Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Day -7: Aboard the rocket ship

We’re inside what Anna calls the rocket ship now: I’m in my hospital room, and so far nothing’s happened except that the assistant, Benson, came in and took my vital signs and my weight (and took my word for it when I told him how tall I am). And Anna and JayByrd have been working hard to get the room set up. And I had a tearful good-bye with Dillon just as we came off the elevator up here—he couldn’t come any farther. I know he’ll be fine and have a wonderful time with Dan and Diann, and with Lela and JayByrd, and with Mason, and of course with Anna—he’ll see all of them at various points between now and Sunday when he leaves with Mason. It just makes me sad to know that I won’t see him for a month—that, and I think it’s one of the things that makes me realize not just that my life will be different from here on out, but that it’s already changed.

And the nurse, Nicky, came in a little while ago with a whole raft of pills: two different antibiotics, an antiviral, six Dilantin (because one of the chemo drugs I’ll start tomorrow, busolfan, can cause seizures), and a Pepcid (to counteract all the other stuff I just swallowed). In a while someone from the IV Team will come in and start a peripheral catheter in my arm, which will be used to draw blood samples so they can measure the effect of the busolfan over the next four days. At midnight Benson will come in again to take my vital signs. And at 5:00 (gasp!) Nicky will be in to take my vitals, draw blood, and start the first chemo, fludarabine. Then, at 6:00, they’ll start the busolfan. That will end at 9:00, and the chemo will be over for the day. Why so early? You ask. And Nicky says, because the research nurse is here in the morning. Whew.

This is called Day -7 because they do a countdown to Day 0, which is Transplant Day: next Tuesday, August 22. After that we’ll start counting up.

OK, that’s it for now. Here’s our room number and phone number:

Room 1137
Phone: 713-745-8698

M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
1515 Holcomb Blvd.
Houston, TX 77030


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