Last week we received the good news that the first biopsy showed good results and was negative for leukemia! We sighed in relief and have a chance now to put those thoughts/fears aside for a few weeks. The results of my spinal tap were also negative, a wonderful word to keep hearing. So basically, our full-time job is to manage my pill regimen (more difficult than it sounds) and continue to get stronger. The gut GVHD is completely cleared up and we continue to monitor and treat a GVHD rash with steroid cream and prednisone. I've had a series of skin biopsies to diagnose it, increased the prednisone to treat it, and consulted with GVHD specialists who watch closely to keep the outbreak as mild as possible. Our team assures us that most patients develop GVHD and we can expect it to wax and wane throughout my recovery. The prednisone works wonders on the rash but is not without adverse side effects. The balancing act continues between managing the GVHD and medication side effects, but, all in all, I'm doing really well.
Hanna and I have been enjoying Seattle as much as possible, despite the pretty constant mist - guess that's the Pacific Northwest for ya. The market and downtown areas are decorated for Christmas which makes everything significantly more jolly. The Seattle Cancer Care Alliance continues to impress us with their staff, efficiency, and care for their patients and families. They had a Christmas party for all of the patients on Saturday with hot chocolate, cookies, Santa, a string quartet performing the classics, and a gift for each patient and caregiver. It was a really nice event that put smiles on many faces, including our own (see below).
|Never too old for a picture with Santa - we spared his lap, though|
The next few weeks will be an Advent season like we have never had before, but something about it feels so appropriate and comforting. This is a time of waiting and preparing for the birth of Christ. We did our fair share of waiting and preparing for my own new birth with my new cells. So this time of anticipation and hope has taken on all new meaning this season. My next bone marrow biopsy is scheduled for day 56 which happens to fall on Christmas day. They will probably move it by a day or two but there is something inspiring about sharing our own personal moment of anticipation and hope with the culmination of hope that is Christmas day. This will be a very special Christmas for Hanna and me, as well as all of our amazing friends and family who have supported us, lifted us, and joined us in such an amazing way. We are so lucky to have so many who have walked every step along with us. This Advent and Christmas will be one to cherish, one that will change our forever, and one that is inspiring us to know, without doubt, that
ALL Will be Well
"It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope."