Bone Marrow Transplant: Doing Exceptionally Well / by Leslie

This is the tenth installment of the story of Jerry's Bone Marrow Transplant, which details my father-in-law's life saving bone marrow transplant at Johns Hopkins Cancer Center in Baltimore. Read the previous installment - Part Nine: 93% Chris

Jerry is doing exceptionally well, according to his doctors, who released him last Wednesday from Johns Hopkins and sent him home. The week before he was released, his rash was confirmed as graft vs host disease, however it was running it's course on it's own and didn't need any further treatment. It's astonishing how well this is going and now Jerry is at home, resting and happy to be back in a familiar place.

We really wanted to see him on Father's Day, but Milo had received a vaccine for chickenpox the week before (that was required for him to attend school in the Fall) and the doctors said that it was better for us to stay away. Chris has also been sick with a fever and sore throat and since Jerry's immune system is brand new, he does not have any resistance to anything and will require all new vaccines himself. As much as we wanted to see everyone before our trip to Canada, we just couldn't do it.

We also heard that the second bone marrow test came back and Jerry's bone marrow is now 100% Chris and there is no trace of lymphoma. 100% Chris??!! Just take a minute to let that sink in because it's amazing.

The doctors have stopped short of saying that Jerry is cured. I imagine there is always a chance that the cancer could come back, but if his bone marrow is 100% Chris then Jerry has got a fresh start with a completely new immune system and he can begin to live his life again.

Did you hear that Jerry? You can begin to live your life again! I want to shout it from the mountain tops of Switzerland in the photo above. Still, there is a hesitancy, a reluctance to cheer too much and too loud. None of this is a guarantee, it's really still one day at a time. Jerry will still be in treatment for a few more weeks and they will be monitoring him frequently, including another trip back down to Baltimore. He will still be recovering from the chemo and will still be fatigued for months to come, but dare I say that the threat is over? This is the best news we could have ever hoped for and I'm sure that Jerry will be with us for many, many more years.

Since I haven't been able to see him, I haven't been able to get a new photo, so the above shot of Jerry standing taller than the mountains in Switzerland will have to do. I think it's appropriate, don't you? 

Read the next installment - Part Eleven: Jerry's 75th Birthday