First off sorry for the delay. If anyone hates to WAIT, I am certainly that person. So my apologies for making you wait, but hey, I do have CANCER and I am finding what I want to do and what I can do in a timely fashion mostly are different.
Lisa does a great job and by no means is she being replaced, I just had a looooooooooonnnnnnnnnngggggggggg two weeks and I have a lot to share. I have been going to USC since September, and in that time I have been in a lot of different rooms, all small. There are, however, larger rooms available. The larger rooms are available for Bone Marrow Transplant patients, because they are in hospital so much longer . I am a BMT patient and until this week it as never worked out for us to get a larger room. We went in to the hospital on Friday, and finally upgraded on our first Sunday. The room has 2 visitor chairs, space for two patients, (they never double occupy here) and a sofa fold out to full size bed. The bathroom is much larger as well. Of course the room is equipped with a special Hepa filter for my protection. I, affectionately referred to the machine as R2D2, though there was not much ‘affection’. This sucker was LOUD and annoying. How we ever fell asleep is amazing. At one point I was so annoyed I downloaded a decibel meter on my phone and found it was 84 decibels constantly 24/7.
Session 1, we were in 3 rooms in the first nights we were there. Session 2 we were in 4 rooms the first 3 days we were there. The first night we were moved because the unit we were placed in was shutting down to reduce staffing, since the patient load was lower than expected. The second night we had to move from room 2 to 3 because our sink broke, and no maintenance was available. All the nurses and doctors knew we hoped for a bigger room. They even relocated a patient a day early to vacate the larger room, so we could be accommodated. It was really nice to have the extra room.
We would like to thank Mary Looby for her meal the week before we went in, and the comfortable Patagonia blankets we enjoyed every night in the hospital. Thank you.
If you are reading this you already know session one was MISERABLE for me. I absolutely dreaded returning and the week I had off, besides being able to see Brianna play her last two volleyball games, I was unable to relax and paralyzed by fear of returning for another session. This session was much easier than expected….Thank GOD.
Session one we also saw the rotation of some good doctors out and new ones came in. Now it is time for them to rotate out again, so when we return new doctors will have to be broken in, (not an easy job). The nurses and doctors @ USC are top notch, they all take a real personal interest in me and Lisa, I am sure they do for all of the patients. We really feel a connection with all of them, a new family.
Session 2 also brought Lisa’s mom Donna (affectionately referred to as NOONA) she stayed with the kids from Nov. 1 – 15th same day of my release. When I am in the Hospital I miss lots of things, Brianna had a choir dinner show I was able to see some videos, she was great. I was there in spirit. My DAD came down for a tour and supply drop so this allowed Lisa to go up and see the show. Supplies included butterscotch, and tapioca puddings, Pringles, and some mixed fruit cups, much appreciated.
I also missed the release of the newest CALL of DUTY – Advanced Warfighter game for XBOX. This is an annual event I usually am one of those people that wait in line at midnight for the pre-release of the game so I can go right home and start playing. The last two years have each resulted in full all nighters, (not recommended if you have to stop playing to drive in to work 6:00 next morning) This year my incarceration kept me from this, but a special request/order Donna/NOONA secured me a copy and I was able to check it out when I got home.
Session two was physically not as taxing on my body, but I have to admit to you all … it nearly broke me. I was so depressed and felt like my stint would never end. I was really down and had several days when the waterworks would not stop. They were uncontrollable and I was overcome with sadness and despair. I was going stir crazy and emotionally taxed. I did find comfort in daily devotionals that come in every day from my friend Pastor Jerry Gray, he is an on call minister for SBPD, SBSO, SBFD and SBCoFD. Most days how I am feeling is addressed in some way by the devotionals and they really make you think.
I did have some visits this session, week one we were fortunate enough to have 3 members from SBFD attend a class with the LAFD, they made a point to come visit us, and even took Lisa out for a break, and dinner. It was great to see Captains Chris Mailes, Joe Tieso, and BC Robert Mercado. The following week Lisa reached out and made contact with SBFD Engineer Jeremy Denton and or Captain Tony Pighetti, and somehow it was arranged for a visit to USC. The guys came down Friday, the day before my parole / release. They came bearing gifts as well, a set of EARMUFFS to silence R2D2, earplugs, Kit kats, nutter butters and a special gift that makes me well up with humility and pride ….a beautiful pillowcase that was signed by many many current and retired SBFD personnel. Thank you to all who signed and to Captain Brian Walsh for initiating that project.
The kids and NOONA came down via the Amtrak on Veteran’s Day and visited. Lisa took them to Exposition Park and went to the California Science Center, they came back went out to dinner and returned home.
My last thoughts, I want to say to all of you ,THANK YOU for all the continued support, prayers, messages, texts, emails, calls, pictures, videos, etc. I will be relaxed this week and look forward to starting session 3. We are 2/3 done with this treatment. I will not have any bad days in session 3, and anyone anytime that wants to brave LA traffic feel free to come visit @ USC. I’ve heard “God won’t give us more than we can handle” well this last session I felt like I was limiting out, but I’m still here.
This disease will not get me, I am KICKING CANCERS ASS!!!!!! with the support of all of you so please, keep it up. I hope this finds you all in good health, have a safe enjoyable Thanksgiving, I will be at USC.
Love to each one of you.