Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Another update and the NCAA Final Four - YIKES!

Reid was seen in the Fast Track Clinic at MD Anderson yesterday and everything was looking good.  His platelets stayed the same and didn't go down which was very good news.  It meant no transfusion was necessary and if they go up to 50 (from 44) by his next appointment on Thursday they'll remove the Central Venous Catheter.

I don't know who is more excited...him or me.  He'd love to see it gone because taking a shower is a bit of a hassle since it needs to be covered each time so it doesn't get wet.  It's also always there, in the way, and a constant reminder of what he's been through.  I'd love to see it gone because I do the bandage changes and now that we're living down here I do the daily Heparin flush too.  That was always Jim's job before, but he's back at the house so I do it now.  We're really keeping our fingers crossed that it's out on Thursday.

The fatigue hasn't gotten any better, but that is considered normal at this point and will just take time to improve.  The salty taste that the chemo left him with is better each day and yesterday his old appetite was 95% back.  He lost nine pounds in the hospital, but hopefully it will come back quickly now.

Now we have this to deal with...

We're living around a mile or so from Reliant Stadium and must pass by there to get to MD Anderson.  If there's another way to go I'm unfamiliar with that route or it involves a freeway.

We've been watching them transform Reliant Park and the stadium from The Houston Rodeo to The Final Four.  I would have taken pictures, but I was busy driving and in Houston traffic I must keep focused.  I also have no way to upload pictures on the Netbook.

This will give you an idea of our new traffic headache...

You'll have to click on the map to enlarge it.  We're staying near Main Street and just south of the 610 Loop.  The Medical Center and MD Anderson are located adjacent to Hermann Park and Reliant Stadium is located between here and there.  Taking Main Street is not a good option because it's almost next to impossible to get out in the traffic, so we take the 610 feeder road east to Kirby and go up Kirby to Old Spanish Trail.  (I don't even think they show Kirby on this map, but it runs along the west side of Reliant Park.)  On the east side is Fannin, but that will be just as bad as Kirby when it comes to traffic.  Hopefully, we can time things to avoid the worst traffic.  I hate traffic!

With luck his appointment on Thursday will be it for the week and we can hibernate here until the games are over.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Day +14 Update...and too much time on my hands!

Yesterday, we were back at MD Anderson for Reid's first follow up appointment with the Physician's Assistant.  His white count had gone down to 9.5 from 13.7 the day before, but this was expected.  His count had been higher from the Neupogen injections and now it all comes from his immune system.  I'll have more peace of mind when it gets up into the normal range and stays there.  We were both surprised that he didn't need a transfusion and she said he didn't need to return until Monday.  We had originally been told he'd have daily appointments including weekends for a while.  We celebrated by sleeping.  No early appointments to keep...YEA!

Fatigue is Reid's constant companion which is also very normal.  It can take a year or more for him to get his energy level back up.  However, he must get up and do some walking each day because of his lung.  His one lung doesn't fully inflate at the bottom since the original mass paralyzed a nerve to that lung.  One of the nurses explained that his new immune system might mistake that for infection and send a bunch of white cells there to fight infection which in turn would cause inflammation.  So, he must work to keep that lung as fully inflated as possible.

Yesterday, he got plenty of walking done at the hospital and then in the evening we walked around the outside of the motel.  Today, he didn't do as well.  We ended up having to go over to the hospital so he could get his lumens flushed since we don't have the supplies with us here.  We'll be getting them tomorrow when we go back to the house to get some things, but they need to be flushed daily or no less than every couple of days.  He was very tired, so he used a wheelchair for the trip into the hospital and then walked to the parking garage when we left.  I suggested another evening walk around the motel, but he fell asleep.

He also doesn't have much of an appetite.  Everything tastes salty to him...even plain water.  This is another chemo side effect and is expected to last a couple of weeks.  He's finally drinking more since I bought those Kool-Aid singles to put in the water.  I've got the refrigerator here stuffed with everything from Carnation Instant  Breakfast, Gatorade, pizza, lasagna, cheesecake, etc.  He eats a little, but says it's hard since nothing tastes right. 

Meanwhile, I found myself with a little extra time on my hands and stayed up late last night and did what bored people everywhere do....I googled my name.  Remember, I have a very common name, but what a life I've had!

I'm from NJ originally and must have had a Tupperware Party that I had completely forgotten about, but thanks to You Tube I now remember.

Bet you didn't  know there's an old British expression that goes, "All my eye and Betty Martin."  I'll admit it made absolutely no sense to me, but it means a lot of nonsense or baloney anyway.

I even have my own song called "Hey, Betty Martin."  It's sung by Joe Liggins and you can listen to my song here.

My alter ego has also been a writer, psychologist, artist and even an accountant.  I've died many times over, but I'll spare you the details. 

I've hardly changed at all over the years.

Yes, that could almost be this Betty Martin.  I actually had glasses like that once.

Then I googled my maiden name and found out that I had been arrested in Florida.  Here's my mug shot.

That's when I decided all this excitement might be too much for my heart and I quit googling.

Thanks again...Betty

Edited on March 29, 2011.  I had called this day +25 in the post title, but it was actually day +14.  I got the actual date mixed up with the post transplant date.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day +12 Discharged!

Things got a little rocky yesterday with a couple of nose bleeds and swallowing difficulty, but a platelet transfusion and a good night's rest turned things around today.  His throat was much improved and he was discharged around three this afternoon.

We got back to Candlewood Suites and I walked across the parking lot to Taco Bell and got him 4 tacos.  He ate three of them...the first non-soft food in almost two weeks!

We'll be making daily trips to the hospital for blood draws, transfusions, etc., for a while.  That's considered normal at this point.

Thanks again for your prayers and support...Betty

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day +11 and progress being made!

Yes, it's day +11 and there have been some changes.  Yesterday his white count went from .3 to 3.1 and today it's 9.1.  He's now engrafted and no longer needs the Neupogen injections.  He's producing white cells on his own!  It might fluctuate a little, but it won't go down much now.

There is a possibility he could be released tomorrow, but he must be able to drink 2 liters and swallow all his pills.  Right now his throat is bothering him because with engraftment everything starts to heal and new tissue is growing behind the damaged stuff in his esophagus and it's trying to slough off.  It feels as if something is stuck in his throat.  He's been told to try eating soft food...apple sauce, yogurt, etc., to see if that helps.  He also needs to walk around more in hopes of getting this thing dislodged.  And he needs to keep drinking.

I talked him into ordering scrambled eggs and apple sauce for breakfast (he hates yogurt so that's not an option) and he's giving it a try.  Nothing really appeals to him and I've found that making lots of suggestions sometimes meets with success.

Meanwhile, I moved yesterday to Candlewood Suites around 4 miles from the hospital.  I ran to Kroger on my way back there last night and bought a few things.  I'll need to get some more things before he's released.  Today I came here on their shuttle, so I don't have the car.  I hadn't expected things to move this quickly, but I'm glad!

Thanks again for your support!  Betty

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Day +9 and Happy Spring!

As I type this Jim and Reid are snoring away.  I'll try and concentrate...but it won't be easy!  Jim has always snored, but with Reid it is something new and I attribute it to the sores in his throat.  However, the good news today is that after many days the throat finally feels a little better.  He was able to drink the milkshake we brought today.  That's a big improvement over yesterday when he had one sip of milkshake and nothing else all day.  The nurse told us yesterday that all of a sudden the throat would feel better and the sores would disappear as quickly as they came.  She knows her stuff.

Today his white count was 1.3 up from .3 yesterday!  He can be discharged when the count is at 2.0, AND he can swallow his pills, AND he can drink 2 liters, AND his fever is normal for 48 hours.  The nurse seems to feel that this will happen soon.

All the nurses here are amazing.  They are excellent at what they do and all seem to enjoy their jobs.  As one nurse put it, "They really take care of us here."  I get the impression that MD Anderson really values their nursing staff.  They encourage all their nurses to get advanced degrees and pay for it...totally.  Then they move them to a higher pay scale.  As one nurse put it, "It's a win-win situation for them."

I just can't say enough about how good the nursing staff is here.  They are on the ball, well trained, and know exactly what to expect.  A very competent and compassionate group. 

Reid did develop a few nodules under his skin three or four days ago and today they biopsied them just to be on the safe side.  We should hear something in a few days.  They could just be another side effect from the chemo or something like a fungal infection.  Some have actually gone away, so hopefully this is just a big nothing. 

The lung culture from the other day never showed anything and that's good news.  His fever comes and goes, but it remains a low grade fever when it comes.  The nurse explained to us that when they start producing white cells the body sometimes mistakes that for an infection and gears up to fight infection with a fever.  After a while things settle down and the fever goes away.

When we arrived this morning he was out of his room taking a walk.  He's walked every day since he's been here except for the three worse days.

He just got up and went out for another walk.

Happy Spring!  For us it's been a good first day of Spring.  Betty

Friday, March 18, 2011

Just a quick update on day +7

Today Reid wasn't feeling as well as he was yesterday, but so far the test on his lung tissue has been inconclusive.  They were trying to grow a culture and as of this morning when the doctor came in nothing had grown.  I'm not sure how long they give it, but I take nothing at this point as good news.  We'll see what tomorrow brings.

His fever had remained very low yesterday, but this afternoon he felt warm and it had gone up.  I'm sure that had something to do with the way he felt.  They had given him Benadryl again for a platelet transfusion.  They always give Benadryl whenever any kind of transfusion is given. I think they said it's done because of the preservatives that are used.  I guess it's in case of an allergic reaction, but Reid hates the way it makes him sleep.  He wants to stay awake!  I think another one of the reasons he was kind of miserable today is because he doesn't want to use the pain killers for the same reason.

The last couple of days have brought on nose bleeds due to a low platelet count, so he has to have platelets and sometimes transfusions.  This is all to be expected at this point.

The good news is that today for the first time in days his white blood count was no longer zero.  Today it was .1.  It isn't much,but it's a start.  We were excited!

The cards continue to arrive.  Someone even sent him a lovely book.  When things settle down I'll try and thank as many people as possible personally, but in some cases I won't be able to due to a lack of address or blog name.  Please know that everything is very much appreciated.  He's really enjoyed all the mail.

Thanks once again for everything.

I've been taking pictures for Reid.  Here are a few:

Whoops...what's going on???  I clicked to add a picture and it brought up a box saying sign in for Google Cloud Picker to select an item from online storage.  What???   I've always added pictures from my computer.  I hope that's just a temporary glitch.  I do have a Picasa album for the slide show on my blog, but my other pictures are on my hard drive and I'd like to keep it that way.

Oh well...no pictures.  Betty

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day +6 update to follow...and help needed for Japan's 4 legged friends

I will try and post an update on Reid later when I'll possibly know more.  He's been running a fever and has part of one lung collapsed, but it is only a small area.  He also has a small amount of fluid in one lung and is on 4 different antibiotics, but a low grade fever remains.  This morning he had a procedure done where they went down and took a piece of lung tissue to try and determine exactly what is going on.  All things considered  he's actually looking better today and he started receiving the Nuprogen yesterday.  My hope is that things will start improving  more soon.  I'll post more as I know more.

Meanwhile I wanted to join in a special relief effort for Japan's four legged friends.  Being an animal lover myself I wanted to participate in this cause. 

Paws for Japan

Thanks again for your support and prayers and I hope I'll have more to report on Reid later.  Betty

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The real Day +4 and this and that...

Today is day +4 and I got ahead of things yesterday when I called Monday day +4.  I guess it was wishful thinking on my part wanting to get this long ordeal over for Reid. 

Today he is still taking pain medication for the mouth and throat sores.  He's in considerable discomfort and doesn't really talk much anymore.  His body is covered with this crusty looking rash and I'm starting to think that the mouth and throat sores are really the same thing only internally.  All of this is caused by the one chemo drug.  The clinical trial is to determine how large a dose can be tolerated along with the other drugs in the study.  This one drug is a bear!

He is now running a fever...101.3.  They took him down earlier for a chest X-ray and I'm hoping the doctor will be in soon with an update.  When we took the pre-admission class one of the nurses told us that most do develop a fever at some point while the immune system is depressed.  Hopefully, this too will pass.

Yesterday he received another stack of mail.  Wonderful cards (some beautifully hand made), inspiring notes and letters, and some adorable drawings by children were in the pile.  I actually saw a half smile on his face as he whispered to me that I should open the large envelope.  Inside a four year old boy had sent him drawings of planes crashing.  Reid could relate since many years ago he did similar drawings.  It's a guy thing I guess.  There was also a very pretty drawing from Mallory.  Thank you everyone!

I did promise you a picture of one of our cats.  I was printing out some information on dolls from a CD so I could take it to the hospital and read.  (My Netbook doesn't have a CD drive.)  Anyway, whenever Zoom hears the printer she comes running.  It doesn't matter where she is in the house.

She loves to try and catch the paper coming out.

There was a little entertainment outside Reid's hospital room one day last week.  Three helicopters landed on the roof below in a period of a couple of hours.  One was Life Flight and I certainly hope the person they brought in is doing OK now.

I've been trying to keep up with the news from Japan.  It's a tragedy of such huge proportions that it's hard to even imagine what life must be like for the people impacted.  For a few years I've followed the blog of a lady that lives in Japan, but was born here.  She's a quilter and I believe I learned of her blog from my friend Karen at SewPrimitive Quilter.  I'm no quilter (I would never have the patience), but Tanya at Taniwa often shares information about her life in Japan and I always enjoy her posts.  She also has six cats and a dog (one less cat than us!).  She was the first person I thought of when I heard the news, but I had no idea where in Japan she lived.  Anyway, she never lost Internet access and has been posting daily reports.  It's very interesting to read her account of the events.  Be sure and go back and read her earthquake posts from the beginning.  (She was actually underground in a stone quarry when everything started happening!)

Thanks again for everything!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Day +4 update

I wish I could tell you that he's improving each day, but unfortunately the opposite is true.  Although not unexpected by the nurses and doctors it has definitely surprised me at how quickly things have changed.

As one of the nurses put it, "It's as if your insides have been run over by a truck."

When I arrived this morning the nurse was just giving him platelets and pain medication.  In spite of him being vigilant with the special mouthwash routine he has developed very painful mouth and throat sores.  Actually, one of the nurses explained the other day that the sores are throughout his intestinal track.  I guess that's where the getting run over by a truck comment comes from.  Today's nurse said the sores are inevitable with the chemo he's had...it's just a matter of the degree.  I know he did everything within his power, but he's still in a lot of pain.  They will be hooking him up later to a pump where he can press a button and self administer the pain medication.  He's on a soft and liquid diet.

Thankfully, as I type this he is sleeping from the pain medication and the Benadryl.  He has also broken out in a red rash and in places has scratched himself raw which is not good with no immune system.  This is also a side effect of this particular chemo.

 Sitting here watching my child (no matter how old, they are always your child) suffer this way is very difficult.  I can't help but question why.  He's been through so much since being diagnosed in October 2009.  He had six months of ABVD chemo, weeks of radiation, almost three months of ICE chemo and now the clinical trial chemo regiment.  This is by far the worst.

If only there was a 100% chance of this working because anything less would be a very cruel joke after all he's going through.

I wish you could meet him.  I realize I'm his mother, but indulge me for a few moments.  Reid is quiet and easy going with a very good sense of humor.  He rarely complains.  I believe these personality traits have helped to get him through some of the rough patches.  But today there's no smile on his face.

The sores will not get any better until he starts receiving Neupogen which helps his body produce more white cells.  That won't be until day +5 or day +7 (in his case the nurse wasn't sure which until she looks it up) and then it will take a few days for the sores to begin to heal after the white count starts to go up.

The nurse has assured him that things will get better even though it doesn't seem that way right now.  He tells me this is Hell and he will never go through this kind of treatment again.  At this point I don't blame him one bit.  I feel helpless sitting here watching.  I am so grateful to Keith for taking time off from work to sit here with me last week.  He went back to Austin on Saturday and I really miss him today with the change in Reid's condition.

Reid also developed a cough a few days ago and is receiving breathing treatments 4 times a day and oxygen for shortness of breath.  This is a little concerning to me, but so far his lungs are clear and that is good news.

All the nurses here are very good, but today's nurse is super good.  Very attentive and caring...the one you'd want if you were feeling like crap.

I got here before the bad weather today which is good since it's getting very dark and dreary now and with my eyes I can't see well enough to drive in the dark anymore.  I might drive locally, but not on the freeways so now I'm worried about getting home.  I hope the weather clears.  I just checked with the motel where we have reservations beginning on the 21st to see if I could check in this week and be closer to the hospital, but it's not possible with the rodeo still in town until the 20th.  I hate having to leave early each day to beat rush hour traffic and darkness, but there's no choice.

Reid's awake now and they just hooked up the pump and a blood transfusion.  It's already helping some.  YEA!

As much as I hate all of this I was reminded yesterday that at least there's a possibility of a cure for Reid.  My friend Connie isn't as lucky.  I found out yesterday that she's been diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease).  Actually, her mother was a friend of mine that I met shortly after moving here in the early 90's.  Annette died of Lou Gehrig's disease around 7 years ago.  Connie was the one that cared for her mother.  Talk about unfair, but no one ever said life is fair.

I feel like I should end this on an upbeat.  I remember my niece who was a television news producer saying that they always tried to end the newscast with something upbeat, but today I'm at a loss.  I do have an adorable picture of the cat to share, but it's on the home computer.  I'll share it soon.

Thanks again for your support and prayers...Betty

Friday, March 11, 2011

Day 0...finally!! and creamed corn??

Finally!  Around 11:00 this morning Reid began receiving his stem cells back.   There were three bags that had to be infused and that's the first bag hanging all the way to the right in this picture.  It took a little over an hour and initially he was sick, but the nurse gave him something for nausea and then he pretty much slept through the whole thing and the rest of the day.  They've been giving him Benadryl anyway because he's had a reaction to one of the chemo drugs and has broken out in a rash.

The nurse stayed with him the entire time.  A nursing student observed.  Needless to say, Reid did not feel like posing for a picture, so you won't be seeing him today.

The whole thing was very interesting.  The stem cells arrived from the lab frozen in a thing that kind of looked like a cooler inside this white box.  Here he is getting ready to remove one of the bags.  (I'm sorry...I didn't get his name, but he was very nice about explaining everything to me and answering my 1001 questions.)

He thawed the bags as the stem cells were needed.  Here's one of the frozen bags sitting on the counter.  It came in the flat metal box that you can see in the picture and I assume it was to protect the bag from being damaged.  I understood him to say that they're hung by number inside a cryo...something, but we'll just call it a fancy refrigerator here.  Sorry, I'm no scientist.

He placed the bag of frozen stem cells inside what looked like a large Zip Lock bag and then placed them in water to thaw.  I think he told me the water was body temperature, but would drop a few degrees while he turned the bag around and the stem cells thawed.  It probably only took five minutes or less to thaw each bag.

With the third bag he had to take a couple of samples of the thawed stem cells so they could determine how many died during the freezing process.  It's normal for some to die off and I guess they want to have a pretty good idea of exactly how many good cells were infused.

And that was it.  The whole thing was finished in a little over an hour.

Then the entire room smelled like creamed corn.  Even though we were wearing masks we could still smell it.  The preservative that's added to the stem cells causes a smell like creamed corn that Reid's body puts out through his skin.  We were told ahead of time to expect it, and they weren't kidding.

Now it's in God's hands.

And while all of this was going on the nurse came into the room and said, "He's gotten a bunch of cards today," and handed me a stack of envelopes.  Thanks to Jenny over at Jenny Matlock..."off on my tangent" people are sending him cards after she wrote about him on her blog.  He'll have mail to open when he's feeling a little better tomorrow.  Thanks to Jenny and everyone else who read her blog post and responded.

All the caring, concern, and prayers are greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Day -2 and counting...

Today is day -2 and so far things are going well.  Reid is still in good spirits and joking with everyone.  However, his counts have gone down and today he required his first transfusion.  As the counts continue to go down he will become more and more fatigued, so Keith and I will take a walk with him shortly.  We are told that evidence seems to indicate that the people who exercise and remain active get out of the hospital sooner.  There will be days when he won't be able to do much, so he must remain active while he can.

Here are the pictures I took on Monday when Reid was moved to the new stem cell floor.  He doesn't consider any of this a Kodak moment, but agreed to one picture.  

This is Keith sitting on the couch that opens up into a bed in case someone wants to spend the night.  Keith joked that it was too bad Reid didn't have this room on Sunday when we had the plumbing problems at home.  We could have all moved in and saved money on a motel.  :)  There are 2 TVs in the room and you can see the one in this picture.  The table can be rolled anywhere in the room and is nice for when we eat here with Reid.  I'm actually using it now as I type on the Netbook.

I give up!  I uploaded these pictures to Blogger from home intending to add text from here.  I keep trying to get my text aligned to the left, but it wants to be centered like the pictures and I'm tired of trying to change it each time.  From now on it will be centered...I think!

This picture shows how the room is set up.  It's at least twice as big as the room he had before.

And this is the view.  The building with BCM is Baylor College Of Medicine.  Between Baylor and the building to the right is Rice University's football stadium.  At least I think it's their stadium.


The brick building is St. Luke's Hospital.  That's where the Texas Heart Institute is located.   I believe the glass building is medical offices

I think this is part of St. Luke's too.  We'd love to see a helicopter land, but so far it hasn't happened.

That's the update for today.  Thanks again for your prayers and support.  Betty

Monday, March 07, 2011

Sometimes when it rains, it pours and day -4

This is day -4 and so far Reid has been doing well.  He is still eating well and exercising daily.  The stem cell patients are supposed to walk for at least 10 minutes three times a day.  Today is considered a day of rest and he receives no chemo on this day.  So far he's been receiving the same chemo drug, but tomorrow he'll receive something new.  At least that's my understanding.
A few hours ago he was transferred to a new room on the 17th floor.  This is a brand new area of the hospital and he's the first patient in this room.  It's probably twice the size of his previous room and has 2 tv's.  One for the patient and one for visitors.  The view of the Houston skyline is amazing.  I've taken pictures and will post them later.  Right now I'm at the hospital on the netbook.  We were kind of surprised when we heard about this move as we did not realize the new section was ready for patients.

His new room number is 1741.  The rest of the address is still the same.

Reid Martin
c/o MD Anderson Cancer Center
Room 1741
1515 Holcombe Blvd.
Houston, TX  77030

I haven't had time to update my blog.  When it rains, it pours.  We had sewerage backing up into the house and spent last night at a motel.  The plumber came this morning and we're OK now...I hope.  It was chilly yesterday morning and I turned the heat on and the carbon monoxide detector went off.  We turned off the heat and opened all the windows.  We actually think the detector malfunctioned.  We bought a new one and turned the heat on and it detected nothing, but we won't run the heater again until it's checked.

It's time for us to go take one of those ten minute walks!  We appreciate your warm thoughts and prayers...Betty

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

"Day -9" and counting...

I feel like Shorty Powers at NASA giving the countdown.  If you're not familiar with Shorty Powers then you must be young.  During the Mercury days he'd give the launch count down and then after launch tell us that everything was "A-OK."

So far everything is "A-OK" with Reid's anticipated stem cell transplant.  He received the three pre-admission injections which were to help with mouth sores.  The doctor had told him that they would cause a coating on the cells to protect them.  I guess they did because he developed a coating on his tongue which he finds a little annoying and which gives his food little taste.  He also developed a red face which is a side effect of this medication.  Yesterday he looked as if he'd been out in the sun way too long, but today it wasn't as noticeable.

He was admitted to the hospital on Monday evening.  On Tuesday he was given a test dose of one of the chemo drugs and then blood was drawn every two hours all day.  I believe this was to see how his body would react to the drug and how it was metabolized.  This drug can cause seizures, so he had to take anti-seizure medication.  The pharmacist told him that he must take this with the chemo drug and if he's ever unable to keep it down they will give it to him by IV.

Today was day -9 and a day of rest.  No chemo was given and he was feeling just fine.  We ordered lunch from room service and also took a ten minute walk outside the room wearing our gloves and masks.  Reid doesn't have to wear a mask or gloves in his room, but everyone else does.  He only has to wear them when he leaves the room.  He also began a  mouth regiment where he has to gargle four times a day with some special stuff (new medical term).  This is also to help with mouth sores.

Tomorrow is day -8 and that is when the real chemo begins.  His stem cells are scheduled to be returned to him on "day 0" which is March 11th.  We're told that some people consider this their new birthday.

Over the weekend Troy told me to return the Netbook and I notified Amazon that I wanted to get a replacement.  They immediately shipped a new one.  It was here in two days!  I can't say enough about Amazon's great service.  I took it to the hospital today and then couldn't connect to their WiFi.  Reid tried and he couldn't get it to work either.  I was about to call MD Anderson's tech department but decided to try one more time.  A box came up, I clicked it, and it worked.  Unfortunately, I have no idea how I did it and now hope I can get it to connect tomorrow.  We must have been doing something wrong.  It gave me the option of saving the connection and I didn't.  I was afraid that if I did it wouldn't work at the house.  Now I'm kind of sorry I didn't just save the connection for the hospital since that's where I'll be using it most of the time.  Wish me luck tomorrow.

I came home yesterday and went out on the deck to visit the cats.  I looked up and saw this...

Yes, little baby leaves.  Spring is definitely right around the corner.

I also took a few pictures of the cats.  Here's Atticus...


and Scout.

I'll try and post regular updates.  It will be a long hospitalization and if anyone would like to send a note or card (nothing else is allowed) the address is:

Reid Martin
c/o MD Anderson Cancer Center
Room 1076
1515 Holcombe Blvd.
Houston, Texas 77030

Thanks for your support and prayers.