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.