Friday, November 10, 2006

Room 7437

It's grey and dreary outside. The temperature has dropped to the low 40's and it's supposed to snow. Yesterday, of course, was bright, sunny and unusually warm for this time of year. Susan, Dr Vose's chemo coordinator, met with Mom, Dad and I yesterday morning to go over the protocol I'll be on, the side-effects I can expect (mouth sores are popular this time) and gave me a general schedule for the next six weeks. Hyper-CVAD is an intensive chemotherapy divided into two parts. I'm doing part B, the more intense course first, to give the tumor a bigger initial shock then after a two week break I'll do part A which uses some of the same chemo drugs in CHOP-R, the regime I was on this summer. Right now I'm on Mesna, the second drug so far, for the next twenty-two hours.

7437 is the typical beige hospital room with the requisite faux Thomas Kincaid painting and narrow view of the outside world. The room overlooks the hospital's scenic heating and cooling plant and the adjoining neighborhood of 1940s beige (okay, one is turquoise) wood-frame homes. All who enter here have to wear a mask, gloves and gown (the paper kind!) unless they've had their flu shots. Mom and Dad just got vaccinated yesterday but have still had to wear masks (I'll post photos later) since there is still the possibility of making me sick. Yes, the world does revolve around me. Mom is happy to have a roll-away bed and not a sleeper-"chair" like she had at Baylor. The Hospital also has room service! So, instead of a scheduled meal service I get to choose whatever I want from a menu and they'll bring it to me whenever I want. And, if the Hospital kitchen doesn't have what I want then they will pick up something for me to eat at one of the three hospital restaurants . I tell ya --- you have a lot of pull when you have cancer!

Dr Bociek, the oncologist on-call, stopped by during rounds this morning (interrupting The View) with an entourage of about fifty people --- two PAs, a pyschologist, a social worker, my nurse, a visiting doctor from Taiwan, several students and a nutritionist. We chatted for a few minutes about how I was feeling, if I was having a reaction to any of the drugs and he checked my breathing and heart rate. He seems like a good doctor and I like him but it was sort of odd having such a personal conversation and being examined in front of an audience (though, as I've said before, I've lost most all sense of modesty so it wasn't embarrassing it was just ... odd) though if we had added a fight you would've had the Jerry
Springer Show. After the room cleared out, the psychologist stayed and hung out for a few minutes and we talked about my reaction to the growing mass. Then the tech came back in to check my vitals. Mom and Dad went to lunch. Mindi changed my chemo drugs ... it's been an exciting day.


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