Posts tagged ‘#thankyou skateboarding’

June 24, 2013

Rose Pruning

Today I have been thinking about a story I heard years ago. It was about a farmer’s rose arbor that needed pruning in summer. Roses are usually pruned in early spring (January in my Arizona yard). Many of the limbs were old and not producing as well as in their younger days. A novice lopped off all the limbs of an enormous, gnarly bush that grasped in many directions. The farmer, upon learning of the error, sat against the gate and cried; he knew the bush would likely die. The novice, seeing the farmer weep, asked why. The farmer realized he had not explained the reasoning or the procedure well. He sat the young man down and began to explained that chlorophyll to a plant is the life blood. It must receive it through photosynthesis in the leaves. If the tree is without leaves, it can not synthesize its nutrients, especially during the growth periods. Following up, the farmer added, “That is why we only cut one or two old branches each year. We leave the others to catch the sunlight. After ten years, we have an entirely new bush.”

In some ways, a bone marrow transplant is similar to an extreme pruning. The marrow is emptied of blood until the stem cells navigate to the marrow and begin producing. In the meantime, a person is given temporary help, much like the rose branches that are destined to be lopped the following year. There is a reason they use the term engraftment. Blood transfusions and immunosuppressant drugs fill the gap until they are no longer needed to sustain the body.

Sebastian has been receiving an immune suppressant that may be causing a few too many complications, so the doctors are changing his med to see if it will bring better results. Additionally, he has a liver virus, an unknown factor (hopefully just the med) is zapping his red blood cells, nausea and a rash. The rash and severe nausea are indicative of Host vs. Graft (HvG) disease, but more tests are needed. The situation might be exacerbated as a result of the virus. They want him to try solid food and see how he does with it. So he is dealing with several situations simultaneously; all of them can affect the liver. Today he is too sick to eat.

This is our speed bump. Logic told us he would probably have a little Host vs. Graft disease. But we hoped to somehow avoid it. That’s part of every family’s challenge in situations like ours. We want to lop off all the limbs and have the rose bush leap back into action. The reality is that he has done fantastic thus far; he truly walked through fire for weeks. He has GREAT doctors with critical experience and knowledge. We all have to be a little more patient while the chloryphyll (blood, med changes, etc.) get him over this bump in the road. Soon we will have an entirely well Sebastian . . . AND . . .

He will come home to a super comfortable new mattress and box springs compliments of our Phoenix-based Sleep America! When Sleep America’s Charity Board heard about Sebastian’s chronic back pain due to over two dozen lumbar punctures, they decided to gift him with a comfy bed. Not only is it of great quality, but their specialist, Santos Lucera, took extra pains to make sure the box spring placed the bed at a good height because one of Sebastian’s knees pops and hurts when he bends it. Santos also worked with Sebastian’s family to make sure the mattress was going to be a good fit for Sebastian’s comfort. We are so grateful to Santos, the Sleep America Charity Board and the lady that lives up to her promises, Deby Gaby! Thank you sooooo much! Sebastian can’t wait to come home and try it out!

Here is a link to see what a great company Sleep America is: