Saturday, September 4, 2010

My Holiday Getaway

Good evening everyone!  Before I begin I would like to offer my condolences to my Ole Miss friends on the death of their football season.  I watched the end of that game and I couldn't believe what I had witnessed, it must have been so devastating for an alum/fan.   It was the opposite for us Dawg fans, the boys put on a show and I think they are ready for the Cocks next weekend.  I know we have a few USC alums who read, so hopefully they won't be too hurt after the Junkyard Dawgs silence that damn bird next weekend.

I am writing this from my all-inclusive resort; a place where all meals are served in the privacy of your room and where activities are planned on an hourly basis, it is great!  Yes, I am talking about Emory University Hospital!!  In all seriousness, this first hospital stay has been pretty good thus far.  The nurses have been very kind, and it has been great to have family and friends stopping in to help pass the time.  I have felt no side effects yet from the drugs, so that has allowed me to feel good over these past few days.  I am on a constant IV drip that is comprised of chemo drugs and some meds that help prevent side effects and pave the way for the chemo drugs.  The chemo drug doxorubicin is so toxic that a normal sized IV bag can only be distributed over a 24 hour period.  You can probably get through the same sized bag of basic hydrating fluid in a couple of hours, so it is pretty wild how slow it drips.  My IV stand has about 5 wires going from the machine into my port (Think "The Matrix", but with better acting).  I am encouraged to walk around the perimeter of the oncology wing, of which 21 laps equals a mile.  I have walked 30 and 32 laps the last two days respectively.  The only reason I haven't done more is because I want to spend time with my guests, and it would be silly for us to do such walking in a single file line.  For my walks I unplug my IV dispenser and I wheel it around with me on battery power, so it is tough to move to fast with the creaky old cart at my side.  

To this point I feel no different than I did when I was admitted on Friday.  They told me that some people begin to feel nauseous, but I haven't felt it yet (one of my drips prevents this).  I think that is the main question I have been asked by friends and family is regarding how I feel with this stuff pumping into my veins, and my only answer is that there is no feeling, you barely know it is going on.  The difficult thing to this point has been trying to figure out how to sleep.  They offered me an ambien last night, but I was a little worried about how long it would knock me out for into this morning, so I asked for a half.  That was a mistake, as it wasn't enough to put me under, and I then had trouble falling back asleep after the routine checkups they do during the night to observe my vitals and monitor my drip.  I am going to take a full one tonight, so hopefully I can catch a few more z's.

As a healthy 28 year old, the weirdest part about being here is that I am the only one of my kind.  The other patients on the wing are much older, and some are further into their treatments (I assume, or else they were looking pretty rough "nornally").  I feel like I don't belong here when I take my walks and get to see the poor souls fighting similar fights as mine.  I mean, it probably isn't much of a boast when I say I can walk the fastest mile on this hall, nurses included.  But again, I am in my first cycle, and even with a great attitude, I bet things will be vastly different during cycle 5, after ~4 months of destroying my body and then  letting it recover only to destroy it to the brink all over again.  Without a doubt this will test my resolve and mental toughness, but as I have maintained from the beginning, I am going to roll with every punch thrown, and do my best to keep my sense of humor regarding the whole situation.

In closing I would like to recognize some other hospital news, the good kind:  loyal friends Matt/Kate Boyer and  Barry/Lucy Strozier are both set to receive visits from the stork later this week.  Congratulations to you both, and thank you especially for the amount of concern/care you've all shown me despite your current situations! 

I will post again before I head home for recovery so enjoy the weekend, and don't forget to root for VaTech to beat Boise St.  Also root for occasional reader Stewart Cink(only guy I will have more hair than in a few days) this weekend in the PGA TOUR playoffs.



  1. Good morning, MIchael!

    I hope it is a VERY good morning and you were able to sleep through the night. A little poking, a little prodding, turning lights on and off, and don't forget all the hospital noise as a recipe for a great night's sleep. Yep, sounds like something we all want to sign up for!

    How nice for them to schedule your drip over a week end with such great sports entertainment. Just in case you run out of options--don't forget the US Open is on. Sharapova plays Wozniaki today so that could be a good diversion since all of the NFL teams are waiting until Thursday to start the real deal.

    And of course we will be front and center to watch Stewart. He is certainly in the hunt and we can only hope they give him more television coverage than usual. What is up with that??

    I heard from your Mom that you are hungry--so don't hesitate to ask her to bring all of your favorites. Moms just love to be doing something, so whipping up a treat or two would keep her busy. She stays out of trouble when you keep her busy so you are doing your Dad a favor, too!

    Thanks for the posts--I think you have a great future as a professional blogger!

    Kristen Sapp

  2. Thanks Mrs. Sapp!

    I love your posts, they make it so much easier to stay positive! You have a great outlook and I appreciate the support. You are right, hopefully I will retain my appetite and be able to really put her to work on some dishes when I get out of here.. Enjoy the rest of the holiday!


  3. hilarious..laughed the entire way through :) I just called you! you must be sleeping!

  4. At the school I use to cheer for has nowhere to go but up; whereas, I feel that UT peaked in its first game.

  5. Michael we have one huge hill out here on our golf course that must be 50 yards above the fairway. If you don't get a good approach, you have to climb the hill of shame at 6000ft elevation.. I was just trying to picture you pulling that IV drip up that hill for your next shot! But of course, if anyone could, it would be you. You can mentally practice those shots with the nurses standing at the top on the green cheering you on. You'll make this tough climb. Skipper

  6. Son,

    I know I promised that I would shoot an 84 today on my golf round as a way to inspire you. I did, but unfortunately - they then made me go ahead and finish my round! Oh well.

    Would bowling inspire you?

    Your father.

  7. Hicky, I like that attitude.. Maybe the loss will bring the Rebs together..

    Skipper, 6000ft is that all? Doesn't seem that high, though the IV wheels would need to be retrofit to handle the climb, that would be my only concern..

    Dad, perhaps gardening is in your future? I'd love to come home and see a nice tulip garden on your behalf

  8. Son,

    I don't think I can do the tulip garden. About all I can grow is crab grass.

    Oh, I shot 83 today. Does that count? Do you feel inspired???

    Your dad