We left our home near Nashville, Tennessee, to travel to Seattle for the transplant, arriving in March 1990. He received the BMT in April. Daryl was in a sterile hospital room that circulated filtered air. He described it this way: "It was hell and the worst thing I can imagine going through physically.”
After the transplant, he developed graft-versus-host-disease in his gut. He threw up constantly — 15 times in a day was a good day. They told us prednisone could stop the nausea, but they labeled it a last resort because of the drug’s long-term effect of weakening bones and joints. As soon as he took the first prednisone pill, Daryl stopped throwing up. The prednisone would become both a lifesaver and a curse. But he is an incredibly strong person. Whatever he sets his mind to, he has always done it. For my part, I can remember thinking: How in the world could the human body go through so much?
The bone marrow graft took. I ran up and down the hall that day screaming with joy. We left for Nashville at the end of July. On the way home, we landed in Dallas for a stopover and got a big shock as we got out of our seats — his joints were hurting from the high dosage of prednisone he had to take the first year after his transplant. They continued to ache from that point forward. Eventually, he had to undergo two hip replacements.
One year later, we came back to Fred Hutch for his post-transplant checkup. It was the most emotional thing I've been through. We love the Hutch and we praise the work. We met people there from all over the world, including a man who had been diagnosed with cancer after he had flown over the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant following the 1986 explosion and fire that released radiation into the atmosphere. Daryl’s one-year exam went very well.