[Day +20] Keep Climbing
Carter rang the bell on Tuesday. What an emotional and symbolic moment to see him standing there and hear the ringing.
He did it.
We did it.
Carter completed his bone marrow transplant inpatient hospital stay. After 31 nights (a couple of weeks earlier than expected), we are officially out of the hospital and can close that chapter of Carter’s transplant journey.
More exciting news— Carter finished his marathon just before ringing the bell! We are incredibly proud of this young man of ours. He set his mind to it, and he finished. Many of the laps were not easy, but he completed them nonetheless. He and his “lap friend” have formed the sweetest bond over their experiences. We are so grateful that Carter finally met someone who understands what he has been going through for so long. She has provided some older sister-type insight for him and is a true blessing to us.
Reflecting on the last 31 days, I can tell you that we had an incredible experience at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta - Egleston. Our doctors and nurse practitioners are all simply wonderful; our nurses have become our fast friends. It’s incredible how quickly our strong bonds were created. We will truly miss seeing them each day, although I know we’ll keep in touch. Carter even gave a few on our nursing team his Cure4Carter bracelets— he is a real ladies’ man, that one.
Although we are out of the hospital, we are far from going home. We are now moved into The Ronald McDonald house into a transplant apartment. We must stay within ten minutes of the hospital until 100ish days post-transplant (our house is 45 minutes away on a good day of Atlanta traffic). This is due to being immunocompromised and the high risk for fevers and infection that come along with that. Carter will be readmitted to CHOA for any fever.
We will initially attend clinic appointments three times per week, with the frequency decreasing as time goes on and blood counts increase. Luckily, the RMH is within walking distance of the clinic, so we can keep Carter’s marathon legs moving as he keeps climbing.
Carter has loved [FSU football] Coach Norvell’s The Climb since he first heard Coach explaining it a couple of seasons ago. Below is a graphic we created for Carter that illustrates it. Coach uses CLIMB as an acronym to help his team continuously improve and tackle difficult situations- not just on the field but in many aspects of life. “Keep Climbing” has been our theme for transplant. Severe Aplastic Anemia has forced us to learn quickly, adapt, and climb more than we knew possible.
Below are Carter’s counts for yesterday compared to September 7th, his official first day of engrafting. Our doctors are pleased and encouraged by his counts. We pray the trends continue and his counts “Keep Climbing.”
* Has not had a platelet transfusion in SEVEN days!
Thank you for following along on this chapter of Carter’s transplant journey. Your prayers and support keep us climbing, too.
And now, to leave you with a funny little moment— for his last inpatient supper, Carter requested soft beef tacos, of course. And this time? He got them!
There will be much more to come. Stay tuned!