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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Monday at Dana Farber

Yesterday was my scheduled 10-hour day at DFCI. As a preamble, I was handed a pleasant surprise Saturday night when G. and I met up with Jeff and Christine to attend a concert at Boarding House Park in Lowell. As I was gently pushed into Jeff's apartment, there stood Brian! He had come up from New Jersey so that he could come to DFCI with me on Monday. Everyone had conspired to keep me in the dark (easy to do), and the surprise was complete. Pam and Logan were visiting her sister, Michelle, in Boston, and on Sunday we all convened at our place for a cookout. A delightful time was had by all.

Brian and I set out at 7:00 to fight the am rush-hour traffic into Boston for my 8:45 appointment. The day started out with screening blood tests to make sure I meet the criteria for continuing the trial protocol. As I understand it, my white blood cell, albumin, and neutrophil counts have to stay within certain parameters. So far, so good (whew!). After a 3 hour wait, I then got my 3rd dose of MLN9708 and dexamethasone, along with the Revlimid. Then began a 7-hour sequence of scheduled blood draws to track the chemicals in my system.

Gretchen, Pam, and Logan drove in around noontime to join us. During my 2-hour break, we all went to Petit Robert in Kenmore Square for lunch. It did not disappoint...3 types of pate, ecargot, coq au vin, short ribs bourguignonne, crispy blue fish, salad, and frites. To die for! Even Logan gave it the stamp of approval. After lunch, Brian, Pam, and Logan headed back to NJ, while Gretchen and I went back to finish the blood draws. We then fought the pm rush-hour traffic back home, arriving after 8:00 pm. It was a long day, but having my family there was special and made the time fly.

After my experience last week, I was waiting for the steroid to kick in, but for a while, nothing happened. Around 10:00 I hit the hay and went right sleep. About 3:00, however, the dex hit and I was suddenly wide awake. I did not jump out of bed and rush outside to shingle the roof and replant my lawn, but I did accomplish all of this in my mind, and much more. I mentally painted the ceiling and walls in the back hall, painted the discolored areas of the family room ceiling, patched and painted the wall in my office, re-grouted the loose bricks on the front stoop, painted the trim on the front decks, touched up the house trim, sealed the driveway, re-stained the back deck, cut brush on the river bank, trimmed the tree branches by the dock, trimmed the brush by the driveway, and mowed the lawn. If wishes could be deeds, this place would be immaculate. One of these days, I'll get there. I ran out of mental projects to do, so I finally got up around 7:00.

1 comment:

  1. It was a special day for me as well. I wish I was there under better circumstances, but I was glad to be there. I must say I was very impressed with the staff and facilities at Dana Farber. First class all the way. Individually partitioned rooms, floor to ceiling windows overlooking a park, unlimited free snacks and drinks, a barcalounger, a flat screen tv, free ipad rentals...the list goes on and on. Most importantly: the best doctors and nursing staff in the world.

    Above all of that, I was most impressed by your positive attitude and steadfast determination. Seeing you face this challenge is a lesson in courage. I didn't think it was possible to be more proud to have you as a father, but after spending this day with you, I am.