63 and 0
63 viable units of blood were giving at The Windward School yesterday in Art’s name. Art things that’s the most the school has ever gotten! Oh crap, once again, I wish there was a different word, more of a word, than “thank you” though would express our gratitude.
0. Today is day 0. In about 10 minutes, Art’s stem cells will be infused back into him. A nurse will stay in the room with us for two hours while the stem cells make their way back into his body. The doctor will remain within shouting distance. They are using his stem cells to “rescue” him. In other words, if there were not stem cells to transplant, Art would not be of this world for long. The 5 day chemo regiment has disabled his body from producing white or red cells. His stem cells will start the process up again. In the meantime, we will use transfusions to keep his red count at normal levels.
From this day on, we will count days in numbers. Numbers set from this arbitrary day forward. We will report in to the center every single day, just as we have been doing for three weeks. Success is reached when his counts go up to normal level. It can take anywhere from 7 (very rare) to 45 (rare) days. That’s one week to 6 weeks.
Art is fatigued, sleeps a lot and struggles to find the energy to make it to the car, or walk to the apartment. He is too tired to feel frustrated and cries quietly sometimes instead.
The stress rides high in my shoulders and oddly enough, at the top of my head, where even the simplest pat causes pain. I know all the things I “should” be doing to take care of myself but for now, just remembering to drink water and eat a piece of fruit is a triumph worth noting. I keep repeating to myself “this to will pass, this too will pass.” It would be a hell of lot easier if I knew when that would be.