We have had a quiet and smooth week back at the hospital! There honestly hasn’t been much to report as Bo has tolerated the second round of chemo like such a warrior. His energy levels have been that of a typical 10-month-old boy–bouncing off the walls! Nothing can keep this kid down! We noticed he started feeling more nauseous about 4 days into chemo and we added the 3rd nausea med to his rotation and immediately got his nausea under control. He has only vomited ONCE, which is an absolute miracle. He is sleeping well, has a good appetite, and has had no rashes or obvious adverse effects from the treatment so far, which is a huge PRAISE and exactly what we have been praying for!
As you know, we are always on the watch for fevers and infections, and so far have had nothing to report. We did notice today that his first tooth is just below the surface which is both exciting and scary. Scary because when the gums are broken and exposed, that’s where infections can start. And with his ANCs trending downward, his body won’t be able to fight an infection should it enter his gums. Please continue to pray for no infections as he teeths. This will be a constant concern over the next several months as you can’t stop a baby from teething!
On Tuesday, we had our first meeting with the doctor who will be responsible for Bo’s bone marrow transplant at the hospital we will be transferring to in late July/early August, after Bo’s third round of chemo. She is amazing and we are grateful to have been assigned to her. The meeting was eye-opening and sobering. Many of our questions about the transplant process were answered, but we also learned more about the potential risks and side-effects. The doctor still hasn’t decided on an exact course of treatment as there are several factors about Bo’s case that need further examination. The use of radiation to prepare his body for transplant is up in the air. There is good reason to use radiation to give Bo the best possible chance at not experiencing a relapse, but radiation therapy can also include some life-long side effects and risks. Our doctor is reviewing all of Bo’s test and treatment results and carefully considering if radiation is needed. We are grateful she is being thorough in assessing Bo’s case and choosing the treatment that is appropriately aggressive, while also exercising caution to not use more serious treatment unless it is warranted to give Bo the best shot possible at beating leukemia for good. Our prayer is that God would grant her wisdom and discernment as she makes her decision, that Bo WILL NOT need radiation, and that his cancer would be cured forever without it. God has done so much in his body thus far, healing and sustaining him day by day. We are confident in His power to heal fully, completely, and definitively without the use of radiation.
Finally, the best news of all–out of multiple pages of potential bone marrow donor matches for Bo, the transplant team has contacted their top 4 candidates. I am overwhelmed with joy to report that all 4 people have said YES to moving forward and having additional testing done to determine who is the best possible match for Bo. I wept in our meeting considering the fact that these people are complete strangers, being moved by compassion to help our boy. All they know about Bo is that he is a 10-month-old boy with AML. We are praying for them, whoever they are, whenever they come to mind (which is often). Will you join us in prayer? We learned that we will be able to write them letters anonymously for the first year after transplant and potentially even meet in person after that time.
There are so many fascinating things that we are learning about bone marrow transplant. We are constantly amazed by the beautiful complexity of our bodies God creates and sustains. A few interesting facts:
- Bo’s blood type will actually change to that of his donor.
- The donor’s marrow actually becomes Bo’s marrow–his marrow and the blood it produces will forever actually retain the donor’s DNA rather than his own.
As we have learned all of this, Lance and I were discussing how much a bone marrow transplant mirrors the Gospel. We are all broken and full of sin, much like Bo’s body is full of bad, defective blood. We need to be saved from our sin and receive new life, just as Bo needs new life–new blood. Christ died, and by His blood, we have new life. When Bo receives his transplant, the donor’s blood becomes his new life. The donor’s marrow will engraft into Bo’s body, forever replacing his old marrow. With the donor’s healthy marrow, his body will be able to begin producing new, good, clean, healthy blood of the donor. Bo will receive new life and genetically new blood–we will celebrate Bo’s transplant date as a “new birthday”, just as when we become engrafted into of God’s family through Christ. Isn’t that just amazing?!
As always, we are so grateful for each one of you as you remember Bo and our family in prayer. Your texts, messages, emails, and visits have meant so much and continue to keep us afloat. This journey isn’t close to over and your support brings so much comfort. We will continue to update as we learn more about the transplant process and how Bo is doing as he recovers from this round of chemo!
I’ll leave you with 3 pics from our time in the hospital so far. Bo has started to walk with assistance and it has been so fun to watch!
Our hospital hosted a car show with special guest (and Naomi’s favorite) Lightning McQueen! This was the last day Bo’s counts were high enough to be out of our room and it was so fun to be able to see Naomi’s joy in getting to meet Lightning!
Lastly, Bo has discovered his tongue and it’s adorable!