A quick late-night update today. The news today was that the nutritionist and Brad’s medical team have put him back on TPN (IV nutrition), as he wasn’t able to take in nearly enough calories by eating, despite valiant efforts. Unfortunately, the main food that was holding appeal for him was broth, which has very little caloric impact. He pointed out to his doctor that he’s at a reasonable weight for his height—but she countered that his body weight doesn’t really matter at this point; it’s more that he needs calories and especially protein intake to support his recovery and maintain his muscle mass.
Although Brad seemed disappointed to go back on TPN (I suspect it felt like a step backward for him), I am frankly relieved to know he will be getting more nutrition, and I’m hopeful it will give him a bit more energy in the days ahead. When I was at the hospital this morning, it was a challenge for him to walk in the halls—but, in keeping with his usual inspiring attitude and determination, he did it. He can continue to eat (as he feels able) while on the TPN, so we are very hopeful his time on it will be short but that it will speed his recovery. Happily, the steroids seem to be working and his gastrointestinal GVHD symptoms were abating somewhat today.
A quick note: I probably won’t be available to post tomorrow (planning to be out of internet range most of the day) and I’m not sure if Brad will be up to it. Regular readers, do not be alarmed if you don’t see anything new tomorrow. Happy Groundhog Day, one and all.
4 thoughts on “Day +21”
“While GvHD can deeply impact your quality of life, it does have some benefit. The same immune response responsible for attacking your normal cells is also monitoring and destroying any surviving cancer cells. This is called the graft versus tumor effect. Patients who develop GvHD have lower disease relapse rates.” Cleveland Clinic
I’m sure you already know this, but it made us feel better about your condition, Brad, or his condition, Kate.
We are still routing for you vs. the two teams for the NFL.
Thanks for the update. We are checking in regularly. All the best. John, Mary, Sam, Charlie and Molly.
Keep at it, Brad! I’m rooting for you. There are so many of us out here cheering every step.
We have been so busy we haven’t even checked in with James, so I just quickly caught up with about 2 weeks of harrowing details. Amazing how you keep up your humor, Brad, and how Kate keeps delivering such clear perspectives. I actually skimmed which kind of gave me the whole picture, but your delightful (and drug-induced) prose wants me to read more! Glad to hear the cell counts are rebounding…And that, in spite of communication limitations and the Doctors’ Ways that obfuscate or delay, it sounds like your terrible symptoms are being addressed. Looking forward to more ‘up’ days to come.