It doesn’t matter how much of an explanation we were given about the process and treatment plan for Bruce's stem cell transplant or about how awful, tough, trying and tiring this process would be, I thought Bruce would be the exception, but he’s not and it’s punishing.
Anyone who’s had to withstand this incredibly ruthless regimen is heroic. The same holds true for the doctors and nurses who dedicate themselves to guiding patients through this protocol. I’m tough and it hurts my soul.
Bruce is now in the trough of what is expected to be the most difficult part of the transplant. As for all of the side effects of treatment, he’s experiencing them. All of them.
His Brother Duncan made a surprise visit. The camaraderie and banter between these two siblings has been uplifting, albeit while walking the hospital hallways. Saddled with nausea, Bruce glides his IV infusion pole around every corner ticking off several laps at a time. His doctor told him the more he walks, the more quickly he’ll earn his chance to ring the victory bell and get the hell out of this place.
He’s been in the hospital for 9 days. It matters little that his view is the Torrey Pines Golf Course and Gliderport, it's beautifully scenic but he's feeling trapped and would like some fresh air and enjoy a walk outside of the beige hallways of 3 North. The hope is for Bruce’s white blood count to start coming back up and for his immune system to start kicking in again, meaning engraftment is taking place. This will most likely happen in another 7 to 10 days. His team has been incredibly supportive and compassionate and they reassure him the side effects are all "normal" and fall within the expected range of reactions. His doctor predicts a release date of July 12 or 13.
Our friends seem to have a sixth sense about our vulnerability and need for help. Bruce keeps his phone nearby and while he isn’t able to answer, at length, any text messages, he loves receiving them, particularly all the photos saying hello and wishing him well. They lift his spirits more than you know.
Food keeps rolling into our home and if it weren't for all of our incredible friends feeding us, we would be living on brown bananas and trail mix.
As always, we send our love to you and your families. XOXO