We are sitting on the 24th floor of the Hospital. It is called the observation deck. It is all enclosed and designated as a quiet area. When you are up here you can see an exceptional distance on a clear day.
The first time I visited here was several years ago when an old IT friend, Mike Hall, was here for Stem Cell treatment. He was such an incredible friend and mentor to me when we lived in Austin. I was still a young man in the industry at the time. Mike was a Marine and he just had this larger-than-life way about him. He was always so much taller than me. When I came to visit him here, he had lost so much bone mass that he was now shorter than me.
Our careers had diverged long before we moved to Houston. He was my golf buddy for many days, and I can remember his laugh and smile and his near wink when he was about to lay down some wisdom. I was golfing on the other side of town with him one day when my oldest son decided he was so bored that he would punch a hole in the wall with his foot. After getting the call to come home, I remember asking his advice on how to handle the situation and how to fix the hole. He raised boys and he had the right words.
To see him in bed here hoping for transformation of the stem cells to take hold. I now know much more intimately what he and his wife Dottie were going through. As I sit up here today, there are a mixture of staff eating lunch, “escapees” from their floors looking for rays of warmth from the sun, and some just for a different place to take a nap then their hospital room.
The observation deck is more about the people here than what you can see outside.
We start our day!
I finished taking care of my speeding ticket this morning. I went to the courthouse yesterday to pay the fine and figure out what I needed to do. I am now fresh off a defensive driving course (finished it in one afternoon). Today, I brought my certificate and driving record and it should all be expunged from my record. Government commerce is at its finest.
On Tuesday, Michele discovered that her PICC Line was clotted, and they had to “stick” her for her blood work. Our first stop today is the vascular unit to put medicine into dissolve the clot. We are now waiting for it to work its magic and recheck it at 12:30.
Next up is for me to learn how to change the bandage on her PICC line. It must be changed every 7 days to avoid any issues with the seal. Protecting against any infection is the highest priority. When we were first in Galveston UTMB, I watched how it was done and the nurse explained how to do it. That seems so long ago now. For us to be gone on our trip coming up, I need to be able to do it while we are gone. Wish me luck!
Blood work and Doctor OK for Inpatient.
In our insurance business we have always set face-to-face appointments before Covid came around. I chuckle under my breath every time Michele says that the “Doctor has to lay eyes on me before they will admit me to the hospital.” It is straight from the script we have used to get people to allow us into their homes. Usually, we would through in the joke of “we have to make sure that your liver is not hanging out!”.
We will see the Doctor at 3:30 but before that we must draw blood and replace her bandage for real. I am guessing they will let me do it after the training to observe my work. 😎
I looked back to the last even numbered cycle we did, Cycle 4. I wanted to see how her numbers reacted after that Chemo. The numbers must be above a certain level before she can fly. We must fly to Cancun. So, we will talk with the Doctor once again about us flying in a few weeks and if we should proceed with this round.
So, don’t panic at all if we say we are delaying the cycle for now. It would be more to travel than because of issues with the numbers.
Good days and Bad
We started having more good days this week. The occasional difficult day or panic day happens, but she has recovered from the last round now. Nausea is the biggest challenge. Now that we are done with the clinical trials, I am hoping that the Nausea will continue to fade.
How are we? I have mentioned several times that Anxiety and Michele are not two words used together. It is tough to watch someone go through something that personally you have lived through, but it is new to them. When it happens, all I can do is walk her through it. She is making it through tremendously well. She still needs help through it.
Keep your prayers coming. It helps her to know that others continue to pray for her.
Prayers for a friend
Yesterday I learned that a friend has someone related to them that was diagnosed with B-Cell ALL. It is a slightly different variant of what Michele has. We know that the rush of emotions with a diagnosis can be overwhelming. You first feel lost in why it happens and then the trauma of facing the treatment. As I go back to the beginning of this blog, I struggle sometimes with the enormity of the journey that was before us and what we were going through in those early weeks. I am confident that the Doctors in cancer are excellent at what they do and their journey will also be one of triumph.
To Cafe Anderson
The Cafe here is exceptionally good. Michele always wants to order me food on the side when she orders her meals. I enjoy the ride down to the Cafe and having the options. I have likened our stays to a cruise ship and the Cafe is the Buffet. Not as robust as a cruise buffet, but nice to have here.
I am hoping we can avoid late night Door Dash visits. I think that can be a whole blog worthy of reading… The Door Dash Chronicles? Maybe?
I will post tomorrow on our status. Thank you for your continued love and support.