Jake’s graft vs. host disease appears to be in remission. They are reducing his prednisone from 24 mg to 16 mg for 4 days and then to 8 mg. Anyone who has been on a higher dose of prednisone for an extended amount of time, knows how thankful we all are. It’s a nasty drug, but it has also been life saving. Jake has certainly felt the effects. His face is so swollen and red. He had nerve pain in his lower legs this weekend. He was quick to get angry the other day. These are all things I blame on the drug. But we do what we have to do. They had to get the graft vs. host under control. Thank goodness they understand what to do. Molly’s cells were attacking his liver. This may not be the only time this happens, but for now, it seems to be ok. On a positive note, it means that Molly’s cells have taken over. The transplant has been a success. Jake’s chances of getting leukemia again are now cut in half. We won’t know the long term effects of the prednisone, chemo, or the other drugs he’s taken for the past 3 years. There’s a chance he could develop another type of cancer. Hopefully his new immune system will destroy the bad cells. There is a chance he’ll have to have a hip replaced because of the massive amounts of prednisone he was given. But for now, we’ll take that things are good. His classes have been challenging, but he’s hanging in there. He’s still working a few hours at Kroger, and he hangs out with friends when he can. He wants to move out, be a normal 20 year old. He’s handled things remarkably. He’s had a lot of bad stuff handed to him in a short period of time, but he’s so hopeful. He has seen his new immune system work for him. Ironically Molly is very sick right now. She has a fever, chills, sore throat. She regrets not getting the flu shot. I asked her and reminded her several times. I should have drug her in like I did Jake. I had the flu shot, but was sicker after Christmas than I had been in years. Dave was too. So far Jake has been spared. Hopefully he’ll get back to feeling good again quickly, and the prednisone’s effects will wear off as well. This summer he wants to go somewhere. Anywhere. We’ll plan to make that happen, and we’ll plan to help him get back to school full time. Maybe by his 21st birthday, he’ll be living the life he chooses…

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