Today was more of the same. More Cytoxan then more ATG. What is ATG, you may ask? ATG is short for Anti-Thymocyte Immune Globulin. I am pretty sure that is why they call it ATG. This solution for injection weakens the immune system. It is derived from a rabbit protein and prevents transplant rejection. Bryan often tells the girls that their rabbits are saving his life.
Bryan met with his new friend, Monique, in the hallway today. He was walking for his daily physical therapy and as he passed her room, Monique's son told her that Bryan was walking. Bryan walked about 70 feet today with his walker and then stood talking to his new transplant buddy for awhile. Needless to say his legs were tired afterwards. Here is a picture of them discussing their treatments and progress:
She is a scientist from Australia and had done a lot of research about this treatment option prior to coming to the US for her first appointment. This is one more reason that proves we are where we are supposed to be. When there are others, like Monique, with such a bright and analytical mind on board it increases my hope.
Bryan was so tired and wiped out the rest of the day. His blood pressure dropped to 84/59, but they weren't very worried since he wasn't exhibiting any symptoms. Overall today he still feels okay, but at times says that he isn't thinking as clearly as normal. Those who know him well wonder if it is really fair to blame that on the chemo.
Each day the nurses post his blood work results. Each day we seem to be waiting for his counts to drop. The nurses say that they will drop and probably very quickly. So far all of his counts have been normal, with the exception of his potassium. They added that to an IV this morning. He has quite an IV tree going on here. Just as the blood work chart seems to bring him a sense of accomplishment, so do his daily walks. He reminds me of my grandpa as he sets his daily walking goals. When my grandpa was battling his cancer, he would often say, "Watch this!". He would sometimes walk so fast I think my mom and grandma wanted to close their eyes afraid of what might come next. Anyway, the first day here Bryan walked about 50 feet. Today about 70 feet. His goal by the time of discharge is to go clear around the halls of this unit, which would be about 300-400 feet according to the physical therapist (PT). The PT encouraged him to set his goal at 200 ft. instead. Well, you know that Bryan will still secretly be shooting for the whole shabang.
We have slowly been adding our personal touches to his hospital room since we will be here awhile. The nurses love the picture that the girls gave Bryan for Father's Day. Everyone also comments on the picture of the girls that we hung up in here of them when they were in the fountain at Millennium Park. Close to that we have "Bryan the Lion" that Alaina Boyden made for Bryan a few weeks ago. There are numerous cards that have been sent to Bryan over the past few weeks lining his windowsill. Then, of course there are the Superman touches. Bryan's mom bought him a Superman robe and cup. We have superman duct tape holding up his daily blood counts list. I am sure that I am leaving something out, but there are many personal touches that we have done to try to make him feel like he is at home. We are making the best of every situation because that is all you can do.
Love to all,