A bed was available on the evening of the 14th. Patients wait at home for a phone call and are admitted sometime between 6:00 PM and midnight. A little after 9:00 Reid was told the room would be ready a little after 9:30, so he got ready and we drove down. Stem cell patients are kept on the 17th and 18th floors. They're private rooms and are very large with a couch that opens up, a desk, recliner, and 2 TV's...one for the patient and one for visitors.
He was started on chemo and felt OK until today when they started a different type of chemo for today and tomorrow. This one is pretty brutal and he's had it before and knows what to expect. He will develop painful mouth and throat sores. While being infused he's chewing on ice which is supposed to help. The nurse explained that chemo doesn't like cold and chewing on ice will hopefully keep it from destroying some of the good cells in his throat and mouth helping to cut down on the sores a little. Last time he was given a morphine pump when it got bad and I'm assuming the same will be done this time. Then he'll have a day of rest before receiving Keith's stem cells on December 21st. The doctor told him he'd be pretty sick around a week after entering the hospital and will be for a while I guess. He knows he'll be very fatigued for the foreseeable future.
He's really a good sport about everything. He doesn't complain much at all and I personally feel he's more than earned the right to complain. I wish I could stay this evening, but I have trouble with my depth perception driving at night and know I shouldn't really be doing it. I'll have to leave a little before 5 as it's dark here by 6. Jim drove at night the last time. I'm just glad that I don't mind driving on the freeways. I've known people that decide they no longer want to do it and stop. Then something happens and they can't get where they need to go. You can't ask someone else to spend hours at a time down here like we do. We were down here most days for the last two weeks leading up to his admission.
They are shooting for a January 10th discharge date, but that will depend on how things go. He did run a fever two nights ago, but nothing showed up in the chest X-ray. They ran another test and until we get results visitors now have to wear a paper gown in addition to masks and gloves. (It's a little tricky typing with gloves.)
When he's discharged we have to live nearby for a while before he goes home..They want him no more than 30 minutes away and we're about an hour. I walked across the street today to The Rotary House which is a hotel owned by MD Anderson and managed by Marriot. It doesn't cost that much more than where we stayed last time, so we'll be going there. It's attached to the hospital by a walkway and I'll save on parking. They also do blood draws there which might make it easier too. I'm sure it will be super clean. With Jim gone now I'll just feel better having him real close to help if needed. In a pinch I can push him across the street to the Emergency Room.
In the hospital decorating contest the tree on Reid's floor won first place. I took a picture with my cell phone and will try and post it soon. It's quite original.
Thank you for your prayers and support.