo had made his mouth, throat and esophagus sore. The pain killers made him hallucinate.  I woke up hearing voices. A doctor and my dad had just come into the room. The doctor was especially happy. We are starting to see neutrophils in Jake’s blood! It was the greatest news possible. My dad had decided that he would stay all night even if I came  back. I headed for home after the head oncologist stopped by for a visit. He was unusually happy as well. Previously, we barely saw him. He’s been Jake’s doctor since 2012, but it was just this transplant stay where he really opened up. He was always watching Jake’s progress through the meningitis and leukemia,  but he didn’t visit.  If he did, he didn’t say much. This time was different. He was letting bits and pieces out that were probably best kept to himself until now. This being his first NK cell deficiency transplant, he was nervous.  He didn’t know what to expect when Molly’s stem cells entered Jake’s body. He waited anxiously for an autoimmune response, a reaction, illness or rejection. Jake had normal side effects. His body quietly, without incident, accepted his sister’s cells. The stem cells found their way to their new home, got settled in, and started multiplying. That’s why everyone was so happy. New neutrophils ( white blood cells )   were showing up in Jake’s blood! I felt good about leaving him with my dad for the night. We had an awesome night with our daughter.  Today, on Mother’s Day, his cell count went from .3 to 1.7. With cautious optimism, they expect those numbers to grow exponentially.  This coming weekend, they may start making plans for discharge…

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