This morning for Natalie started out where the doctors had left off last night. After repairing the broviac line for the fourth time unsuccessfully they decided to remove the existing line and replace it with a new one. Which meant Natalie had to go back to the OR. Natalie had nothing good to say when she figured out what was going to happen. While she was getting her new line, Blair was donating his marrow. When I first saw him in the recovery room he had not woken up yet and looked very comfortable bundled up in warm blankets. As I looked at him, I couldn't resist the proud feeling of knowing that he willingly put himself in harms way to help his sister. You are a hero Blair, and we will throw you a hero's party when this is all over.
It was perfect timing; when we were wheeling Blair out of recovery we ran into Natalie and Lisy as they were taking her back to the room. We put Blair up on the same bed wheeled both together. As I watched them both on the bed, looking like they had both been through so much; fatigued and sore from the abrasive procedures. Natalie now has two holes in her chest and Blair having over 60 needle "pokes" between both hips. So proud of their willingness to make it happen.
At close to 5pm the whole floor of nurses and doctors gathered in her room to sing "Happy Bone Marrow Transplant Birthday" to Natalie, to a new life. I was so happy, this day has been over 6 years in the making. It really is a new day for Natalie, the beginning of the end of chronic illness and worry. When the nurse hung the bag of marrow I watched it flow ever so slowly down the tube and into Natalie's chest. She wasn't as excited as I was, but I didn't care. I felt very much like the lightness you feel after finals week is over. She has one more bag of marrow to receive tonight around 10pm and then it will be finished.
The next few weeks will be tough on her as her body's blood counts will drop due to the chemo and low energy will ensue. Her existing hair will be a thing of the past and replaced with mouth sores. The doctors will be monitoring her lung closely. No doubt it will be the toughest three weeks for her, but she's tough. It is after all, not her first day on the job.