Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Day + 15: Morning has broken!

Today I actually went for a walk OUTSIDE for the first time in weeks. After a night of rain the sun appeared this morning and we took advantage and walked up to Grant Park in the sweet, clean air. Everything is in bloom right now - it is an over abundance of color and show. I am particularly happy to be "out" when the Lilacs are in bloom!

Now that I'm home, I am pretty much untethered from all the "support" that I was given in the hospital - except for a regimen of pills and an antibiotic "infusion" that is somewhat technical and tedious to deliver. I still have a PICC line in my arm, that is used to draw blood and infuse drugs and blood products. At the hospital, this was all administered by the professional nursing staff. At home, Julie and I are now in charge of this technology! A kaiser home health care nurse came over on Sunday and gave us detailed (she was here for an hour and a half!) instructions on how to set it up and deliver it. We have to do the infusion every 8 hours - which keeps me somewhat on a hospital like schedule (i.e. sleeping "through the night" is kind of a relative concept).

The other part of my new reality is visiting "the hill" every couple of days to get my blood drawn to analyze the progress of my recovery. I visit the infusion room at the hospital and sit in a giant chair and wait for the lab results to determine what it is I need in terms of support.

The good news so far: I went in for the first time today, and they sent me home because my counts were stable - so I didn't need any additional support. YEAH! (Actually, my white cell count had dropped since Sunday from 3.0 - 2.6, and my platelets and red cell counts haven't budged upward yet... but this was considered stable and normal, so they sent me home!).

I have a couple of other odd appts coming up as well: following up with my Radiation treatment team at Kaiser, and Dr. Lo, the Ophthalmologist who was treating my eyes with injection "therapy" early in my treatment.

So my life is still pretty securely tethered to the hospital and the drugs and the reality of my treatment. But, it is all so much easier to tolerate and accept while working from the comfort of my home and family (and my faithful dog who is always ready to nap right next to me no matter what!).


  1. YAY for Biscuit! I am glad that you are enjoying being home and got to go for a walk today! I miss Portland in the spring! Lots of love from Ohio! I will see you in a few weeks!


  2. I am so glad to hear you are home, before you know it we will be hearing your voice again at Grace!

  3. hi Mark,
    Continued strength for you...
    Here's another musical gem for you:
    peace and blessings,

  4. DAD! I am glad you got outside in that beautiful Portland air - I am missing it back here in the Midwest. Getting back into Grinnell is easier than I had thought it might be, but it feels a little silly, to be here for only three weeks. I love you!!!!

  5. Hi Mark,

    I've been thinking of you and I'm glad to hear that you're at home and enjoying the spring weather when you can. Just know you have peeps thinking of you and sending positive thoughts your way.

    Hang in there, you are strong!


  6. beautiful lilacs in bloom... we are a few weeks behind you in the rocky mts. my lilacs are budding but not flowering just yet. Its great to hear that you are on the healing path. Today I've been contemplating the power of hope. In a sense to me it is the Divine Mystery which sustains us and breaths life into each moment. Big Hug! Nat