Posted Feb 15, 2011 7:34pm

When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window. – Maria from The Sound of Music

While Patrick slept off the effects of his stem cell collection today, I took a little time to reflect on our journal entries from a year ago. The tenor of the entries reminded me of the dueling fears that pervaded our lives at that point… fear of using Patrick’s last bag of stored stem cells against the fear of Patrick’s depleted marrow causing a life-threatening event. It was a dark time for me as I struggled to accept that the “solution” to Patrick’s dependency on blood and platelet transfusions would ultimately close the door to many of the stronger cancer treatments that could be beneficial to Patrick… as Stephen put it at the time, with no stored stem cells “another relapse would mean the beginning of the end.” Since that time, there has been more than one “another relapse” and our options have increasingly dwindled as door after door closed in our faces.

Now, I sit here in Philadelphia a year after using that precious bag, and the Lord has not only opened a window, but it seems he has opened six of them! Yes, Patrick’s stem cell collection today yielded 6.6 million precious, beautiful little stem cells, giving us six bags of cells to rescue his marrow from myeloablative (marrow killing) treatments. This means we can treat the cancer more aggressively than we could have without the stem cells.

We start that first aggressive treatment here on Thursday as Patrick undergoes MIBG therapy for the second time, the very treatment that required us to use that bag of stem cells and the one that put Patrick back into remission after his first relapse. It has been an extremely tough trip on Patrick already and he has a long way to go in the coming days. Stephen joins us tomorrow night and we hope to return home early next week.

I am thankful for the amazing doctors and scientists who develop new drugs like the plerixafor that stimulated Patrick’s marrow to produce these cells. I am hopeful that our renewed ability to aggressively treat his cancer will allow us to fight longer for his cure. I am excited that I will be home to see my girls sooner than later. What a difference a year and 6 windows make!

Press On!