I apologize for my absence. It's a funny thing, this process. Bone marrow transplants are often mistaken for surgery, but the procedure itself is nothing more than the push of a syringe into a bloodstream. However, the recovery is also unlike that of a surgery since the effects of the transplant continue for much longer than it would take to recover from an appendectomy, for example. Fatigue, food aversions, susceptibility to infection and a general feeling of "blah" can affect the patient for months. It's difficult to explain to people who expect that, after this procedure, the patient will feel better and be able or inclined to return to their normal life. The reality is that chemo bombs take a toll on the body, and a baby immune system takes time to grow.
With that in mind, for a time after both transplants I felt the need to close ranks and be in solitude, focusing on the health and well-being of our family. While thankfully usually a simple process for us, treatment has been emotionally overwhelming for me and I've tended to need some privacy in order to process the events of the last few months. I think it will continue to be a long road but overall I feel positively about Phil's treatment and care and how we've all emerged rather unscathed given the gravity of the situation. And I want to thank you all for your continued support, even in our silence.
We got the results back from Phil's 30-day check, and his M-spike is at .4, which is slightly lower than it was going into transplant. Our friend Nick kindly reminded me that it takes a while for one's body to catch up to the effects of transplant, so we're looking forward to getting the numbers at 60 days and 100 days to give us a more accurate picture of what's going on. At that point Phil will begin a maintenance regimen of a few different chemo drugs to make his body inhospitable to the cancer cells, hopefully altogether eradicating the myeloma.
While Phil's numbers and health continue to gradually improve, we're enjoying the remainder of the summer, and the remainder of meals in our freezer that our friends so generously provided. Not to mention the sweet treats that our neighbor friend keeps bringing over for us to devour. Yum! Most importantly, Phil just celebrated his second birthday since diagnosis and, we've discovered, birthdays take on new meaning in situations such as these.
I will leave you, for now, with a video of Ruby laughing. Because who doesn't love a laughing baby?