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Word's of Hope – No Hope

Towards the end of the October I was writing about my donor being lost due to bronchitis and my liver starting to fail on top of three intensive rounds of chemotherapy.  The photo in this post is one that we have in our bedroom.  Not many people have seen it.   At a glance, it is a fairly benign picture.  If you look closely, you can see my face is very round, although I was very thin at that stage.  I was nearing 190 lbs., which is light for me.  My face is round because of the steroids and medication.  It appears to be a happy picture of a family at Halloween on the heels of the Phillies World Series Victory.  In reality, I couldn’t get too excited about the Phillies or Halloween.  My body was failing, my donor was gone and the doctors at Hopkins were debating whether I could even move forward with a transplant.  Not having the transplant would have had life threatening repercussions.  On Oct 31st I had no hope.
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On Nov. 8th miraculously pieces started to come back together.  Another donor was identified, who we now know to be Isabel.  She was willing to go through the “hoops” to make a donation on very short notice.  One of the brilliant doctors at Hopkins had a hunch that the liver maladies I was experiencing were superficial and were a reaction to antibiotics versus severe liver damage caused by all the chemo.  The transplant was back on.  In eight days we went from hopeless to hopeful.  I was admitted to Hopkins around the 10th of November and began an extremely intensive chemotherapy regimen to finally eradicate Erik’s old bone marrow.  There was no turning back once this was started.