Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Day -6 : Arrival

Well, I made it into the institution. And it all went very well. Julie and I had breakfast at Milo's in the morning and then when up on the hill...

I had a PICC line put in my arm at 10 am - with some minor complications, and then we snuck downtown for a nice lunch at Higgin's - since we weren't' officially admitted to the hospital yet we figured we could get away with it.

After admission, we found our way to "14K" which is the 14th floor of the Kohler Pavillion - home of the Phil Knight Cancer Center. This is quite a swanky and new facility with first class accommodations and even finer views of the city (see above taken from my window!). The room is very spacious and everything is new and nice... and, well, the view is unbelievable.

My first impression is very good. I love the staff - my nurse today was Malinda and she was just terrific; helpful and articulate, smart and funny. I met the Dr on staff this week, Dr Chen, and he too was very helpful and informative. All signs are good so far!

Right now I'm on the first batch of Chemotherapy which is: Carmustine. It ostensibly packs a punch , so I'm on some preliminary drugs for anti-nausea and other support.

And so it begins....


  1. 14k like a 14er here in the rocky mts (14,000ft Mt) you may have to come out to Colorado and climb one in 2011 to make it real! The view is spectacular. Sending love & light for your healing

  2. Yeah! A 14k! That's perfect! I thought that had a nice ring to it. Thanks for your support. I'll have to think about the possibility of doing a climb on one of those mountains.


  3. Hey dear,

    Glad you finally made it to launch. Sounds like you are in good hands with a great plan of care. At 7:00 am I prayed for you, Julie and the girls. I will pray for all of you now as I get ready for bed. Thank you for the pictures and updates. With lots of love, Mary Anne

  4. It's good the process has finally started -- and I love your spirit, Mark. I know your strength and the support of Julie, Kelly and Claire and all the family and friends who love you dearly will get you through this with flying colors!

    Much love, Patti

  5. Thanks for all the good thoughts, dear ones. I know Mark and I are both relieved this process is actually underway after so many months of anticipating it.
    The black and gold strand hanging from Mark's IV pole in the photo above is a wind chime, which makes a lovely soft chime as Mark wheels his pole around. Thank you, Leila!

  6. I am so glad to hear you had a good 1st day. My thoughts and prayers are with you all! The choir will not be the same without you!

  7. Glad things went so well today, Mark and Julie! I love the idea of you two sneaking away for lunch. My guess is that you'll think of more ways to get around things in the days ahead.

    Say thanks to Malinda from all of us. A nurse who's "just terrific" is just what you deserve.

    Love and hugs to you both,

  8. So I notice the silliest things. They use Alaris smart pumps - can tell from the picture - really good equipment. The devil is in the details, so I like being pleased with those little things.
    Who was it who said a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
    Hopefully, it's not quite a thousand miles.

  9. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
    Lao-tzu, The Way of Lao-tzu
    Chinese philosopher (604 BC - 531 BC)

    Katy - thanks for noticing. Yes, those Alaris pumps are nice! Quiet and flexible. I have to tell you though, yesterday after my nurse got me all plugged in and programmed for my first round, she and I were talking and laughing and, she went away. About a half hour later I said to Julie: "boy these new units are really quiet!" Turns out, the nurse hadn't pushed the ON button. I beeped her and she said I'd past the first "patient test"!

  10. As a leukemia patient I entered 14K with much uncertainty about my own future. I have Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). I was fearful, concerned and worried about many things, including how I'd do with chemo therapy. It was frightening.
    Let me tell everyone who will listen; the doctors, nurses and other staff immediately took charge of my care in the most tender, caring, knowledgeable way. They reassured me, answered all of my questions, cared very well for me, encouraged me and helped get me back to my normal self again.
    I cannot put into words my appreciation of the quality of the 14K staff in helping me out of an emotional storm and getting back to living a happy life.
    They're just great. Thank you.