Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Today is the 5th anniversary of your bone marrow transplant. This is what Mom wrote that day. I think I was at our apartment at Lake Calhoun doing laundry and missed everything. It was supposed to happen later in the day when I was there but it all came down a lot earlier.

I was bummed that I missed it, but Mom told me not to worry, that it wasn't a big deal. This is you with the new blood that was going to save your life. It was going to give you a long and normal life.

The Transplant - Dwell in Possibility
To: Friends of Henry
Date: July 06, 2000 3:07 PM
From: Laurie Strongin
Subject: Henry's Bone Marrow Transplant is Today

As I sit, unable to sleep, reading silly magazines that don't challenge the mind to do more than pass the time, I notice on Martha Stewart's calendar that on Thursday, July 6, she is scheduled to "Clean freezer and refrigerator." On Henry's calendar for today, Thursday, July 6, the word "Transplant" appears. Just one word with so much potential. Somewhere in the world, our donor's calendar reads something equally meaningful. Oh, how I long to spend a day inspecting the "use by" dates on the food in our fridge.

Henry has just more than endured a day of radiation followed by four days of chemotherapy. His doctors are very satisfied with his progress which is all that we need to feel good so far. The really bad times are few and far between right now and we have managed to turn his room into a playroom featuring a basketball hoop, punching bag (see attachment) and Pokemon and Michael Jordan posters. Henry is covered in Pokemon tattoos and celebrates his daily accomplishments -- even being able to stand up all by himself. This is a far cry from scoring two goals at soccer, but equally impressive. The doctors and nurses here treat him so well. I suspect they find him as charming as the rest of us do.

Today is considered Day 0 of Henry's new life and the hope is that by Day 21 (near the end of July), the new bone marrow will engraft and Henry will be on the road to recovery. His doctor describes the transplant as seeding a garden and hoping it will grow. Perhaps we could use a little Martha Stewart right now.

Home seems far away from here, but folks here are being so kind to us. July 4th was spent at the home of good friends here (except Henry and me who are holding down the fort on Unit 4A). We did our part by listening to patriotic music, including Henry's favorite, "Goober Peas." I remember getting a kick out of that one too, way back when.

Brother Jack is happy in camp and is making friends. He has just spent a few days with cousins Emma and Sam, following a visit from Aunt Abby, and Aunt Jen, Uncle Dan and Hannah. So between that and lots of attention from my mom and Allen and me, he is doing just great.

Thanks to all of your letters, emails and support. We couldn't do this with you.

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