Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The University of Chicago

Monday January 11, 2010:
Today, it is our third day here at UofC. Mark is in an isolation room to clear him of any infections that could endanger any other patients that he will (eventually) be in close proximity to on the Leukemia floor. The idea first here is to clear up the pneumonia in his lungs, drain the fluid from behind his lungs, and clear him of any other infection before he's moved to a regular room.
It was my first day back to work after the holiday and the previous week's scary ordeal at Illinois Masonic. I've been sleeping right next to Mark in his room every night since he was admitted seven days ago. The hospital staff brings a cot into his room and sets it up right next to his bed, so if anything happens in the middle of the night or he needs something, I can help immediately.

Because today was my first day back to work, I was unable to stay with Mark during the day. One of Mark's best friends, Vanda (a nurse and overall amazing and kind woman), stayed with him all day. Today he'd had a procedure done to drain the fluid from the back of his lungs. They removed about 2 liters of fluid from his body, Mark insists that it looked like home brewed beer. :) After the procedure, breathing was intensely easier for him, and he didn't feel like he necessarily needed the oxygen much more; (though the nurses still make him wear it).

He also had an echocardiogram done as well to make sure his heart was in good enough shape to endure what he's about to go through. These first few days are all about preparing him physically in order to begin his chemo treatment.

Tomorrow we meet with his oncology team to not only find out what the chemotherapy schedule will consist of, but we also will get details about the results of all of the tests he's had done, (at last count I believe it was around thirty-something vials of blood that have been taken thus far, I'm sure Mark would correct me but he's sleeping right now).

I think this long and drawn out initial blog-entry gets us up to speed. We'll start keeping a daily log of what's going on with him, how his health is progressing, what he's thinking, which docs are making him laugh and which ones piss him off. I'll also post myself about my perspective of things as well.

Please feel free to leave any comments or thoughts and words of encouragement here. Every single positive word counts and brings us closer to the Curing of Vancura you bring it on.

So far...thank you to every single one of you that have stopped by to visit, (at one point I think we had like 9 people in the room, all in "clean gowns", gloves and face masks. I should have taken a picture).

If you'd like to visit Mark, make sure you just check in with him directly or with me so that we can be sure that he's up for it. These initial days have been totally exhausting for him; and with the chemo starting shortly, it's probably good to check in just to make sure. Also, because they're going to be testing him constantly, it's likely that there will be days where he's barely in his room. Feel free to text me or call me; (Mark too, but it might take him a minute to answer you).

Okay guys n gals, I'm tired too and Mark's snoring is making me want to cuddle up and sleep myself.

Love to all of you.


Some photos I snapped during some more smiley moments:

Mark at Illinois Masonic

Illinois Masonic 2

Illinois Masonic 3

Mark & Jimmy at Illinois Masonic

Mark being transferred via ambulance to The University of Chicago Hospitals

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