Time has been ticking slowly within the hospital walls. What was supposed to be Day +2 is still merely day +1. Josh’s transplant ended up taking longer than the anticipated 10 hours. They started administering the bone marrow cells at noon and didn’t finish till about 3:45 a.m. Therefore, March 18th ended up becoming his Day 0; thus making today March 19th only Day +1. We are told we’ll have to count up to 100 days of treatment in order to be potentially allowed back home in Grants Pass. We are learning, however, to take it one step at a time. The first goal is to try and get Josh out of the hospital. He’s got a little less than three weeks to go depending on how soon his blood counts start going up. Yet at this early stage, his counts are expected to bottom out until they hit zero before they begin to increase.
Josh has been physically feeling lousy. He gets frequent headaches, nausea, blurred vision, chills, fatigue, loss of appetite, bloating, diarrhea or constipation; and some of the side effects of his medications that attempt to alleviate those symptoms are drowsiness, irritability, and depression. It takes most of his strength to just shower. Please pray Josh would feel well enough and continue to push himself to walk daily. He did a lap today–good job babe! Some days are more of a challenge than others. I got a chance to talk and pray with a woman in her 70’s whose husband also just got a transplant a couple weeks ago, and she said the same holds true for her husband in terms energy level. The nurse staff tells us this is all pretty common for their patients. Even though Josh may be young, in the FA world he’s an old-timer. Plus, he has an ‘old’ man’s disease. So I may just start calling him my beloved old man as his term of endearment.
Despite all the suffering and the immense hardship, this is for Josh and our family, God has still been showing us his steadfast love in seemingly little ways. The day Josh got admitted we had prayed for a room with a nice view of Portland since prior to that we had toured the unit and seen what a spectacular view it had. The first room Josh had was not one with a view, but it was still nice. The main problem there was a lady who kept him up all night wailing and screaming. Yesterday, they moved Josh to another room, which ended up being more spacious and has an amazing view of Portland. We can also see the sky tram that on the 9th floor from here. Our favorite nurse thus far, suggested our children go to the tram area and wave to Josh and look for him through the window. Thank you, Kathie! Another grace of God is that we’ve had the same nurse for the past three days. For a while, it seemed like he was getting a new nurse every day and it was hard to communicate well with a new person so often.
The friendships we are forging through these circumstances are golden. We are starting to meet some new people from the church that put us up in the duplex. I’ve gained a new friend named Kara from the bone marrow association who connected us so we could talk to someone who’s been through a transplant before. The most amazing thing is that she also ‘happens’ to be a Christian. She and I have much in common even though we live in different states. Also, yesterday the in-laws of my friend from back home in LA, came over our house to meet our family with a mason jar full beautiful sunflowers to cheer us all up and brought some things we needed and a special frozen treat for the kids. Thank you, Doug and Linda! Thanks, Miho for sharing our story. We are uplifted by all the love, prayers and encouragement from friends and family! Josh has not been able to get on his phone much, sometimes even to FaceTime with the boys, as much he would love to do so! So we appreciate your understanding with Josh not returning calls or texts. I’ve gained a new job of being Josh’s secretary, caregiver, advocate and his everything right now. We hope this blog helps everyone stay in touch, know whats going on, and how to pray more specifically. Blessings!