Arriving in Baltimore, I had no idea what to expect. I remember getting the rental car and blindly following my navigation, hoping that I would get to the house without a problem. Well, I didn’t, but, nevertheless, I got there. Everything was unfamiliar, but the house was great.
We lived in a neighborhood called Canton from June-October. June was mostly a waiting game in terms of treatment. One advantage of Aplastic Anemia is that my brother didn’t feel sick before treatment, only tired if he didn’t have enough blood. It was very important that he didn’t get sick though, so anything that had to be done in public had to be done by me. So pretty much all of June was spent learning the neighborhood and getting used to a new city, as well as preparing for treatment and getting tested for compatibility in case a transplant was necessary.
July was when my brother’s treatment started. He had to do one round of chemotherapy over four days. No one likes to see members of their family sick or in pain, but my brother was, although he handled it like a champ. During July, my dad and I traded off weeks. I was there for chemo, and he was there for recovery while I came back to Dallas for a break.
The day after I returned, I took my brother to the hospital like always. Later that evening after I picked him up, my brother was checking his temperature (like he had to do every hour) and noticed that he was running a slight fever. We called the hospital and they gave my brother the option to wait it out.
We waited out the fever for a while, but it never went down. As his temperature rose, he started displaying symptoms of being sick: chills, sleepiness, nausea, etc. It was really scary because up to this point the only time I have seen him sick was in the hospital. We finally stopped waiting it out and went to the hospital where there was a bed waiting for him.
It turned out he had an infection in his line, but since it was after chemo, he had absolutely no immune system to fight it off. He remained in the hospital for another two weeks. He lost a lot of weight but ultimately recovered, much to my relief.
August was all about getting my brother to gain weight and recover. I started to experiment with cooking a lot more, I really started getting deep into couponing, and twice a week I worked at my new job at J.A. Murphy’s.
By the time September rolled around there was talk from the doctors about Bryant being able to go home sooner than later. This was great news, but by this time I had already fallen for the charms of the city and was sad at the thought of having to leave so soon.