The Way Things Are

Sep 25, 2019

Ian no longer wails at the door when I leave. The van practically drives itself to the hospital in the mornings. Aaron can sleep through blood draws, transfusions, and weight checks.

This is the way things are. Is it weird that this feels normal now?

Taking a long view, everything is going really well. Aaron has minimal nausea (meaning, he feels slightly sick most of the time but only throws up about every other day). He has no mouth sores. He is eating and drinking a fairly typical amount. His energy level is good.

His blood counts remain about the same, which is what the doctors expect at this point. He is still needing platelet transfusions about every six days. The main thing they are watching right now is his liver function, which is elevated due to the methotrexate he has been getting post-transplant. They are adjusting the doses as needed to hopefully keep his liver numbers in a safe range.

He hasn't had any infections or complications in the days since the transplant. A few days ago, his doctor told me that Aaron is doing the best out of all his patients on the floor right now. The nurses continue to be amazed with how well he is feeling in spite of everything that is (or is not) in his body. It's not unusual to hear one of them say some variation of, "He's Day +9, and he looks like that?!"

Overall, we are feeling so grateful. And we're also eagerly anticipating next week when we'll hopefully start to see some action.

A couple of nights ago, I got this text from Mike: "Aaron just noticed that as he ran his fingers through his hair, a bunch started falling out."

And I must admit that even though we knew this was coming (and that it would probably be sometime this week), my heart kind of pinched up when I read those words.

I watched his progress the next day. It wasn't extreme--just a hair here and there. But by the end of the day, it was all over his sheets and pillows and landing on his cheeks. His hair is very thick, so it wasn't at all noticeable in his appearance, but he was adamant that he did not want to sport the patchy look for even a day.

So last night, we decided to take it all off.

Ironically, it was Clark that had the hardest time with it. He was at the hospital, getting a little one on one time with Aaron, and when we suggested it, he freaked out. I don't know if he thought it was going to hurt Aaron or what, but he started screaming and crying and begging us not to do it. The nurse and I laughed and agreed that, to a casual observer, it sounded more like Clark was the patient and not Aaron.

But Aaron was all psyched up and ready for it, so we couldn't delay it. We simply stuck Clark in a corner with the iPad and went ahead.

It ended up being quite entertaining. Mike shaved it off in stages, and Aaron got to try out a lot of hairdos he might never get the chance to again.

When there was only a tuft of hair left, Mike combed it down, and Aaron laughed harder than I've heard him in days. He thought it was so funny. (And in spite of his protests, I guess we must have sounded like we were having a pretty good time because Clark couldn't resist taking a few peeks.)

After it was all off, Aaron headed for the shower, and then Mike said, "Should I shave off my hair, too?" It's actually been a look he's been wanting to try for a couple of years, and this seemed like the golden opportunity. The nurses were all for it, and before I could really decide if I was okay with it or not, Mike was past the point of no return.

He sat on the couch looking satisfied (and bald) as Aaron came out of the bathroom. And Aaron just gave a faint smile, shook his head, and sighed, "Oh, Dad."

But I think they look pretty good together, don't you?


  1. I'm glad Aaron is doing so well, and Mike looks more like an sterotypical engineer then ever. Definitely a NASA type. Hey, at least you didn't have to shave Clark's head as well!

    The Mohawk does look good, though. Beware! And I'm pulling for those numbers to head in the correct directions.

  2. Saturday, another day to give platelets

  3. I agree, they look wonderful together, in fact Mike looks younger!! It's so great to see Aaron smiling! Hang in there, you all!! Put Aaron's name on the prayer roll again last night, I bet his name is on countless prayer rolls!!

  4. They look great together! Aaron's reaction to his dad's haircut is classic. :) Glad to hear he's doing so well.


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