Are you surprised? So are we…both surprised and overjoyed! The doctors stunned us yesterday with some great news that Aaron could come home. His counts were increasing steadily, grafting was taking place, and he was able to convert from taking all medications and nutrition orally instead of through the IV – as a result he was given an earlier than expected discharge! Prayers have been answered.
While in the hospital, Aaron earned the reputation for being very focused on getting out of the hospital. At morning rounds, almost every day of his stay, he would ask the doctor, ‘can I go home today?’ Once he knew the milestones required for discharge, he worked on the things within his control to achieve them. Doctors remarked 'you must have read the book on BMT', 'A+ for attitude', and 'possibly best eater on the ward ever'.
At Aaron’s request, we did not forewarn family that we were bringing him home. Aaron had fun videotaping James, Rachel and each of his grandparents’ reaction to finding him at home. The surprise factor worked and he got quite the reactions!
The path forward: For the next few months Aaron will continue to go to the hospital twice a week for treatment and monitoring. Some of those visits may involve overnight stays. As much as the new immune system is coming online, it’s important to suppress it somewhat so that it doesn’t attack Aaron’s other functioning organs – thus the twice-weekly visits to the hospital to adjust levels as required. This will continue until his body is used to the new immune system.
Aaron will otherwise stay home and avoid crowds for this season. We will be super-vigilant around minimizing germs. OCD-type handwashing, food prep, sterilizing everything in sight…you get the idea. Regretably it means that anyone with a cold or exposed to someone with a cold is not allowed to visit for a few months; a small price to pay for our son being home!
God has been very gracious to us through the transplant phase of treatment. We continue to depend on Him for this next season.