Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Hero In The Shape Of A Brother


Yesterday was the long awaited "bone marrow transplant day".  It was a big event in our family as well as in the oncology unit at LPCH.  Emilie went through two weeks of chemo in November and December to get her bone marrow to show zero cancer.  Last Monday, she got a new central line (third time is a charm) followed by radiation orientation.  Tuesday through Friday of last week Emilie endured 3 radiation treatments per day.  She needed to stand for 7 minutes during each treatment and with the help of her straight leg braces, she did wonderfully.  All the months of physical therapy and swimming really paid off; Emilie had great balance and endurance.  She is one tough kid! Last Saturday, she had a very high dose chemo which required her to also have a high volume of IV fluids.  The three of us worked very well to manage the 5 liters of "output" in a short 24 hour period!!!  Sunday and Monday were days of rest and Emilie really needed to rest as the radiation and chemo on her little body knocked her out.

Yesterday Nicolas arrived early for the harvest of his bone marrow.  He handled everything like a little man with no crying and lots and lots of smiles.  He thought it was pretty fun to order food off the hospital menu, play with the height of his bed and ring the nurse when his IV pump alarmed.  Nicolas ordered salmon and mashed potatoes for lunch and when I let Eric and Emilie know his lunch order, Emilie said that he would surely send it back to the kitchen.  When it arrived, Nicolas removed the lid and said, "OOOH, that looks good" and proceeded to eat everything on his plate.  He and I joined Eric and Emilie in Emilie's room to celebrate Emilie's new bone marrow before Nana took Nicolas home.  The (really bad) photo above shows Supergirl, Frosting and the bag of "hope". The hope which is our strong and confident expectation that this bone marrow transplant will keep Emilie in remission for ever. 

We will be staying in the hospital for about 4 weeks after which we will move to the Palo Alto Ronald McDonald House.  We will hopefully be home on May 25th just in time for summer.  We have experienced long hospital stays and lengthy time away from home and we are determined to get through 100 days and put this part of our journey behind us.

I have had many feelings over the last few months and I keep coming back to gratitude.  I am so grateful for yet another shot at life for Emilie and grateful to God for blessing us with Nicolas.  God knew!

Here's the story of Supergirl and Frosting from 2010.


Martha said...

Absolutely wonderful news. Praying that this transplant works as it should. You are all constantly on my mind!

Eva said...

Thank you for sharing some details. You guys have been through a rough couple of months. I think of you often and keep praying for Emily! BTW.. sometimes it's not the technical perfection that makes a picture beautiful, it's the emotion and the meaning behind the picture that makes it beautiful!

Auntie Vicki said...

Nothing but love for all of you!

Anonymous said...

You are all heroes! Your attitudes, strength, tenacity, love and commitment are incredible. Your inspiration motivates us to live better and pray harder. God our world needs people like the Eriksons...please let us share this life with Emily for a long long time.
We love you, the Josselyns

Linda said...

Happiness is what I feel reading your "good news" post. I pray for you all always and I know of so many others who are doing the same. Strength in numbers, for sure!
Love to you all!


Megan said...

I love reading updates about Emily & the family. I especially love the beautiful smiles on their faces full of courage & strength. Your family has touched my heart in so many ways.
I remember last summer when your family came out on a gorgeous summer day to do a water stop for our TNT team. The boys running with Emily in her chair back & forth looking for auntie Stephanie. What a treat it was to run beside the kids. Thank you for such a great memory!

Caroline Smith said...

I am so sorry that this has to happened to some of the nicest people I know. I feel so bad and am thinking about Emilie all the time. It is good that Nickie is a match for the bone marrow,so there is good news.I know that Emilie will get better.
Caroline and the rest of the Smith family.