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Day -3

Psalm 38:21–22
Do not forsake me, O LORD! O my God, be not far from me! Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!

After a few false starts in this whole transplant process, I am finally on my way. I was originally scheduled to be admitted at the top of September, but they found a bacterial infection in one of my catheter lines, and had to yank all my lines, and start me on a regimen of antibiotics that set me back about a month. With all that out of the way now, I have been in the hospital for a little over a week now, for what will be be a lengthy stay.

I finished an initial few days of immune-suppresents at first using a protein derived of anti-bodies from rabbits (crazy!), and as of yesterday, finished total body irradiation to kill my existing immune system before introducing a new one (radiation was rough). Today, I start two days of chemotherapy to continue to suppress my existing immune system. I’ll get Sunday off to recoup some, then I get my new immune system on Monday.

After that, it will just be about mitigating the side effects of all the radiation and chemo, as well as ensuring that the new immune system takes hold and begins working and creating new white and red blood cells and platelets, which will take a few weeks.

While I won’t be able to find out the identity of the donor for about year, they did tell me that the cells are “fully matched,” with 9/10 of the HLA markers they look for in these instances being compatible. This is good, as it will ensure that I won’t encounter some of the more perhaps severe effects that these kind of transplants can produce, with your donor cells attacking your existing cells, creating what’s called a graft vs. host disease. All of this can be monitored and mitigated with drugs, but by having such a high match, it will help ensure a smoother transition.

Prayer

This is where I’m right now: I’m feeling pretty rough (had a rough night last night), and probably won’t hit rock bottom till the end of next week, so prayers for health and strength are appreciated. My counts will plummet pretty drastically for a while, leading to some potential complications including nausea, diarrhea, infections, and general fatigue and weakness.

Psalm 38:17–18
For I am ready to fall, and my pain is ever before me. I confess my iniquity; I am sorry for my sin.

As I’ve written before, I don’t want to waste my time in the hospital, and I don’t want to waste this cancer. Psalm 38 has been an anchor for me during this time as I cry out to God to continue to burn the dross of sin off my life through this time. I want this time to draw me into a deeper and more personal reflection on my sin and how it has left me numb to the spiritual reality God has granted me in Christ. I want to learn better what it means to wait on the Lord as he continues to soften my heart towards the people I am coming into contact with on a daily basis.

I want my refuge to be in the Lord who has saved me. The Lord who loves me and knows what is best for me. This is my hope. This is my assurance. I can call on him for help and know that he is there with me, comforting me, relieving me of any anxiety or fear I am feeling. I know that he will answer my prayers because God himself has come to earth to draw near to me in the person of his own son Jesus.

Currently listening to my “80s Righteousness” playlist on Apple Music.

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