As I child, I loved to climb in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York. Sometimes we had to hike quite a bit to get to the base of the mountain, a walk with its own ups and downs that seemed like mountains to my seven-year-old legs. Eventually we'd arrive at the place where the trail began to go up the mountain itself, taking me to places that would test my strength, endurance, and determination. It was probably a good thing that I couldn't see much of what was ahead of us, but learned to take one step at a time.
The Daleys have hiked the trail and have set their faces to the mountain. Tomorrow (1/30) they make the move to Boston for an undetermined length of time. They have an apartment a couple of blocks from the hospital to use as a home base when they are not at the hospital or dealing with things back home. If Grace and Faith get final clearance after some more testing, the transplant team will begin assaulting Grace's little body with three separate, vicious chemotherapy drugs, with the intent of killing off all of her own bone marrow, in preparation for receiving Faith's donation.
The transplant itself is scheduled for February 8. And then begins the process of engraftment, as Faith's cells make their way from Grace's blood to her bones, to begin building up her new immune system. In the meantime, the team will be keeping a close eye on her health, because not having a functioning immune system is not a good place to be. And even though graft-versus-host disease is less of a concern with a match as good as the one between Grace and Faith, I'm sure it's still something they have to watch out for.
Sometimes a snowstorm can feel like a hug. Here's what Heather wrote this morning:
Today is our last day all together as a family for a while. God blessed it by sending a beautiful six inches of snow that cancelled our outside activities for the day. We plan on spending it cuddling and playing games (and packing for Boston).
Prayers for this week:
- We got a visiting nurse for Grace's dressing change instead of having to drive to Boston this weekend.
- Snow Day!
- Grace's bone marrow aspirate gave results that made the doctors happy (though I don't really understand the details). The bottom line is that it means she is in a good position for transplant.
- That the chemo will do its job to wipe out Grace's bone marrow entirely while giving her minimal side effects.
- That we will have good communication with the doctors and they will have good communication with each other.
- That the other kids will be sustained and at peace while they have to be separated from their parents and sister.
- Mental health for all of us as we deal with all the hard things surrounding these circumstances.
Thank you all so much for your support and prayers. We can feel it!
And here's an additional prayer request from Grandma:
- For the health and safety of Baby Daley, who must go to Boston with them. Heather needs to be there for Grace while at the same time avoiding exposure to the chemo drugs.