Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Learn & Walk {day 16}

Another wait-and-wait day on the HOT unit. I'm so grateful that so far, what we mostly do is wait. We've been so very lucky with Sam's reaction to everything -- his fevers have been manageable, his infections minimal. I'm thrilled that we have to fill our time with walking laps around the unit and reading books and watching re-runs of Full House (Sam's new favorite TV show...and he is totally in love with commercials -- sidebar: in our house, almost all TV is consumed via Netflix or DVR, so commercials are at a total minimum. Sam is in love with commercials, so much so that when I say things like "at the commercial, will you do x" and he says, "no, I don't want to miss the commercials!" Seriously!?)

Today was a busy day that began and ended with more hair care:
First with the last of the duct tape...
Then his kindergarten teacher (last year -- Sam is in first grade now) came to visit and he taught her a trick for multiplying 9s that Karen taught him over the weekend.
 He dragged her along on 5 of his laps (his goal for today was 40 -- he set it, not me!)
 And read books with her!

Then, when she left, his current teacher, Ms. M, came to visit for some serious homework. She even gave him a spelling test! (I heard he tried to convince her to let ME proctor the next test but I think she saw through his little ploy. Not that I'm worried -- he got a perfect score!)

While Ms. M was hanging out with Sam, Michael and I had a long meeting with our transplant surgeon, Dr. M. He gave us "Bone Marrow Transplant 101" and we learned a LOT, including how the donation will go, what will happen, what we can expect, etc. There was a whiteboard and a chart and a lot of information. Much of it we already knew, some of it I remembered from high school biology (thanks, Ms. Vogt!) and some of it was a little bit scary. Dr. M is incredibly confident about the work that he does, and we have a lot of faith and trust in his skill and experience.

And at the end of the day, it really does come down to biology. How Sam's body responds, how the leukemia responds....we just can't control all of that. We just have to hope and pray and believe...the miracle of life is an awesome one, and the mere fact that the bone marrow cells will enter into Sam through his central line and find their way into his bones to create new, healthy truly is miraculous and faith-fulfilling.

So I've been pondering, as I am wont to do...what blessing does one say when a bone marrow transplant is being done? Do we thank God for this singular and unique moment, with the Shehecheyanu blessing? Or do we say Asher Yatzar, the amazing words that praise God for our bodies and the miracle that they are?

Perhaps both. I'm looking forward to that moment when we say both. You can never have too many blessings, right?


  1. My favorite is from Vered Harris.....thank God for all the good things that have happened and all the bad things that didn't.

    Know that your family & Sam remain in my daily thoughts & prayers.

  2. Re: His love of sounds like it's all the Superbowl to him (I've always been a fan of Superbowl parties where the one rule is "no talking unless the game is on"). Which kind of makes sense , on a number of levels.

    thinking of you all and can't wait to give you positive thoughts and prayers and hugs in person.

  3. I took a picture of our "white board" discussion. It looked so crazy but made sense ...and I can't even remember my high school or under grad bio classes. We thank you too Dr M!

  4. I'm a recent cancer survivor and a friend of Rebecca Meece, who showed me this blog. Sam, you are one tough kid, I'll tell you that. Your smile is infectious! (P.S. I did the lint brush thing when my hair fell out, too. Super helpful, right? And wow, 40 laps! My goal during chemo was four or five a day, but I tried to wind around the entire oncology ward and the orthopedics ward next door, where my uncle worked!) I've been in remission for rare ovarian cancer since February 18, and now I'm back in school and writing for national newspapers about cancer! You've got a bright future, and I can't wait to see what you accomplish when you grow up and are in remission, too! (P.S. If Mom wants to read any of my posts, my website is If you ever wanna talk to someone who knows what you're going through, just talk to Becca and she'll let me know.

    Love, Lindsay-Sarah :)