Wednesday, November 16, 2005

day 2 of round 2

At the moment, I’m watching Saving Private Ryan on TNT in between breaks from typing. The nursing assistant has come in my room to join me watch the film for a few minutes as an escape from what she described to me as the craziness outside.

My second day at the hospital has gone well. To my surprise yesterday, I learned that I received a private room this time. It’s quite spacious too. I have my own shower and bathroom. The view, however, isn’t scenic like my previous room which faced the East River and Queens. This time my room is encircled by the adjacent towers of the hospital. My friend described it best when she called it a prison yard of sorts.

According to my nurse, Jennifer some of the stem cell transplant rooms are 4-5 times this room’s size. Considering how comfortably large my room is, I was quite surprised to learn this. She told me these particular rooms are located in the corners of the stem cell transplant unit and they are furnished with a coffee table, couch, and even an exercise bike. Cool, heh?

Jennifer is very sweet and attractive. She is blond, slim and has a very gentle personality. Perhaps it’s no surprise that I feel comfortable around her. Like many of the nurses and nursing assistants in the oncology unit, she’s in her 20s. Jennifer seems to be the kind of person, who enjoys her job and helping others. Her sincere interest in her patients is obvious I think.

So far all is well. As in my first cycle of DICE, hiccups were the first side effects of the treatment. Besides a few brief periods of repeated hiccups, they haven’t been that bad. I remember how uncomfortable they became during my first cycle, but so far they have not been so intense. If I am going to use my 1st cycle as any kind of a barometer of how my treatment is expected to go this time around, the fatigue should be felt next. We’ll see.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to leave my room much today because of the low battery life of my infusion pump-IV pole. I have had to keep it plugged into the wall out of fear that perhaps after 5-10 minutes the infusion pump would beep, flickering a “battery low” message on its screen and thus, forcing me to scurry back to my room to plug it back in for more juice. Despite this little annoyance, I made a brief visit to the room of my former roommate, Nick. He moved to a different room from the one that we shared 2 weeks ago, but it’s still a 2 bed hospital room. This time, however, he has the coveted side with the river view. The 17th will mark one month since he arrived in the hospital. Nick made it clear to me how tired he is being here. I think he looks quite good, but he reminded that looks and feelings aren’t the same. Every one tells him how well he looks, Nick says, but he feels horrible he tells me. His hope was to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with his family and we were all delighted to learn this afternoon that it will be possible. Speaking to his wife and him, it’s very clear that they’re ecstatic that he’ll be home for a little bit even if brief.

I’m expecting at least three visitors tomorrow afternoon. My mom and godmother visited me today. They were met by a generous family friend, who brought delicious homemade sandwiches along with tasty red grapes and other snacks. It was a picnic of sorts. We had a wonderful time together and I wish to thank her again for taking time from her schedule to see me and preparing lunch for my family and me.

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