Ron caught a low-grade infection sometime in the past few days since his release from the hospital. His temperature spiked to 100.3 (100.5 is considered an official fever for transplant patients), and he's had persistent headaches since yesterday morning. Today he experienced a good amount of vomiting--the first since this transplant process began. The doctor on call suggested we go back to MGH this morning, which we did. They did some blood work--counts are normal--and took some cultures to rule out the flu. We should have results from the cultures tomorrow morning, but the doctor thought it was unlikely that Ron had the flu because he would be feeling much worse. Ron looked incredulous and I could see him thinking, "worse?!"
Ron has been such an atypical transplant patient. He sailed through the actual chemo, radiation, and transplant, but is now hitting his lowest physical days. Pre-transplant, he very rarely had headaches and has only vomited a handful of times in his entire life (a fact he takes pride in given his colorful college days), so these side effects feel unusual. That said, this could be a sign that the donor's immune system is successfully taking over Ron's body. If the donor has allergies, Ron will have those allergies; if the donor gets migraines, Ron will get migraines. If the donor vomits as a typical response to disagreeable things in the body, so too will Ron. Honestly, all we care about is whether the donor's immune system can keep Ron's cancer from coming back; we'd be so grateful to take the migraines over the histiocytic sarcoma any day.
We still have some low-grade colds lingering in our household, but we have decided it would be best to bring Ron home. He and I are quarantined in our bedroom and our kids are quarantined in the back of the house with my parents. One adult ferries supplies to and from the kitchen, and we're maniacal about hand washing and keeping food and utensils separate. As far as exposure, Ron is only exposed to me--the same situation that he would be in at the Best Western--but we have the far greater comforts of home, and I have much greater confidence that Ron's room has been properly sanitized. The homecoming has been tricky, but it's unbelievably soul-satisfying to be under one roof again. We occasionally hear the kids' voices outside the room and Ron turned to me after listening to Mai negotiate a popsicle from my parents and said, "that's worth it to get home."
Huge thanks to our big burly Barn dads who helped us move the kids' rooms to the back of the house. It's been really critical to be able to sequester the kids off the playroom, and we couldn't have done it without you!
And finally, thanks to all of you--family, friends, everyone--for your love and support. Coming from a girl who at one point in her life thought she could do it all (who WAS that girl?), we absolutely could not have done it without you.
Tomorrow morning we will go back to MGH for another follow-up visit with the transplant doctor. These past few days, Ron has had very little energy and I have been far busier than when he was in the hospital, so forgive us if we're out of touch. We'll do our best to keep everyone updated. Sending lots of love--