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  • Drew Dotson

Day +67: Smoother waters

It’s day +67 since Ramón’s transplant. Given that the first 100 days are critical, it’s relieving to know we’re two-thirds of the way through the hard part of the transplant process. We received test results today confirming that Ramón has no evidence of disease, and his sister’s cells are still 100% running the show. These are important milestones, of course, but even the good news is tampered by the brain injury caveat.


My phone often suggests that I glance back at photos, and I’ve been taking the bait lately. In many ways, it’s nice to reflect on the good times, remembering a life that was much less complex. However, it’s also difficult because life looks so dramatically different now that grief can quickly overtake the nostalgia. Today I was reminded of this picture of Ramón and our dearly departed Phoenix at the beach two years ago.


Ramón and Phoenix, Ponte Vedra Beach 2018

It got me thinking about the ocean and how surprising it can be. Sometimes, you’re casually standing knee-deep, waiting for another wave to rhythmically crash near you. No matter how prepared you are, occasionally a wave breaks in a way that knocks you down and leaves you scrambling underwater in the sand for your sunglasses. Other times you’re deeper in the water, look back to shore, and realize the current took you 50 yards away from your beach setup. You wonder how this happened without your realization, but it happened so incrementally that you didn’t see it unfold.


The water is churning all around, and I’m doing my best to swim. At times I’m at peace with what’s happening, but sometimes I’m pulled under rapidly with no warning. Ramón recently landed himself back in the ICU as a result of a lingering battle with pneumonia. Prior to transferring to the ICU, he was making some noticeable (yet small) neurological progress, so I’m hoping to build on that.


The tides seem to be turning back in a favorable direction, so we could use your thoughts/prayers/energy as we work toward smoother waters.

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