Mark is currently completing his second infusion at the Hopkins Infusion Center. This is our second day of treatments. With the pheresis, infusions, and oral anti rejection medications, Mark has officially started the process of becoming immunosuppressed.
Last night, we managed to literally wrap Mark's chest in plastic wrap to cover the catheter placement site so that he could shower. Looking at the catheter tunneled into Mark's chest and all of the medicine bottles we are transporting to and from the hospital brings back so many memories of our transplant journey. It is amazing how the mind works. We suppress...or at least attempt to conceal...the memories associated with Mark's failed transplants. Despite the fact that Mark "hooks up" to his dialysis machine each night, seeing him "hooked up" to all of the medical equipment (IV, infusion, pheresis machine) brings back a mix of emotions. Despite the fact Mark takes several daily medications as a part of his dialysis care plan, seeing him consume medications he hasn't used since our last attempt at transplantation creates not only concern, but a painful awareness of what we are facing. The road we are walking is familiar and frightening.
It is amazing to think that this time next week we should have some knowledge of the outcome of Mark’s transplant. Blood analysis of the functioning of the transplanted kidney should be processed by next Wednesday. A week from today could be one of the happiest or most devastating days in our life. Most of the time, when anticipating the arrival of a specific date, we can predict if the day should yield happiness or sadness. Weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, graduations are days in which we expect joy. On the other hand, I anticipate fear and sadness on the day when Mark Thomas begins Kindergarten next Fall! Facing a situation that could result in conflicting sentiments is paradoxical. Do we anxiously await next week and count down the moments to the time when Mark’s health is restored? Or do we savor the moments in which the hope for a successful transplant remains our reality?
My brother- in -law texted us scriptures yesterday. Isaiah 41:10 states, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Today, I remain thankful that our God not only holds the future, but holds and sustains us in the face of all our uncertainties. Our transplant journey may be familiar and frightening, but we can rest in the fact that we are never forgotten!