day zero: a solstice eve gift

The day has come. Then sun is rising over beautiful San Francisco. I am watching out the window as I wait for Jodi to arrive. Caemon is sleeping. He had a rough night with many wake-ups. He wanted me to hold him, to dance with him, to sleep next to him. He still has the remnants of steroids coursing through his body, making sleep fleeting. Now he sleeps under a dose of morphine, as he awoke with excruciating adominal pain. It is possible that mucousitis is starting to appear, that he will begin to have pain from his mouth to his bottom. This is an expected and difficult side effect of all of his conditioning chemotherapies, but managing the pain helps.

However, when the pain is gone, our boy is in good spirits. “Today is a special day for me,” he said upon waking a few moments ago. He understands that today is a big day, that he is getting a special kind of blood today. I described the bone marrow as seeds being planted in his body. For the last two springs, Caemon has helped us plant seeds for vegetables and flowers. He knows they grow into wonderous things, and he knows that these seeds will take his leukemia away.

We have been told that transplant day is often anti-climactic, that because the marrow is administered through his IV just like any other blood product, that it takes a short amount of time, that the day is really pretty quiet. While there may not be a big surgery or trip to a different room, this day is certainly not anti-climactic. It is the day our sweet boy gets a new chance at a healthy body, and that is cause for celebration.

That this is happening on the eve of the Winter Solstice makes it that much more special because as Caemon’s new marrow is introduced, we will be seeing the darkest day of the year. As it begins to take hold, while we still may feel shrouded in darkness, the days will each become a little bit lighter, a little easier to bear. Jodi and I have long celebrated the Solstice. It is a very special day to us, so to have this gift today, on the eve of the Solstice, is something so magical. The timing couldn’t be more ripe with possibility for our son, for our family. We’re ready to plant these seeds, ready to welcome the light, ready to reclaim our boy from this horrible disease. What a beautiful spring we will see this year.

I will post an update tonight or tomorrow morning to provide details about the transplant. In the meantime, we invite everyone to burn their candles, light their Christmas/Solstice/Yule trees, even take a walk outside and think of all the potential sitting just beneath the earth, waiting to spring forth as the light returns. When you do this, you bring that same light, that potential for new life to Caemon.

20 thoughts on “day zero: a solstice eve gift

  1. So excited to see this NEW AND HEALTHY phase in your family’s life begin. I am ever so thankful for letting me be a part and you better believe I’m wearing my bright orange shirt! Everyone loves it and I feel it is a very special shirt full of one love towards one special family and their boy!


  2. I am so glad to hear the marrow transplant is a peaceful process. We are also rocking our shirts… well, Keith and I are. Fiona has been “too busy” to change out of her pajamas, but loves her Caemon shirt so I see a lot of orange in our future.

  3. Grandma and I are burning a candle for Caemon. All of you are on our minds today, and I will enjoy a beautiful walk for Caemon’s recovery and life forward from here. Your writings are so beautiful for us. My vision is of Caemon playing in the fields at the bottom of the mountain that you have so eloquently described. We love you. Aunt Joanne and Grandma.

  4. What a beautiful post. You have moved me to tears. Thanks for having the courage to share this journey, and know that you and your sweet family are as much a light to us as we are to you.

  5. I’m excited and nervous for you today. We will be waiting for an update and sending our best wishes for a peaceful and swift rebirth of your boy.

  6. You have been in my thoughts all day. I’m hoping and praying that the marrow transplant is a success. It takes a while before you’ll know if the transplant worked and things may actually get worse before they get better. I pray that you have the strength you need to carry you through this and I hope that 2013 brings you a healthy, cancer-free son.

  7. Caemon is bringing in the New Year with his rebirth! Good luck and blessings–I think these seeds, nurtured with so much love and light will grow into beautiful health.

  8. Sending you over the Pacific light and warmth from the the longest summer days over here in Australia, and thinking of Caemon being able to bask in the sunlight when your next solstice comes around…

  9. I donated blood stem cells two months ago, and it’s great to hear from people who are receiving bone marrow. I hope the little guy does well!

Thank you for your replies. We appreciate every comment.

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