Over the last few months there has been this wacky combination in the Brabbs household of nesting in preparation for the baby's arrival, which is clearly hormone-driven, and also of trying to get all my ducks in a row for Phil's transplant, which is purely panic-driven. For those of you who may not be following the dates very closely (and we barely are, so that's probably most of you) Phil should be released from the hospital, assuming all goes well, on my due date-- April 20th. Given my track record it's likely I will go past my due date (I was 15 days past with Ocean and 10 with Iris) so we have that going for us but since labor is unpredictable we realize how truly close we're cutting it here.
Neither of us is a big planner so the stickiness of this particular situation which obviously called for lots of forethought and rallying of the troops sent me into a tailspin. What would I have done, then, without all of my dear friends who have worked tirelessly to fill my freezer with meals so we would be prepared for the overlap of Phil's hospitalization and subsequent isolation, and the baby's arrival? We are also receiving dinner twice a week from friends and Phil's co-workers which has eased my burden tremendously. My parents, my mom in particular, have become my caregivers, as well as caregivers to our kids-- they are here multiple days every week, taking care of the kids while we're at the hospital and bringing milk and bread when we run out. We have friends who take our kids to the park for us since I can barely walk, much less run after a rogue child, and Phil is exhausted... friends who have cookie bake-offs just so we can judge the results... friends who created boxes of crafts and games for our children once Phil comes home and we have to limit contact with other people while that immune system is being rebuilt... friends and family who call to check on us and who encourage us through this blog and email and Facebook, even if they don't quite know what to say... friends who dye their hair blue and then shave it off... friends who pray... friends who stuff envelopes full of Dominate wristbands... friends who babysit so we can get out of the house when reality becomes too real and life begins to close in... friends who made my birthday super-special when-- amidst the chaos-- I forgot I was even having one... friends who clean our house... friends who have lost their hair due to chemo and bring over a satin pillowcase because they know it will be more comfortable... friends who have been there with us since all of this began, who promised to be there for the long haul, to do whatever we needed them to do, to see us through this. I mean... really. Really? How wonderful are all of you? There are no words. And to simply say Thank You just doesn't do enough to convey our gratitude.
Here we are just 3 days away from transplant and all of this preparation and planning that was primarily undertaken by others-- not by me, oh no, because I was mostly over in the corner freaking out-- has allowed me to have such tremendous peace about how Ready we are in the face of Ready or Not. We've taken one day at a time throughout this process so I haven't thought too much about what the next few weeks will look like but I dared myself to take an imaginary peek into the near future and from my fictional crystal ball it looks like we just might make it. That's not a testament to anything but the grace of God and the goodness of the people in our lives. Because we... we are a mess, dudes. You all, you're like the hero at the scene of the accident, who gets the adrenaline burst that allows her to flip a car over in order to save the person inside. We need to flip over a car or two, but without all of you it couldn't happen. So that makes you guys heroes. Which, at least in a home where Spiderman and Jesus are often confused for one another, is a really, really big deal.
So. What happens now?
Tomorrow Phil gets a Melphalan infusion. It's supposed to be kind of nasty so they'll give him anti-nausea meds up front to make sure he doesn't get sick. He'll also have to chew on ice and popsicles to drive the blood circulation away from his mouth and throat, since Melphalan is notorious for giving mouth sores. (I'm going to bring our own cooler with fruit popsicles since I'm kind of a freak about food dyes and HFCS.) And I'm fully anticipating the challenge of trying to keep Phil awake while on sleep-inducing anti-nausea meds in order to make sure he's keeping his mouth cold enough. For FOUR HOURS. Pray for me.
We go home on Monday night and then back to the hospital on Tuesday afternoon, where Phil will check in for his transplant. I think there will be lots of Netflix watching on Tuesday night.
Wednesday is the actual transplant, which we hear is quite anti-climactic. More about that later.
Tonight we're taking it easy after a lovely Easter weekend with Phil's parents yesterday and my parents and sister today. Iris's sugar crash happened early so she is already in bed, and Ocean will be close behind, once he and Phil finish their Movie Night.
I am in the living room with the door open, enjoying the sights and sounds of spring... and a cookie that is a definite contender in the bake-off.
My hope is that you all feel as loved and cared for as we do on this Easter weekend, and that Peace is as close to you as your next breath.