It’s been a quiet week as we’ve continued to enjoy our time at home and also eagerly awaited word from our transplant team regarding their final plan for Bo’s treatment. We finally got the call yesterday that they have made their decision!
Bo’s donor is donor B! For now, we know that he is a young male in Europe and that he will be donating marrow drawn from his hip, which is the more invasive procedure. As an international donor, his distance doesn’t add any complications to the donation process—his procedure will be done at the donation center nearest to him (which could be in another country), and a courier will escort the cells on a flight to hand-deliver them directly to our hospital. It’s pretty amazing!
The only downside to having an international donor is that every country has unique regulations regarding communication between donors and recipients. In the US, we would be allowed to contact Bo’s donor directly after 1 year—provided both parties are open to communication. However, it appears that many European countries do not allow any direct communication between donors and recipients. We would be able to write letters anonymously, which is wonderful, but would never have the option of knowing that individual’s name or meeting in person one day. If this is the case, we would be sad to never know Bo’s donor personally, but we are still so grateful there is a young man on the other side of the world who is giving of himself to save our precious boy’s life. It makes me cry every time I think about the selfless generosity of this young man.
As you know, we are scheduled to check in to the hospital this coming Monday. Our transplant team calls this time preparing for transplant, induction. The day we check in is referred to as day minus 10. We count down from there to day 0, when Bo will receive his transplant. From there we start counting up to day 100, at which point his transplant would be considered successful. Day 100 will be on December 28th.
Here is a schedule of what will happen during induction:
Day -10: Check in and receive an anti-seizure medication late that night in preparation for chemo. He will receive this medication every day for the next 4 days.
Day -9: Begin chemo med #1 at 4am PST. Bo will receive this chemo medication every 6 hours for 4 days.
Day -8: Chemo
Day -7: Chemo
Day -6: Last day of chemo med #1 and the anti-seizure medication.
Day -5: Begin chemo med #2. This one carries a possible side effect of toxicity to Bo’s kidneys and bladder, so he will need to be monitored extremely closely. His diapers will be checked and weighed around the clock every two hours for the duration of this medication. Bo will also be on another medication to help protect his bladder, which is good, but there are still risks.
Day -4: Chemo
Day -3: Chemo
Day -2: Last day of chemo med #2 and the bladder protection medication.
Day -1: Rest day and first dose of a medication to protect Bo from graft-versus-host disease (GVHD)
Day 0: TRANSPLANT DAY!
There is so much more I could write, but in an effort not to overwhelm you with information, I am planning to write another post on Monday more specific to transplant, graft-versus-host disease, and what the 100 days after transplant will look like for us.
Here are some specific ways you can be praying:
– That God would protect Bo’s body from all of the serious, harmful effects of the chemo drugs.
– That Bo would experience deep peace and joy while he is undergoing such rigorous treatment.
– That God would strengthen us, especially during the days when we will be up every 2 hours checking his diapers and vitals.
– That our family would face this upcoming season with confidence and deep peace knowing that God knows every single cell in Bo’s body and nothing is hidden from Him. He alone is the Author and Sustainer of Bo’s life and we can trust that He holds him closer than we ever could.
– For Naomi, that she would have peace as we return to hospital life. She is also beginning preschool, so please pray for her health so that she can continue to visit us in the hospital.
– For Bo’s donor, that he remains healthy between now and his donation date, for safe travels to his nearest donation center, that his procedure goes smoothly, and that he has a swift recovery with no complications.
Thank you for the many ways you have and continue to show love to our family. This has been a long 5 months so far, and we have never felt, even for a moment, that we are walking this alone. Thank you for continuing to check in with us during the more quiet weeks to remind us that we are not forgotten and that you are praying for our family and our precious Boaz. We are eager to see how God will use this next season to strengthen all of our faith–both yours and ours, as we wait expectantly on Him.