Dr. Bobs Adventure

We've created this blog for several reasons. First is to keep family and friends(including Bobs' pts.)informed of Bobs' condition while he undergoes treatment for Acute Myelogenous Leukemia(AML) at HUP. You may also write to Bob by posting a comment, which I'll print for him to read. Please feel free to pass this blog site on to anyone you think may want to join us.Instructions to blog are listed under day 12, and bobs' address etc are under day 14. Click on April Archives to find both.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Day 2

Dear friends and family,

I'm sitting in the family room at Rhoads writing this. I'm killing a few minutes while rush hour traffic dissipates__hopefully. Bob just went down for his line, so I was wrong about 3pm. First thing in the morning at HUP is 5pm. And that is the only negative thing I will write about today.

I will tell you that every staff member we have encountered so far at Rhoads has been wonderful...very kind and caring. We too have a Nurse Patty. She did not tell us her title, but she works w/ social services to coordinate insurance probs., support groups etc. She seems like she will be a big help. Bobs' primary nurse is a very sweet girl named Rachel. And I'm telling you, there are a lot of Doogie Howsers here. They must've lowered the minimum age requirement for medical licensure. These residents and interns look impossibly young. I'm sure I looked older than them when I was in high school. Bob did see our hem/onc today...Dr. Luger. She is going to San Francisco for a meeting, and thinks we will see her again on Monday. I was not here when she was in this am. When Bob told her about our experiences yesterday, she told him she had 4 pts. who did not get admitted as scheduled. This place is so huge that breakdowns in communication are commonplace, and that, as we see it is the biggest problem.

So, I'm going to close now. I'd like to get home at a decent hour. My niece Megan is staying with me, and my parents will be down this weekend, for which I am very grateful. I thank everyone too for their offers of a bed, and I am keeping them all tucked in my mind. Oh, Bobs' chemo is due to start tonight, but not really expected to kick in w/ big side effects(i.e. lowered counts) for another week or so. I will let you all know of course how it goes in the next few days.

Please keep us in your prayers.

All our love,
Bob and Mo

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Day 1

Hello all,

Well....where to begin? Not even sure if I should begin, since a good lawyer buddy of mine, once told me...never put anything in writing when you're tired or angry. Let's just say that Murphys' law was the order of the day at HUP. We arrived at Penn Tower at 9:15 am, and Bob just got into his room at 9:30 tonight. He did not have his central IV cath placed today, b/c the chemo nurse who was administering Bobs' platelets(at 2pm, after 2 lab sticks since a crossmatch wasn't done the first time) said "oh gee, you have to be fasting to get a central line, since you get conscious sedation". Of course, this was the same nurse who told us one hour earlier to go get some lunch, b/c the platelets wouldn't be ready for an hour!!!!! Than we waited for over SIX hours in admissions for his room to be vacated and cleaned. I will not go into all those gory details. Suffice it to say, I am praying that we have gotten all of the snafus for this entire admission, all over with at once. There were certainly enough of them. I felt like I was going to blow a gasket all day. Bob, on the other hand was perfectly calm, that is until his nurse Sarah told him she had "about 300" questions to ask him.Than an int. med. resident, who appeared to be 12 yrs. old, told Bob she really didn't know much of his history, and would he mind starting at the beginning. That is when I kissed him good night. I have called him since I've gotten home(the good news is at 10pm, doing 70mph, I can get from the HUP garage to Kulpsville in 30 mins.)Bob is finally all tucked in, had some water ice, and was ready for lights out. He told me he's supposed to get his cath in first thing tomorrow, which I'm assuming in "Penn time" will be around 3pm. Enough ranting for one blog. I am grateful that he's okay and finally resting in bed.

Bob is in______Room 7005 Rhoads.

His landline phone number___215-615-8116

HUP address_____3400 Spruce St.
Philadelphia, Pa.

Thank you everyone again, for all the good wishes. I will try not to use the blog as a sounding board anymore, but thanks for letting me vent(not like you had a choice). I'll be in touch.

All our love,
Mo and Bob

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Tuesday, 3/28/06 Admission Eve

Hi all,

Well, I think we've gotten all our ducks lined up finally. Bob finished up his To Do list this afternoon, and I think he is pooped. He's watching A Dark Kingdom on the sci-fi channel right now,which is right up his alley. We had "comfort food" for dinner tonight. Bob requested meat loaf, broccoli and baked potato w/ sour cream and chives. Our niece Megan joined us and pitched in w/ the clean-up, than was treated to a discourse on Wagners' Ring of the Nibelungen with special emphasis on the Gotterdammerung. It seems this sci-fi program is based on that story. What a renaissance man I am married to. He certainly has a lot of info stored in that brain of his. And we just got a phone call from our granddaughter Rhane, who told GrandBob she is sick too, and has missed school because of the flu. I hear Bob speaking with Matt now, so it seems we have heard from everyone now.

Bobs' bag is packed...we don't need the pack mule after all. Gonna try to keep things to a minimum, remembering how "stuff" just seemed to accumulate in Debs' room over her lengthy stay. We plan on leaving at 8am tomorrow, as we will be right in the middle of rush hour. I'm not sure how long of a day it will be for me tomorrow. I will try to post every day, but I may write in the mornings if I'm bushed at night. But I will keep you all up to date.

Well, nothing left to say, except please keep the prayers and good thoughts going, and thank you again for all your love and well-wishes. I have a feeling they will go a long way in sustaining us, on what I hope will be, a very short adventure.

All our love,
Bob and Mo

Monday, March 27, 2006

Monday 3/27/2006, 2 days before admission

Hello everyone,

First of all, I have to say, please bear with me as I'm creating the blog. I thought posting a comment on Debs' blog was tough...whew! I had no idea. I just hope this works.

So, we have been rather busy this past week. Bob, in typical Bob fashion, made a To Do list 30 minutes after getting the news last Tuesday, and has been working hard on that. Getting the taxes done, going over bills w/ me, that type of thing. He feels his best in the morning, and that is when he gets the bulk of the work done. He's been sleeping well, albeit with the help of a sleeping pill. He was being plagued with muscle spasms of the back and neck after his last hospitalization, but they have stopped. Fatigue continues to be a major drawback, but he rests through the day intermittently. He is, as I write this, on his way to the post office and the Quest lab for his biweekly blood count(CBC). You'll have to forgive me if I forget, and go all medical on everyone. There are so many medical abbreviations. Just let me know if I get too technical.

We had a nice weekend. Bobs' brother Bill, his wife Ann, Bobs' sister Santa and her husband Sam, all visited on Saturday. We had a wonderful time...they have great family stories(with the most outrageous ones usually involving Bill or Sam!)...and we shared a lot over a big pot of stew and some delicious red wines. Bob loved every minute. We have been in close contact with Bobs' son Matt who lives in Memphis. He is planning to come up next week. That will be just what the dr. ordered.

The plan continues for admission to HUP on Wednesday morning. Bob will have to have a central venous line placed(a big IV in his neck) through which his chemo, blood and drugs will be given. He may need an infusion of platelets before they do that, to prevent any bleeding at the site. At any rate, we expect the chemo to be started by Wed. evening. Bob already had a heart scan done at CMMC last week and he passed with flying colors(EF of 74 %, for all you doc.s out there). That is a routine test that must be done, as the one chemo agent in particular can affect the heart. So, all that's left is to pack up. I think we may need a trunk already, what with clothing, toiletries, books, magazines, cd player, cd's, pillows, etc. Actually, maybe a pack mule won't be out of line either!!!

I want to close by thanking everyone for their calls, cards, e-mails and visits. We appreciate them all. Bob sends his love to you all, and please continue to remember us in your prayers.


P.S. I will post Bobs' room number, room phone number and address when I know them. He will have a cell phone, and the number is 215-760-5116.