The not so good news of it all is that Max will actually have to be there longer than we expected...probably closer to 8 weeks now. However, that is because of the prepartory regime that they have selected for him which is actually part of the good news. The regime involves an initial four day dose of immune suppressing drugs, followed by eight days of rest before the chemotherapy begins and lasts about a week. So, for the first few weeks of our stay, Max should be feeling pretty good. It won't be until the chemotherapy starts that he will likely have some yucky side effects. Those remain the same as we've described earlier, to our knowledge (ie hair loss, nausea, mouth/throat sores, etc).
The actual bone marrow harvest from Ellee and transplant to Max is scheduled for April 1st at this point. Once Max gets the bone marrow, we'll have to sit tight in the hospital for the next fews weeks, watching and waiting, and hoping and praying that the bone marrow engrafts in him and begins producing blood cells for him without many complications. If this happens, we may be able to come home about 3 to 4 weeks after the transplant.
Once we're home, we'll still be "isolated" for some time but, I am sure it will feel like pure freedom after this long in the hospital! Max will not be able to leave his room while he is in the hospital all this time. It is a specially air purified room and they want him as isolated as possible to prevent him from catching any infection. Given this, we know that visitors will likely be a huge plus for us. I plan to be with Max the majority of the time and I know that it may be challenging to keep this active little 7 year old entertained for weeks in a 12 x 12 room! So, once we settle in next week and begin to understand visitation procedures a bit more, I will post information on the blog here so that you know what to expect if you are interested in visiting. I plan to ask you to contact me via email or cell phone so that I can manage the visiting a little. I do know that we can't have more than 2 visitors at a time and that there may be days that he will not be allowed to have visitors. If you're interested in visiting us in the hospital, check back here soon (next week) for more info.
We have kept busy here at home the last week or so and I've attached a few pictures of what we have been up to. Aunt Sarah and Uncle Ryan came over on Sunday for a Wii Fit Challenge and we had a ball watching Max almost "school" Ryan in how to play the soccer headball game. We also have played lots of basketball on our new Little Tikes hoop in the basement and built almost the entire Bikini Bottom Spongebob Lego set!
Max's spirits are still amazing and he motivates me every day to continue being as positive as possible about this situation. We are commited to making the best of this and getting through it while having as much fun as possible!
Max has also become a bit of a local hero here in Anderson Township. He made the front page of the Forest Hills Journal (our local paper) for the blood drive that Aunt Monica, Mrs. Hyden and Aunt Kimmy have put together. We are so touched and honored by everyone that has taken Max's situation to heart and is donating blood or platelets! It will be amazing to see how many people this will help, including Max.