May 2nd, 2011 by Turner Simkins
“It is for us to pray not for tasks equal to our powers, but for powers equal to our tasks, to go forward with a great desire forever beating at the door of our hearts as we travel toward our distant goal.”
This is not so much of an update as a request. Tara and I are waiting with Brennan in “B” Clinic this morning for his first bone marrow biopsy since he was declared to have obtained remission around two months ago. For those of you who read Tara’s beautiful update last week, please now that Brennan’s spirit is still burning bright and strong. His daily routine of meds and IV feeds has changed very little, but we are witnessing his stamina increase gradually every day. And his light shines.
His weekly chimerisim tests continue to show that his peripheral blood constitutes 100% donor cells; consequently, we have no reason to be suspicious of any changes in his medical status. Now, two days shy of “Day 100 “ (wednesday), it is time to establish through another Minimal Residual Disease analysis of his bone marrow that he is indeed still cancer free.
This will occur today at noon CST. We expect the general pathology report back by tomorrow. The MRD could be anytime between this friday, or early next week.
We remain hopeful, faithful, and encouraged by the brightness and strength of his spirit Unfortunately, we still rely on confirmation through the quality of his bone marrow as the ultimate arbiter of his physical health.
Returning to the clinic area from the cafeteria this morning, my phone rang just outside of the consultation room in the BMT clinic, prompting me to stop and pause in the hallway for my call before entering Brennan’s room. The door to this room was open; but the lights were off, seemingly unused yet this week.
As I talked with my friend on the phone I could not help but recall the “consultations” Tara and I experienced in this room, usually after a bone marrow procedure that was less than favorable. This is the room with upholstered settees, and generic oil paintings on the wall, establishing a softness of environs as conterpoint to the often grave and momentous decisions occuring here.
Finishing my call, and and completing my walk to the clinic room, illuminated by Brennan’s beaming face, I said a silent prayer for the countless people who have and will emerge from rooms like this forever changed. I also enter Brennan’s room saying a silent prayer of gratitude for having been in this room more than once and for the perplexing enrichment of our lives as a result of this extremely difficult experience.
In a couple of hours Brennan will be holding the hand of both is mother and father as he drifts off to sleep. Every time he goes under anesthesia he says “I love you” before his eyelids flutter and succumb to sleep. At that moment, Tara and I plan on adjourning to the little non-denominational chapel here, to kneel in silent meditation, opening our hearts to Brennan’s light, and believing in the strong remission which we believe will deliver us all home in a month or so.
I remain firmly convinced that the collective meditation and prayer has consistently fueled Brennan’s spirit throughout the past two years. Today, may it boost him just enough to fulfill this beautiful dream; and may it be with all who enter these rooms
p.s. If you have not read Tara’s update from last Friday, please do.
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