Aaron is in remission!
The dove who delivered this olive branch walked into room 1041 a bit before noon wearing a white coat and a badge with the name of Dr. Norma Bucher. Friday’s bone marrow biopsy shows no trace of the enemy. The enemy bastions seen in the biopsy performed 19 days ago (14 days following the Onslaught) were alive, but reeling. Their attempt to regroup failed; as the army of the ICU were marshaling their medicines and machines and restoring Aaron’s life, the last detectable traces of the enemy were being destroyed. Sweet Natalie’s smiting imprecations, together with those of all the saints, put God in a smiting mood, and He smote. Do not be an enemy of Natalie’s lover. Hell may have no fury like that of a woman scorned, but Heaven smites for Natalie.
Remission does not mean that Aaron is finished with treatment. AML is a wily enemy. It hides within the marrow in molecular nooks and crannies as yet undetectable. While no cells express detectable cancer markers, experience has shown that, if no further campaigns are mounted, the cancer will very likely return within a few months; Aaron would then relapse, and the enemy would again hold sway.
Thus, mop-up campaigns, known as “consolidation”, will begin as soon as Aaron has the strength to endure another round of poisons, aimed to root the unseen enemy from its undetectable hideouts.
Aaron’s strength and dexterity continues to improve, though his left arm is partially immobilized by painful tingling and numbness. Just above the left elbow is the insertion point for the IV PICC line. Perhaps it is responsible.
The cough is better today. Dilaudid dosage is reduced with good effect. A small fever comes but never gets traction.
Aaron can operate the bed, use tissues, wipe is face, brush his teeth, drink from a cup, talk on the phone (he talked to Michaela and Christopher today!), and sit up on his own
With Aaron sitting on the edge of his bed, a standing partner faces him. Partner bends knees, wraps arms around Aaron’s back and Aaron wraps arms around partners neck. Aaron stands, steadied and supported by the partner. In close dance position, Aaron and partner (happens to be dad) shuffle 3 small steps away from the bed and 3 steps back. Aaron’s first steps are a waltz. Music need not be played. It’s ringing from the heavens.