It's Go Time

Apr 11, 2021

First transplant, September 2019

A few days ago, I stumbled upon an obscure scripture tucked away in the Old Testament. Someone else pointed it out, so I can't take credit for finding it, but it is one that I've returned to several times since. It is a beautiful promise from the Lord and reads: 

"And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee."

                                                          ~Deuteronomy 28:2

Usually the thought of being chased down and overtaken by something is not pleasant. But if that something is blessings, then I will take it! Big things are on the agenda this week, and I can't help but feel like a multitude of blessings is waiting in the wings for us; they are about to roll forth, gathering strength and power, becoming so numerous as to completely envelope us.

Maxwell has an early check-in time at the hospital tomorrow morning (5:45am). They will put him under general anesthesia and then harvest his stem cells. They draw these out of his hip bone, and they take about two soda cans' worth. It is very painful, which is one of the reasons why they have to put him under to do it. 

Once the procedure is done, they will freeze Max's cells until they are ready to put them into Aaron in about two weeks. (This is different than last time when they did the harvest and transplant all in one day. You can read about the first time here.)

Aaron will be officially admitted to the hospital on this coming Friday. I say "officially" because he has been admitted to the hospital many times during the last two-and-a-half months, including twice this past week. But beginning on Friday, his hospital time will have a purpose.

There is a strict timeline that is followed during a transplant. The actual transplant day is referred to as Day 0. All of the days leading up to Day 0 use a negative number while all of the days following it use a positive number.

Aaron will be admitted to the hospital on Day -7. First, he will go through a conditioning period involving chemotherapy, ATG, and radiation. This will last approximately one week. The actual transplant is scheduled to take place on April 23rd. This will be his new bone marrow birthday. From there, he will continue to stay in the hospital until he engrafts (ie, his body begins to produce healthy blood cells, specifically neutrophils, on its own). This typically happens 14 to 21 days after transplant. Last time, he engrafted on Day +23. 

We know this is going to be hard, but it feels like it will be hard for a reason whereas the days lately have just been hard. 

Maxwell doesn't like it when people call him "brave" or "heroic." The extra attention is hard for him. But I am going to use those words liberally because they are true. He is brave. And he is a hero because he is literally saving his brother's life. I think he doesn't feel all that brave because he is actually pretty nervous and anxious about the whole thing. Last time, he didn't know what to expect, so he went it blindly and naively. This time, he knows. And he's scared. Even though he bounced back fairly quickly, he had a really rough time coming out of the anesthesia and spent most of the day vomiting and feeling nauseous and lightheaded. This was followed by a couple of days of pain where he hobbled around like an old man.  

However, knowing that he knows what this is like and is still willing to go through with it makes him more, not less, brave in my eyes. There is no one else who can do this. It is upon his shoulders, and he is bearing it admirably. He frets but never complains. (At this very moment, he is frosting a banana cake because baking is therapy for him.)

Aaron is home for now. He was in the hospital Monday night to Wednesday afternoon and Thursday night to today. We are going to try an IV anti-fungal and an IV anti-bacterial here at home that will hopefully hold the fevers at bay until Friday. It would be so nice if he could enjoy these last few days at home. 

We are on the cusp of great things. We have already been so blessed, but more blessings are coming. The prayers of so many, together with angelic help, is combining into something powerful that is about to overtake us. I am not saying this is going to be easy. We know it will not be without its complications and pain and bad days. But I really do believe that Aaron is going to rise triumphant from all of this. This intense trial will eventually become a memory, but the blessings from it will last forever. 

Here we go!

Maxwell and Aaron, July 2019


  1. Sending you so much love. We'll keep praying! And thank you for sharing that scripture!

  2. Blessings WILL come your way ! We too love you and your family. Praying this week is a good one ❤️

  3. Go Maxwell. He's a true brother.

    I've never saved a siblings life, but I've done smaller things (hey, the time my brother needed a 6:00 AM drop off at the airport, and there was a SNOWSTORM). There are things that I do automatically because it's for my brother, and if I were just doing them, uh, I wouldn't do them. The snowstorm thing probably doesn't mean anything to you Utah types, but I grew up in Texas!

    Sending all the best wishes for speedily overtaking blessings to you!

  4. I'm still praying for each one of you. Just as you said--this will be the start of great things!

  5. You and your family deserve every blessing, Amy. You have all been so strong and brave through such difficult times. I hope all the procedures go smoothly and well, and that it all ends successfully with all your boys healthy, happy, and well. I will keep you all in my prayers.


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