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10/21/05 09:54:44 - Aren's news

So, it's now seven days post-transplant and seventeen days after he began chemo, and Aren is finally showing some (though not all) of the symptoms we expected to emerge from the chemotherapy. He has now lost almost all of his hair, and his blood counts continue to decline.
After several very long nosebleeds on Wednesday, Aren was given a transfusion of platelets. Because of those nosebleeds, however, his hematocrit (the percentage of total blood volume that his red blood cells take up) dropped low enough that they gave him a whole blood transfusion yesterday.

Other than his hair and his blood counts, however, the only problem we’ve noticed so far is that his appetite is dwindling. He still is willing to eat, but not as much as normal. He’s getting IV nutrition, but as long as he still eats some, they won’t have to give him an NG tube. Here’s hoping that they don’t need to. Every time we tried to pump him up about having a tube stuck up his nose, down his throat and into his stomach, he’d get rather upset. Can you blame him?

He’s still in good spirits, though. As MaryBeth was walking out the door last night, he asked her to play Uno with him. She stayed, thinking that it would be a pretty short game and she’d be able to go home quickly. Little did she realize that not only does he actually know how to play, but he’s pretty good. She gave up after going through the entire deck 2 ½ times, making Aren show her his cards so she would know which ones to play to let him win.

After the game was over, and she was walking out the door again, he called her back.

“What?” MaryBeth asked, exasperated.

“I love you. And can you bring me a snack tomorrow morning?”

“Fine,” she replied, at her wit’s end. “What do you want?”

“Hubba-Bubba Bubble Gum!”

"Done." And she was out the door. And promptly forgot to pick up Aren's gum. But don't tell him -- he hasn't mentioned it yet, so we're hoping he's forgotten, at least for now. He'll probably remember at some really inopportune time, but at least we'll have until then to think up a good excuse.

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