Today, as you’ll have seen, the internet is filled with references to the fact that it is that rare date, February 29. Frankly, of all the months I have lived in my entire life, this is the one I am most eager to move on from and the least excited about having an extra day added to. But, of course, the date and my feelings about it are really just a trick of the calendar. Brad’s condition won’t have changed just because tomorrow is March. But it feels hopeful, somehow, to move on from the dark days and, honestly, occasional despair of February.
And there is hopeful news as we move into the next month, and as Brad wraps up two months in the hospital. Over the past several days, Brad has continued to improve. His appetite remains very minimal but he is tolerating little sips of broth and some small bites of rice and saltines (the classic food of invalids) yesterday and today. For tomorrow, he has asked for homemade chicken noodle soup, so I’ll be stopping at the store for ingredients for that on my way home. From now on, the most important elements of his recovery will be his expanding his diet and being able to support himself nutritionally (which will be a long, slow process) and the continued healing of his gut, which was profoundly damaged by the GVHD. His vision continues to be compromised but the corneal specialists came by yesterday and said the ProKera rings (the lenses made from amniotic membrane, which heal corneal damage) are beginning to dissolve as intended, and thus his sight should slowly start to improve. He’s also walking a bit, albeit slowly, but has been cleared to walk in the halls of the transplant unit and that should help him get stronger. Today after his lunch we took a walk—two circuits of the hallway. His doctor is very pleased and they are cutting down on his doses of heavy-duty steroids, which should also help him feel better. And he’s had a couple of phone calls with the girls after a long hiatus during which he didn’t feel up to conversations. They are catching him up on news from school and the sporting world. (As I write this, I just heard Lucy tell him that Serena Williams got upset in the Australian Open, which was news to him.)
All of that represents a real jump forward from, say, two weeks ago. So: Happy Leap Day, everyone. And now, onward to March.