Day +259: They paved paradise and put up a parkin’ lot…

“…Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone?”

I’m in the midst of post transplant Vidaza cycle 7. We’re past the halfway point for the year! The local oncology center moved from a small professional building to become a part of the Upper Chesapeake Medical Center. Yesterday was their first day treating patients at the new facility. The wonderful staff whom I’ve grown so fond of over the past year and a half looked thoroughly stressed with the new routine, some of them close to tears. You know it’s bad when the oncology nurses are seeking hugs and comfort from the patients instead of the other way around. In addition to trying to learn a new system and integrate with the hospital staff and procedures, they seemed especially frustrated that the patients were having to wait longer and wade through more bureaucracy and more daily paperwork. Personally, I didn’t find it too bad, but it is evident that nothing will be quite as simple as it was before – little things like getting copies of medical records and dealing with insurance issues will probably be the most annoying aspects for me but these should (hopefully) not be as bad as dealing with the larger facilities like Johns Hopkins and University of Maryland. Without a doubt, I’ll miss the old setup, as will they. I thought of today’s tagline because the new office suites are located above the hospital parking garage.

Because of the binding effects of the anti-nausea drug, Zofran (ondansetron), I decided to try using Ativan this cycle instead. Big mistake! I felt fine through the treatment yesterday and was hungry for dinner. We went to nearby Josef’s Country Inn and were warmly greeted by owner and staff as we hadn’t been there lately. Unfortunately, about 5 minutes after consuming my appetizer, I suddenly was overcome with nausea and literally had to make a run for the facilities. We took the remainder of our dinner as carryout and scurried home. The next couple of hours were extremely miserable – I’ll spare you the details. Michael finally persuaded me to dissolve a Zofran under my tongue, after which I was able to drink one of my breakfast shakes. I went to bed and slept for 12 hours, feeling much better today. No more anti-nausea drug experimentation for me! I’ll stick with what works and deal with the consequences.

Tonight we went to a family dinner for the elder grandnephew’s 15th birthday and fared much better than last night. Just can’t believe how quickly these youngins grow up!

My blood counts are very good, both my CMP from August 3 and yesterday’s CBC. The new facility has slightly different reference ranges (“norms”):

WBC: 3900 (norm 3000-11200)
Granulocytes (~ANC): 1800 (norm 1400-9200)
Platelets: 487 (norm 150-450)
RBC: 3.91 (norm 3.90-4.90)
HGB (hemoglobin): 13.7 (norm 11.5-14.3)
HCT (hematocrit): 39.8 (norm 34.0-42.2)
Bilirubin 0.6 (normal 0.0 – 1.2)
AST 41 (normal 0-40)
ALT 35 (normal 0-40)
Alkaline Phosphatase, S 145 (norm 25-150)

Day +252 tagline:
Why Worry, Mark Knopfler (IDed by Cathy and Greg)


  1. I guess when we don’t feel normal, we just need to go somewhere else and we will. That is weird that the medical arena does not have a normal that is universal. I do hope the staff gets broken in fast in their new surroundings. They are smart and will probably adjust quickly. This first week will probably be hard, but in the long run they will really like the new place. At least I hope they do.

    I am actually familiar with this weeks tagline. Of course I don’t remember what it is called or who sings it, but it is something that I have h heard before. I would even have to look up one by the Beatles. Including my and David’s “song”. And that is no lie. So this one is….They Paved Paradise by Counting Crows. I have heard of Counting Crows, but would never have guessed the name of the group if my liife depended on it. sigh…

    On a more positive note…glad you are still normal! At least for the most part. 🙂

  2. I’m sorry to hear about the trouble your staff is having acclamating. I can’t help but think about my job as I read that part-since it applies directly to my current project at work. I continue to wish you the best.

  3. Big Yellow Taxi, originally (and written) by Joni Mitchell, and it was also done by Amy Grant before Counting Crows. The Joni version is still my favorite though.

    Sorry you went through such a time when trying to change meds – but halfway, that’s awesome! Sorry you had a bad day there, but thrilled that overall you’re doing great!

  4. So glad you are halfway through the Vidaza and that your counts are still very good! Sorry you had some trouble when trying to switch the meds though 🙁
    Thanks for all the updates, everything is well on our end.
    Deb and Mike

  5. Big Yellow Taxi!! I love that song!!

    Hope you are feeling better!!


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