Saturday, January 22, 2011

New Room

The night chemo ended (Thursday) was also my last night in my initial room. When I was admitted, there were no free beds on the "leukemia" wing, so I started in a room on the "solid tumors" wing.

 The nurse brought a wheelchair -- shudder -- and I loaded it with my small collection of stuff: backpack, books, pajamas, running shoes, some V8 juice (my way around the lack of any juices that aren't too sweet for my [current] tastes)...

I had been told that the rooms in the NW wing were larger, since they were doubles converted to singles. I was misinformed. My new room may be a converted double, but if so, it was converted by turning it into two singles and an anteroom. So, it's actually smaller. On the plus side, it does have an old wall-mounted HP computer, so that's something to look forward to in case my MacBook dies.

The anteroom is part of the enhanced sterility controls in this wing relative to the one I started on. Filtered air is constantly pumped into my room, and both my door and the anteroom door to the corridor remain closed. Whenever either door is opened, air flows out.

My windows face north, so I'll miss the direct sunlight my first room had. But the view is better: more sky, a variety of buildings, the main entrance to the medical center (always bustling), playground (empty -- kids these days are such wimps about 10-degree temperatures).

I'm currently finishing my second platelet transfusion, with some red blood cells to follow. I can tell I'm running low on the latter. Yesterday, I was running/walking at 15:00/mile pace on the treadmill, thinking I was taking it sufficiently easy. Then I checked my pulse -- 160, which is too high for taking it easy. So I kept dialing down the speed until my pulse reached a more reasonable 140. Total workout: 31:28 for two miles. After my upcoming blood-doping session, who knows what I'll be capable of.

Update: Now receiving the red blood. It's going to be a few hours (two bags). The nurse asks how I'm doing, and I mention that I'm kind of sleepy. "Oh, that's the Benadryl. It makes you kind of mellow." Uh oh. I'm clinically mellow to begin with, so it looks like we'll be turning the mellow dial up to 11.


  1. Hopefully a change of view will be a good thing even without the sunshine - let us know if the kids get brave. I personally like testing the swings and slide after a fresh layer of snow - but we don't get much of that here in Virginia Beach - suspect you'll get plenty of in Chicago!

  2. Hey Joe. I'm so glad to hear you're moving on to the next stage of treatment. I am hoping when you're done, I can persuade you and Jan to visit Chapel Hill for a women's soccer or men's basketball game.

  3. Hope your release from "Ivy" has led to easier trips to the bathroom. Keep up the training--so good for heart and soul. Sam and I are tuning in to Joe Blast daily--sending you warm, mellow thoughts on this chilly but fresh winter evening.

  4. I know what you mean about those wimpy kids. When I moved south from New England to Virginia (also in the Virginia Beach area, about 30 miles west of there) I became one of the wimps. It's amazing how quickly you acclimate to the warmer temps, and now a 40 degree day seems impossibly cold!

    I am so enjoying your blog, and being able to keep up with your daily progress.


  5. "clinically mellow"---that's a great term! I'm sad that I even have to read this blog but you are definitely keeping a positive attitude and I hope that aid in your treatments/recovery.