We were making our way through the maze of medical information and doctors for these very complicated blood diseases (MDS, AML), which requires highly specialized knowledge to understand and treat.
The medical staff is compassionate and knowledgeable.
Family, friends, and strangers stepped forward.
The Internet and social media prove essential, quickly bringing together people from the past and present.. This groundswell of support exerted a subtle yet profound positive influence.
Friends came by when they could. We laughed together and told funny stories and took her, masked and connected to a pole with life giving medicines, for walks in the delimited corridors of the transplant ward.
The Cancer support community is well organized and vibrant providing a compassionate peer counsellor, a caregiver to a bone marrow transplant patient once herself; Friends and donors gave temporary lodging . An outfit called Caringbridge.org provided a forum for blogging, which I posted to daily, keeping everyone up to date on progress; and youcaring.com provided the platform through which we raised funds to help defray the enormous extra costs of childcare.etc.
With the best medical treatment and the heartening community support, there remains faith. Not the faith that assumes that everything will be OK, nor the faith that is conditional, dependent on a positive outcome, but the faith that endures, no matter the trials, no matter how it turns out.
And we needed faith.The dangers were real…. her platelet count was perilously low, dropping to 2 for two weeks, when the normal count is 150. At that level you can bleed out, in a hidden undetectable place like the brain. The daily transfusions were not effective and medication only somewhat supportive.
And yet somehow the worst does not happen.