The last few days have been pretty rough but thanks to dilaudid, epinephrine breathing treatments, cool mist humidifier, ativan, and a host of other medications, a lot of patience, and the goodness of God, he made it through.
Today his neutrophils are up to 600 so he is considered ‘engrafted.’ His throat sores have improved. This morning he was able to drink some warm apple cider. It was still very painful but it went down. It’s a major milestone to be able to swallow.
The next steps we are watching for in the process are for his blood counts to continue to climb on their own, his sores to continue healing, and in general – improvement in overall health that will allow them to start taking him off medications. During these next weeks they will be monitoring him closely for signs of Graft verses Host disease. There should be a little battle from the donor cells but not enough to cause him to get a rash, upset digestive system, or aching joints. The two main organs that graft vs host disease affect are the skin and the lining of the digestive system. Patients can have anything from no symptoms to very severe symptoms.
We are happy to be this far down the road. One day at a time.
Even though this is my third time watching the engraftment of stem cells this year, it still amazes me. When the body begins to produce blood cells, it’s ability to heal itself is incredible. Once again it reaffirmed my believe that our bodies are created by God. The complexity and beauty of the interactions of the body is beyond genius, it is God-like.
Thank you again for all of your prayers for Stephen and our family. We are truly blessed to have so many people around the world praying for us. We love you all and we pray that God will bless you for your goodness.