Kellie’s Update, Sunday April 29

Mom was admitted to Hopkins on Thursday.  It was really a comedy of errors, and the staff apologized profusely.  She was scheduled to be admitted at noon, but her room wasn’t ready until nearly 5pm.  She hadn’t slept any the night before, being anxious about the day, so she wasn’t having a good time of it.  Once in the room, she discovered the TV didn’t work, and neither did the phone (it seemed), so that added to chaos.  The first night in, they start the chemo right away and take your blood every hour (to see how your body is metabolizing the drugs), so she had no opportunity to sleep then either.

I expected on Friday she would be pretty furious, but she sounded positively upbeat. 26 laps around her circular ward equals 1 mile, and she had already walked 3 miles!  She did not sleep again on Friday night, but was still amazingly peppy when I went to see her on Saturday.  She walked 3 miles on Saturday as well.  It turns out that the chemo or the anti-nausea drugs were affecting her as a stimulant (not typical).  Saturday night they gave her a dose of Ambien, and she was able to get 6 consecutive hours of sleep.

Her room is spacious, but I’ll bet by the end of this, it feels like a closet.  The TV is fixed–it’s a 19 inch perched precariously on the top of a wardrobe.  The phone does work, but to call out you have to set up a calling card.  Every staff member we’ve met so far has been very friendly and helpful.  I was able to spend about 2 hours visiting with her on Saturday.

My Dad came down with a cold on Friday, so he hasn’t been able to visit her since the day she was admitted.  They say he can see her on Monday, if he wears a mask.  I didn’t want to catch his cold and possibly delay my end of the transplant, so I haven’t seen him either.  Instead, we exchanged things to take to Mom in the garage, waved at each other at 20 feet, and have chatted on the phone.

Today Mom has been hit by the nausea and she hasn’t been able to eat.  Tomorrow the Cytoxan starts, and that is the one that has the really hard hitting side effects.  She will be on that Monday and Tuesday, and then she will get a break.  The protocol calls for 5 days of chemo, then the transplant, then 2 more days of Cytoxan.

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