Five years ago the October calendar was exactly the same as it is this year.
Today, Monday the 10th, is a holiday just as it was a holiday five years ago. Yesterday was the Takayanagi Fox Festival, then and now. One difference, Joshy was in respite five years ago so that we could do the Fox Festival night hike over the mountain. Another difference, we had no idea our world was about to be turned upside down and forever altered.
Five years ago, Joshy had therapy on Thursdays. Thursday the 6th, he had a huge, knee to ankle, bruise which I saw at therapy so we stopped to have the doctor check it before heading home. The doctor ordered an x-ray to make sure he hadn't broken his leg, but with no break and no other symptoms we headed home and continued life as normal. We had no idea that Joshy was critically ill.
Five years ago today, when we pick Joshy up from respite he had another huge bruise, this time encompassing his whole hand. I found this odd, but he already had a regular checkup scheduled later in the week, so I figured we would wait until then to have it checked because, other than the bruises, he seemed fine. I had no idea that, had the LORD not intervened and gotten us to the doctor sooner, Joshy would have very likely been dead by Thursday.
Five years ago tomorrow, 11th, Joshy went to school as usual. Around noon the teacher called that Joshy had thrown up and wasn't acting right. By the time I arrive at school he was a floppy, lethargic, rag-doll of a boy. I drove him straight to the hospital where lab work showed that his blood counts were extremely low. Joshy was admitted that day and wasn't discharged until November 19th, and then only after a transfusion to boost his counts and so that we could spend the weekend at home before going to the Cancer Center on Monday morning the 21st. where we would end up staying until April.
Five years ago, when ask how long we should expect to be in the hospital, the doctor said we should think weeks not days. Reality, those weeks turned into months.
Five years ago this week, we learned about blood transfusions, bone marrow aspirations, and heard the word Aplastic Anemia for the first time.
In the five years since starting the hellish roller coaster ride that is Aplastic Anemia, our lives have been forever altered: in good and bad ways. Today, Joshy's counts are still slightly below normal, but at a safe level nonetheless. We still have to take extra precautions, especially against germs. I still cringe every time I see a bruise. I still haven't been back to the Takayanagi Fox Festival. I still grieve, but it is getting better.